Nick Savastano’s tenure as John Jay coach is over.
Savastano was told today that he will not be retained as the Indians’ coach after a highly successful 10 years as head varsity coach in which John Jay’s program achieved national prominence. John Jay athletic director Chris McCarthy said the decision does not affect Savastano’s status as a full-time physical education teacher in the Katonah/Lewisboro district.
Savastano did not publicly discuss any specific reasons he was given for the move, but said he believed an investigation the school had conducted of the lacrosse program centered on accusations of verbal abuse of players. Savastano said he plans on returning to coaching lacrosse in the area. He said he has not decided if he will file a grievance with the teacher’s union.
McCarthy said he could not offer any specific reasons for the move because it is a personnel matter.
“I’ll be making a plan of action to put the best possible staff in place,” McCarthy said.
McCarthy said he has talked with some members of the team today and will be meeting with the entire team later in the day.
Junior varsity coach Erik Hoaglund and volunteer varsity assistant coach Vinny Savastano, Nick’s brother and the former head varsity coach at Hen Hud, also will not be retained.
During the school district’s investigation of the program, only one current varsity or JV coach, Geoff Nolan, was permitted to remain involved with the team. Nolan ran a winter box league.
A standout at Lakeland High School, Savastano was named John Jay varsity head coach in 2000, replacing Bob Kear, who founded the Indians’ program as a club team in 1976. Kear was relieved of his coaching duties after the 1999 season and immediately pursued legal action against the school district regarding his dismissal. That legal action has still not been resolved.
During Savastano’s tenure:
* John Jay became the first team to ever beat Yorktown on Yorktown’s home field twice in the same season (2006).
* John Jay defeated such nationally renowned programs as Huntington, Manhasset, Garden City, Niskayuna, Syosset, Darien and Corning East during Savastano’s tenure. The win over two-time state champion Huntington, in the 2007 state semifinals, is the most noteworthy. Huntington, with the twin brother tandem of Shamel and Rhamel Bratton, was the No. 1-ranked team in the nation when John Jay beat the Blue Devils 11-10 in overtime at Hofstra University. The win snapped Huntington’s 63-game win streak. With the victory, John Jay earned its first-ever state final appearance, where the Indians lost to Jamesville DeWitt.
* John Jay won four straight sectional titles from 2005-08. John Jay lost to Somers in the 2009 Section 1 Class B final.
“We had something great going,” Savastano said. “The program was blossoming. We were sending kids to Division I programs. I was in the school during the day, so it gave me the chance to work with kids. I feel like I was more than a coach, I was a mentor.”
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that is ridiculous. Coach Savastano was great for the program and this is a shame!
lax parents and community members should be ashamed for not standing up for these coaches! guess we can say john jay won’t be part of the region’s top five teams in 2010!
A shame!! Is there any appeal process?? If its like in Rye, once the Bd/AD makes a decision, its really a done deal and “black hole” to the public as to find out what happened!!
McCarthy said he’s gonna “put the best possible staff in place”–sound like he just got rid of “the best possible staff”.
OK, if this really is a done deal, who are the best candidates?
You seem to be implying that there were not enough, vocal supporters fighting for Sav with the Board? Surprising.
This is an early april fools joke right?
Not sure what’s going on at John jay, they did the same thing to Bob Kear ten years ago. Was there any real reason ever given for this? Is this a personality conflict between Sal and the AD ? What ever reason, I think it sucks.
There is no personality conflict with Sav and AD. The investigation started before AD took over and Sav was told by assistant super not AD that he was not coming back.
The AD had nothing to do with the decision, it was the district attorney and school board
You should be ashamed for bashing the JJ lacrosse community without knowing anything that has gone on over the past few months. Coach Sav is a great member of the community and because of one complaint an investigation came about. The players and parents urged the school board to keep their coaches, however they came to the conclusion that the program would move in a different direction. There has been no information released on the subject other than the coaches will not be with the program anymore. Also Mr. McCartrthy played no part in the decision because he was hired after the investigation was filed.
Okay, John jay community. – lets stand up and be counted. How can one sorry excuse for a person make this happen. We need to find out just what the charges were? and just maybe we can save this man’s job. Our kids need this.
I have heard that the coaches “verbal” motivation was a problem. Which is typical. Also, that somebody complained that during the winter months when the entire team was shoveling snow off the field, a few kids who never got playing time also were asked to shovel and did.
A few parents filed a complaint and stuck with it.
My thoughts are with the Savastano family. Thank you for bringing the program to where you did. For all you did for your players those ten years. You did our community nothing but right. We are all saddened by this turn of events.
i can’t believe the coaches weren’t even allowed to get support from the community and/or former players before the decision was made… does this seem normal or fair? part of having a successful program is the articulation amongst the coaches- hoags and the savs worked well together and were beyond passionate about their players and this program. seems like the community and these coaches need to push for a coaches union! this strong and talented coaching team should have been protected here!
I will tell you this much john jay loss could be someone school gain. Who wouldn’t want this group of coaches. These guys are better than some college guys.
This is where Section I is heading… They should have the right to address the issues that were brought up. Parents were making wild accusations. This is the 4th or 5th time in the last 5 years where coaches with proven track records were not asked to return. The squeaky wheel gets thre grease. It’s time for the parents of players who have benefited step up!!!
There will be many posts about this investigation and subsequent coaching change and 95% will be inaccurate. The fact remains that JJ needs a Freshmen, JV, and Varsity coach…and the season starts in 4 months. Who are the best coaches in section one who are available or would make themselves available?
it will be a tough act to follow.
Following what JJ said, over the last couple of months players and there parents had been e-mailing the board to retain the coaching staff after word had leaked that there was an investigation along with parents going directly to superintendent.
The team had done everything possible by having every member of the team sign a petition to retain Sav and the coaches along with players attending the most recent board meeting where they spoke about Sav and all the great things he has done for the program.
What it comes down to was the Board of Ed chose not to listen to the players but the parents who were upset there son lost playing time last year to a talented younger player. These people have to realize that playing time is earned not given to you because your a junior or senior. The only thing that Sav is guilty of is not cutting those parents kids because since the days of Kear there has been a no cut policy for the program as the Savs wanted to give every kid a chance to be apart of the program regardless of whether they were the star player or the worst player. This would have never of happened if he cut those players and instead of those parents being grateful for him letting the kids be part of the team they stabbed him in the back.
This is a huge loss to the team and the community as many of us had hoped they would do the right thing and bring back the Savs but instead chose to listen to the words of few jealous parents instead of the whole community. It’s a sad day for JJ Lax and hopefully the next coach who comes in doesn’t have to deal with the same crap.
would a coach really want to come into this knowing that they could be ousted just as easily?
Northerlax, the best coaches available just got fired!
JJW – amen!
I apologize if my post seemed callous or that I have moved on too quickly. I think the Savs did a great job for a long time and will return to coaching at another area HS school for sure. For the JJ community this situation has been going on for months (and months) and now that it is finally over, and a decision rendered, we need to act quickly or a talented group of athletes will be disadvantaged.
Awful. The chances of finding a coaching staff to come in and truly be prepared at this stage of the game is extremely remote. There is nobody in house that is equipped to do the job that these athletes need for the next two years. It has to be picked up by an outside party. Maybe an injunction can be filed to at least get Sav to coach this season, which by the way, at this level, starts the moment the kids return from Christmas break at indoor practice.
i believe that this is good for the team, and if Ted Nolan is the head coach, we instantly got better. Do not look for a repeat performance of last year, JJ will win the section this season, and go very very very far in the state playoffs.
Northernlax, i understand your point. but call me an optimist, i just don’t think the program should accept the decision.
fact of the matter, if the savs and hoags were able to come back, WHICH THEY SHOULD, or if new coaches come in, these coaches need to be protected! this sets a scary precedent- parents complain–> coaches fired. there is a ten year history of vast accomplishments that should be considered.
(If you didn’t see my letter – I just wanted everyone to read this)
Please DO NOT be the ones to get rid of the coaches who
built an ELITE PROGRAM here at John Jay and that do so much for our kids!
I wanted to start out by saying I am a parent in the community who had my two sons play for this terrific coaching staff. One of my boys was one of the top players on the team and my other boy was toward the end of the bench. I needed to say that they were each treated wonderfully and fairly. The one son who didnt play very much was actually treated great. He always felt he was helping the team and encouraged and praised for his toughness and overall improvement. I couldnt think of anyone else I would have wanted to lead OUR lacrosse program. Do we want to be known as the people who got rid of the coaches who built this fine tradition here at John Jay? Do we want to be the community who couldnt handle tough practices and hard life lessons for our boys?
Please read below for some statistics, facts and notes about the coaches and the program.
6 Straight Sectional Championship Appearances
Winning 4 straight Sectional Championships
Making it to a State Championship
Being the team to beat the #1 team in the Nation (Huntington 63-0 record)
Leading 12 kids to get All-American Honors
Helping countless numbers of kids to get Scholarships
and helping them to get into great Colleges and Universities
In creating a Nationally Ranked Program
Why would anyone want to take away what has helped so many student athletes
with this fine sport?
Apparently, some people were very jealous and couldnt handle the fact that their child wasnt the superstar or the one they felt didnt get the PLAYING TIME they deserved.
It all comes down to PLAYING TIME people. My kid didnt play, who can I blame?
These coaches never cut anyone in their lives; they believed in anyone who wanted to make a commitment and be apart of something they werent going to be the ones to take that away from them.
They cared about the last kid on the bench to the top player on the team the same.
They run a grueling hard working practice and are very disciplined and hold kids to a very high standard Is that a bad thing?
Ive heard them say: That when the parents are allowed to run the program
it is time to step down.
Its very unfortunate in our Society today that we bring kids up in EVERYONE IS A WINNER mentality, because when they do get in the real world and adversity hits they do not know how to handle it.
The coaching staff has always received glowing recommendations every year. They received them from the Athletic Director, Administrators and even the Superintendent of Schools. The Superintendent of Schools actually wrote how this was the Best Program in the school in terms of showing Great Character, Sportsmanship, Teamwork, and Enthusiasm. He was even on their sideline for many games taking pictures and supporting the program and said that the coaches and players represented themselves in a first class manner.
These coaches that you are thinking about getting rid of are the same coaches that we as a community organized a Fire Engine Escort and Parade for after a Championship Season. Many administrators, teachers, parents and community members gathered for the celebration and gave their accolades.
Its a shame that administrators have to cave into the demands of a few disgruntled parents.
Its a real travesty that the former youth of John Jay will not get to experience the amazing success that these coaches have built because Mommy and Daddy put too much pressure on their own kids rather then just enjoying and being proud of their son for working hard and being apart of something very special.
I really feel bad for the hundreds of kids from 2nd grade all the way up that are going to miss out on the opportunities and many great connections these coaches have made with the Top College Coaches of America. In this economy missing out on the many fine opportunities for big time scholarships is going to really hurt.
In conclusion, after thirteen years coaching OUR boys here at John Jay and everyone telling them what a wonderful job they are doing and receiving glowing recommendations to now being told see you later. How are we helping them? If things need to be corrected, someone should tell them what they want fixed and give them a chance to correct them. Those in education preach: Lets help our students and Lets give them a second chance. For teachers and coaches its see you later, we dont like what you did. Please think about how your decision will effect the lives of so many students for years to come and what we will be looked at for bringing down the coaches who build such a wonderful thing here for our COMMUNITY and our CHILDREN.
They beat Yorktown 4 times in 7 years and beat an undefeated Huntington team without knowing anything. I guess they know something!
Congrats to the cowards! The disgruntled few hiding in the shadows have taken down a great program still on the rise and set an awful precedent that every coach in John Jay should be wary of. I’m sorry for the kids.
im not giving you my name. just know that i was on the team the past 2 seasons, and know way more about the team and the savs than you do Pam. also you saying they cared about the last player on the bench…not true at all. if you didnt start they could care less about you.
sorry about saying ted nolan…i had islander highlights on in the background and that name was in my head (ted nolan is the former coach of the islanders).
jjlaxer – if you are going to bash our program, please get the names right – Geoff Nolan is his name and the Savs didn’t just yell and act like drill sergeants – they ran a tight ship that kids respected and honored – kids that were honored to be on the John Jay Varsity Lacrosse Team coached by the Savastano brothers – coaches that had to have some knowledge of the game!
whoever that kid is who just criticized the coaches, cursed in public, and got nolan’s name wrong:
get over yourself. maybe you should listen to what the coach is telling you to do instead of complaining, and you’d get better and be on the field. then you wouldn’t need to have mommy and daddy get the big bad coach fired so you get your way. you make the entire program look bad with things like this, but i guess you don’t care about anyone but yourself. If your claims are so legitimate why don’t you make yourself known to the rest of the community who’s lives you’ve just impacted?
to anyone doubting the legitimacy of defense on be-half of Sav, Vin et. al.:
I played for Sav and Hauglund for FOUR years, and was at practice every day. NOT ONCE did anything go on where someone should lose their job. This is a disgrace.
jjlaxer — if the Sav’s did not care then you would have been and should have been cut you punk.
Let’s not worry about people like jjlaxer. It’s people like that who want attention, let’s not give it to him. Instead, what can we do to help the coaches!? Let’s be proactive.
If it turns out to be too late to save the Savs, would the team and greater Jay lacrosse community be OK with Nolan as the HC?
Nolan is an alum of the actual team ’87 and played at Hartwick- but right now everybody just wants to keep Sav and do what they can do to help.
What a shame!!!
The only guy qualified to take that job would be the one at Lakeland since he’s been through the situation already.
One of the former recent JJ D-I college players will get the head coaching job long term – prob not this season but starting in 2011.
The Savs were creating a legacy at John Jay every kid couldn’t wait to their years on the varsity. He did a great job with getting to know all the young kids by creating the John Jay Lacrosse Camp. The JV coach Hoaglund lived for his season. He worked so hard to prepare for games. This is such a disappointment for the Community.
A sad day for John Jay- gives the appearance that we have no clue and that the administration hears the pulse of a few and reacts to those few; which is scary, to say the least We are certainly glad Ryder (Ricky in Football) was able to enjoy and benefit from 2 quality coaching staffs in both lax and football. . Nick was very helpful in discussing Ryder as a player with Coach Cottle of Maryland and closing the deal. Although many think we should not emphasize competitive athletics it has gotten many players into schools they probably would not have gotten into and for many ,the schools are paying the way either full or partial. With the cost of colleges in todays climate that is nothing to sneeze at. Other high schools would love to take that money for their players. The sucess of the lax program in the 2000’s have opened doors that would not have been opened, particularily in getting players into quality schools and playing lacrosse in those schools – this includes the current players who have enjoyed this success. If John jay was a run of the mill program these doors would not have opened. Times have certainly changed in schools, its sad. Best of luck to Nick, Vin and Eric .
JJLaxer…if you don’t think they care about the kids wait until you get out into the real world. Are you going to have your Mommy “fire” your boss if he’s mean to you?
Sorry you didn’t play…either get better and earn playing time or play as hard as you can in practice to help your teammates get better.
I drove by the JJ turf tonight and saw the field full of Varsity lacrosse players. Forty athletes practicing on a cold December night so that they can win on a hot June day. The core of this team have been together since the 3rd grade. They are committed to succeed, and while they would have much preferred to move into an important season with their coach from last year, they understand that it is not an option. The head coach is who is fortunate enough to take over this team will find a group ready to play, ready to learn, and ready to win. Go John Jay.
Northernlax — well put.
JJ lacrosse stay focused.
Nick and Vin best of luck!!
Your legacy will be forever remembered!!
One day a dozen or more AA kids many more All-Section kids and countless D-1 players that came through the program you built will be thankful for the men you helped make them. God Bless you both for all you did.
An unfortunate situation but here’s hoping everyone moves on and comes back stronger in whatever they do next. Sometimes change is thrust upon us and it winds up benefitting all parties involved.
From an outsider looking in, I can appreciate the passion of supporters of the Savs and the program. However, think about it, this cannot be about playing time. There were lawyers involved and it took months of investigating. That is not a valid reason to relieve a coach of his/her responsibilities. The John Jay Lacrosse program will prevail, there is so much talent currently and coming up. I have to think there is a quality coach out there ready to steer this ship and jump at the opportunity of running the JJ program. Have faith, when a door closes a window opens.
John Jay coaching supporters –
Here is what your argument sounds like to an outsider:
– My kid is obviously better than your kid, and you parents are just jealous
– You parents (which in actual total might number no more than 4 or 5) complained about your kid’s playing time to the Board beacuse you don’t accept that my kid is better than your kid. (As bystander comments correctly, coaches don’t get released due to playing time issues. Otherwise they would have been dismissed years ago. You think these parents invented complaining about playing time?)
– And now the coaches who have established this winning program (no argument there, they have been successful due to their hard work for little pay, as well as the efforts of the kids) are being let go because your kids don’t accept that they will never be as good as my kid and they should learn a life lesson and move on.
Many of you have likely already been to the meetings where this was discussed, and you knew this was going to happen for reasons other than playing time issues. Why the Board waited to decide this and let the coaches twist in the wind until the beginning of the pre-season training sessions is beyond understanding. That part of this is unfair and wrong to those men who have given so much of themselves to the John Jay program.
But when you read between the lines, what really stands out by this show of support for the coaches who agreed that your kid is better than their kid is the fear that the new coach won’t agree with you, and your kid might not be better than the other kid.
And that scares you more than it scares the kids.
Thinking of some possible former JJ players who already have coaching experience who may eventually be the new head coach… Anyone think of some candidates?
On my way home one day, I stopped to
Watch a Little League base ball game that was being played in a
Park near my home. As I sat down behind the bench on the first-
Base line, I asked one of the boys what ! th e score was
‘We’re behind 14 to nothing,’ he answered
With a smile.
‘Really,’ I said. ‘I have to say you
Don’t look very discouraged.’
‘Discouraged?’, the boy asked with a
Puzzled look on his face…
‘Why should we be discouraged? We haven’t
Been up to bat yet.’
Unfortunately, the team’s performance has little to do with what happened here, clearly. This kind of thing happens all the time, the School Board made a cold-hearted decision, what was the potential risk to the School of a suit filed by the parents versus the risk of a suit filed by the Coach. (This is all supposition, I have no inside information, and have admired the JJ team for a while). It is too late to complain after the fact, the only thing parents can do is pay more attention to what the school policies are and who you vote for to be on the Board. One more thing, I have watched perhaps over 100 Section 1 varsity events, and I have seen many coaches virtually out of control on the sidelines who are still coachin today, Can’t say I ever saw or heard anything like that with the JJ lax team. Good luck to the team, and to the Sav’s.
This sounds like Duxbury all over again! Yes it can be about playing time and yes it can be about the way these coaches talk to their kids. The sad thing here is that its not the coaches who are doing wrong by these kids its the parent. These kids can not be raised to a feeling of entitlement. Sooner or later you have to remove the silver spoon and teach your kids that hard work always pays off. They may not always be in a position to like the people in charge but what we need to teach our kids is how to deal with all types of adversity. Mommy and Daddy won’t be able to protect you and get you what you want forever. It quite honestly is what is wrong with our society today. Don’t be afraid to take a little ownership boys…you’ll be more respected in the end. This is truly a shame but I am sure the these coaches will be fine. They have done a wonderful thing to our section. Along with Yorktown these programs have kept our kids on the recruiting map and we are considered a recruiting hot bed because of them. For that I thank them. The kids who work hard will be fine and will get the recognition they deserve. These programs need to start cutting players to meet a roster number. Otherwise we create this air of enabling these kids to a situation that they don’t belong in. Oh, by the way, they make cuts in college. I wish these coaches the best and congratulate them on their new coaching opportunity that it right around the corner and congratulations to the school that gets them.
WOW Wait until some Yorktown parents get as bold as the JJ parents! That will be interesting. Yorktown has about 15 kids playing college lacrosse from the last 2 classes and 5 or 6 more for next year. My son got instructions in a very loud and demanding manner and he blossomed and now has the opportunity to EARN playing time in college like he earned his time in HS. Marr and crew are certainly not meek and timid and now they have to worry too?
Saw in JN today that Danielo/Pickel went before the Bd with a petition to plead the Savs case to no avail.
How frustrating to these kids. Trying to find any good in this affair is not gonna happen.
But maybe they get a tough “lesson” that life is not always fair or right but you just have to bear it and go on to make the best of things. You can’t control people/things around you but you CAN control/guide YOURSELVES to continue striving to be the best person you can personally be in all phases of your life.
The Jay kids and program WILL survive this.
If what they did was really so bad, why do they still have their teaching jobs? JJ Lax has a no cut policy, so no one was denied the opportunity to play at a varsity level in this program ever. If you’re not good enough to beat out a better player for playing time, you’re not being denied anything, you’re just not earning it. You can’t just show up to practice on the first day at JJ, say “I think I’ll give this lacrosse thing a shot,” and complain when you don’t play over kids who have been training year round for a decade. Those players who worked hard got rewarded. You say that this investigation was way bigger than we think, yet you cite playing time as the reason you “screwed” the coach over by saying “never given a chance to play at the varsity level.”
Then, to contradict yourself further, you discuss how players themselves CHOSE NOT to return to the program, and blame that on the COACHES denying them the opportunity out of “ignorance”? THEN, you discuss how the only people who support the coaches are those who received playing time. Instead of spending a “long time” on this “investigation”, maybe you should have been practicing so you could be a better lacrosse player, and you would’ve had played. I didn’t start 1 game my senior year, didn’t play much until we were up a good amount, and I wouldn’t trade my John Jay Lacrosse experience for anything in the world. I dreamed about playing against Yorktown since I was in 3rd grade, and thanks to Sav, we beat them. I’ll never forget that as long as I live, and I didn’t step on the field once that game, except to celebrate with my teammates at the buzzer.
There are countless people on here discussing the positive experiences they’ve had with John Jay Lacrosse over Sav’s coaching term, and a select few who differ. With a ratio like that, usually it’s not everyone else who has a problem; it’s you. The coaches don’t owe you anything just for showing up. Their job is to win games, and get kids into college. Fortunately for me, I played for a John Jay program that not only did this for me, but also taught me that hard work, commitment, and playing as team yields results. I know from personal experience that the Savs made an effort to make sure every kid on that roster knew that even if they weren’t playing in the games, showing up to practice and working hard every day helped the team get better. This is a huge emphasis in the program, and was when I played for the Savs and Hoaglund.
People like you have now embarrassed the program that we worked so hard to establish. You have ruined opportunities for future student athletes to achieve great things. The program will no longer have the same relationships with other programs in the area, or college programs that provide our players with some of the best educational experiences this country has to offer.
-Have fun with that Karma.
All the best to the Savs Great Job! proven winners. As above posts say it is more than playing time, though that may have influenced the parents to pursue the “Verbal abuse” angle. One person interprets as discipline and toughening up another as ” verbal abuse” then the lawyers get involved and no one wins. These guys have proven track records and many current players and alumni who support them but the time to fight I believe has passed as the season is close at hand. Don’t think there is any answer here that will make up for the mess this has become, so lets try to move on. The Sav’s are quality people and coaches and will land on their feet. The JJ program hopefully is stronger than any one coaching team (granted transitions are painful). Moaning complaining parents, have been around for a while now. I guess I just hate the process. Who can get in there quickly and also knows section one Lax well.
Like the rest of Section 1 are there any JJ or Ytown graduates who have coaching experience available. (Come on Chris Bates you don’t really like Princeton do you?)
I think the out of Section 1 coaches that J has played against will continue to support playing Jay (will particularly rally around Jay now) as long as the program continues to be ‘elite’ which I strongly believe it will. The “Manhassets’ of the world of course respected Sav but it was the quality of jay’s team which drew them to play.
Jay is a 100% known recruiting ground for D1 and down programs so dont see this as an issue. However I assume the new coach will hopefully have the College lacrosse “contacts” and will be pro-active in this regard.
I think it was wrong to leave these guys, and the team, twisting in the wind for so long while this investigation dragged on. Was Savs tough on the kids? Yes he was, but the world is a tough place and Im sure there are Jay players who are better prepared to deal with it because of their experience. Was Savs fair? The one criticiesm that I have heard raised about Savs was the perception that he would play underclassmen over seniors if he perceived that there was more upside to the underclassmen by giving them more experience. Is that better for the program? Yes, absolutely. Is that fair to the senior (or junior) who, at the start of the season, is just as good as the underclassman who replaces him? No, it is not. What is the right answer? It depends on what you think a high school varsity athletic program is supposed to accomplishwin state championships and get more kids into Division I programs, or complement the education experience by rewarding hard work and helping all of the kids get into a better college than he or she might otherwise get into, be it D-1or D-3, even if it means next year’s team won’t be as good as it could have been if the underclassmen had more experience. Is that what actually happened at Jay? Im sure it depends on who you ask but, as in most things, I’m sure the truth is somewhere in between.
Your positive attitude in this situation is much appreciated.
As a JJ Lax Alum and a current Coach of 6 years, a lot thoughts come into my head as I read these comments. A lot of emotions flowing since I went through the same exact situation when Coach Kear was let go. Some of you may know that name, considering he started the lacrosse program at John Jay. Not only did he start the program, but he started the tradition and love for the game that stands in the community today. Lacrosse is a different game today, even from when I played in high school. The players are better, faster, bigger, and more talented. The players today can’t forget about tradition. It is what aids in building a program, becoming part of a team, and learning life lessons. The best times of my life have come from being part of a lacrosse team. My question for the community is this: How can there be a team if there is such separation, anger, animosity, and jealousy among everyone? It goes much further than the coaches and the players. I will never forget the things that Coach Kear taught me or did for me. I also played for Coach Nolan, another tremendous Coach who is WELL ROOTED in JJLax tradition, and has been involved with the program longer than anyone accept for Coach Kear. I was one of the people that was crushed when Coach Kear was let go. And yes, there were others on the team that took the opposing side, that aided in his release, some of which were my best friends. But that did not keep us from being a team, and working together as a family. I still learned and worked as hard as I could, even though this change affected my career immensely. It’s sad to see how selfish the aura has become in the community. Coach Sav had many great accomplishments, but when there are investigations and lawyers involved, it goes much further than complaining parents and players. Again, I am not knocking Coach Sav for any of his great successes, but we can’t forget that the traditions and program were built by Coach Kear and Coach Nolan. I fear that players and the community today has lost sight of that, and it clearly shows with the way everyone treats each other in this “Community.”
Jays loss here the bro’s will land on their feet.
JJLax04Alum12- Nice job there
I have also seen many games Vs JJ, some my son’s playing against some Vs others teams. In all those times i have always held the Jay coaches and team to a high level and class act.
To the Sav’s and Jay players Good luck
They funny part is that when colleges fire Head Coaches it is normally done in a year when there is a lot of media attention towards coaches at other schools. Look at ND Football this year they wouldn’t have fired Wiess if there were not 5 household names coaching around the country. The way that this translates to JJ and Section 1 lacrosse is that, 1. there is not a lot of young, talented, and well known coaches in Section 1 that would be willing to leave their schools to go deal with the JJ parents. 2. I can bet you right now that who ever takes over at JJ will not be the head coach there in 5 years there will be another change in the near future because the admin. and parents will want somebody who has a lot of connections to D1 to get there kid recruited.
In fact guys like Don Connolly, Al Meola, Roy Colsey, Tim Schurr, Paul Carcaterra, Stephen Mcelduff, a handful of coaches from Darien, Wilton, New Cannan, would be the best fits but can JJ get one of the big guys now???
This is a real shame. All the best to Sav and his brother and the other coaches. I’m sure we haven’t heard the last of any of them. Obviously there are many sides to this story. Just be careful which you subscribe to because rumor is rarely fact.
I’m sure John Jay will have no problem getting a top tier coach and staff in place quickly. I’d be shocked if this is not the case.
Left them in a Pickle
When a program is at the level John Jay is, it is undoubtably the responsibility of the coach to do what is ever best for the program. You do not, under any circumstances, stick it out with a senior because he is a good kid and its “his turn”- that’s how you end up in the middle of the pack. That, by the way is a place where every program is trying to get out of.
You put the absolute best talent on the field regardless of the political climate. This was not some intramural team. This was essentially a feeder program to the most elite level of the sport in the world. ( For the college age students)
Sav knew that at best, the seniors and juniors in question, would represent only what the sophomores could accomplish on an off day. Moreover, that the “program” (a noun that represents our town’s lacrosse players past, present, and future) would benefit much more in developing the players that would have a chance at winning a state championship or at the least getting recruited to play at the D1 level, enhancing our community’s reputation and furthering the positive report we have with colleges and universities which all connects as a cycle that feeds itself in a dramatically positive way.
The Katonah/Lewisboro area is an affluent one and with respect to that it is also a “new” one. Here we have many that saw an opportunity to become something that their former neighborhoods in Long Island, New Jersey and New York City would not permit. Our population and per capita income has grown across the board and the type of family we have here has changed a great deal since the late 80’s early 90’s. When the lofty social goals of certain families don’t work out as they anticipate, unfortunately there is a reaction that is malignant and vindictive.
We have new money. The awful, tacky kind that you could find on a horrific reality television show. I love my home town. I would not have traded to grow up anywhere else. Don’t get it twisted. However, what we see here goes beyond snobbery. This is different. This is classless new money gone awry.
You had a shot. It was in a public community with an objective judge who weighed the situation and made a careful decision to help a community. He made the right one. You were so embarrassed that you pulled the emergency lever. All the while, you knew that it could destroy the whole thing and you did not care. If you could not have it, then nobody could have it.
Even if Savastano got it wrong, it would not be grounds for dismissal, nor would it be correct for anyone to feel slighted, wronged, or embarrassed.
You could have shown class. You could have taken the high road. A family with class would have kept their discussions to their own dinner table and then found a way to get through it together. You decided to pull the lever.
We all are going to move on now: The Savastano’s, the player’s, the parents and the rest of the community. We will go to games, talk stats and wins and losses. Soon we will all forget what happened here. The details won’t be clear and we will be sick of it. I am just asking that everyone remember this particular superintendent of schools. Remember his decision to overlook the petitions and alumni and parents who overwhelmingly were in favor of keeping Nick Savastano, a physical education instructor in our district, as the head coach of the lacrosse team. In the end, this was not about lacrosse.
Isn’t Meola going up to Ridgefield to assist Colsey. If so if I’m Colsey I tell Al he should be a HEAD coach and to apply for the Jay job.
Someone tell Sav that Immaculate in Danbury needs a head coach. Close by for him, and maybe an opportunity to build a premier program that can attract (can’t say recruit!) players from around the area – maybe even some from Lewisboro. Success would be the best revenge. Fairfield Prep north!
I’m not speaking for Meola, but I do know his interest in Ridgefield was for very specific, personal reasons. He may not be a person who would have any interest in being a head coach anywhere right now. That said though, Al would be a great choice if he had an interest. I guess we’ll see.
I don’t know if your comment was directed at mine. I agree with a number of things that you say, especially that sports should be a meritocracy–the best players should play, period. Unfortunately, I’ve been around youth sports enough to know that is not always the case (coach’s sons/daughters etc).
The question I was posing, based on things that I have heard parents of Jay players say (and I have a son who played for Savs) is whether it is appropriate to play a sophmore or junior instead of a senior when the senior is at least as good as, if not better than, his junior teammate, for the reason that the more junior teammate will ultimately be better in future years, or even in the current year, than the senior is currently. I know that this happens at the pro level, on many college teams, and on high school teams. My question is whether that is appropriate at the high school level. You seem to be saying, if I understood your post, that it is. I’m not sure that I agree; as I said in my earlier post I think it depends on what the community thinks its high school sports programs should be accomplishing. You make good arguments for why competing for state championships and placing graduates in D1 programs are valid objectives. But what about the kid (boy or girl) who is trying to get into a better school that has a D3 program–should that kid, who is a good player and paid his or her dues, be left on the bench so a more junior player can develop further, be more valuable to the team in the future, and possibly get a commitment from a D1 program down the road? Remember that I’m not saying the senior should play just becasue he is a senior–if the junior, sophmore or freshman is better right now, then they should play right now. My issue is with sitting the upperclassman because the younger player has more upside. (Of course my argument gets a bit circular, because one of the reasons that senior may get into a better school is due to the recognized success of the program.)
By the way, I am pre-suppsosing that this occured at Jay–just because some parents think it did doesn’t make it so, nor am I suggesting this is what was behind Savs dismissal.
You’re obviously a great J supporter and have made great comments in this tough situation.
But in one respect I have to respectfully agree with “Parent” on the point that the priority in playing time should go to upperclassmen (that have “paid their dues” ) BUT ONLY IF they are integral, strong players that really can contribute to winning a game. Inotherwords these really good jun/sen dont sit too much at all in order to give the ” great potential” soph time to play, develop. Particularly if the super kid and/or kid with potential is a soph. These days with winter/summer tournaments, showcases, etd, a super Soph will get noticed anyway.
This does not conflict with my thought that the priority for a varsity program is to win games, and I feel the priority should be to win them giving upperclassmen the priority on playing time (again ASSUMING the Jun/Sen have the ability to win).
I think this super soph SHOULD start his junior yr, even if he bumps a senior out of the STARTING team. BUT I assume the senior would/should gets lots of playing time if his ability called for it.
If the senior gave them the best chance to play why wouldn’t the coach play him – he would. Maybe your son didn’t do enough to get the job done. Maybe your kid was soft or just not that athletic. whoever gives you the chance to win will be called upon. That’s the truth and reality!
Virtually every coach in every sport deals with the issue of seniors playing versus the sophs and juniors, it is not unique to lax…by the time lax season rolls around, seniors have already, for the most part, been through the college selection process, so it can’t be for the exposure, I do think the seniors, particularly those that have waiting their turn, ought to get on the field at least some..but, to me, good coaches know how to get the younger kids in while at the same time playing the seniors.
I can’t believe this is the only issue that led to today’s action
But I will say that any kind of abusive language and/or action by members of a school’s staff have continuously been met with legal action over the past few years, we just don’t know about it, as these actions usually do not involve one of our most prominent varsity teams.
As usual, the only ones getting hurt here are the kids, and it is not the seniors on the current team, it is the sophs and the juniors who are most impacted by this very late decision.
At a bear minimum, the Board should have made this decsion at the end of last year
Like someone said the truth is always somewhere in between and no one person is privy to all the info unfortunately. Just time for all to move on.
in lots of instances in hs sports and what i have noticed espeically in lax over the years, there seems to be as much parental involvement in giving kids as young as 7/8th grade lots of PR to the HS coaches. I am not from JJ and I know this has nothing to do with the coaches being let go, but we have all seen the parents that do nothing but suck up to the HS coaches in order to have thier kid noticed and then the word of mouth and bias starts to settle in. In this instance far to often the soph., even if on even footing with the senior who has given his all, will play a head of the senior, for no reason other then one parent was better at selling their kid then those who chose old school and forced their kids to earn their spot. Life aint fair, encourage your kid to work hard and if things don’t go their way suck it up, if they truely love playing they have the opportunity to play at another level, college, club, etc. Just because you may not be a starter on your hs team dosen’t mean you won’t play at another level.
If you follow John Jay Lacrosse and watched John Jay last year your claim that the Sav’s play the start a younger player over an equally talented senior who has paid his dues is completely a bunch of B.S. Last years team started seniors who did not see any action or limited action in there junior year. Sterns played limited minutes his junior year, Dunworth/Beck/Masterson never touched the field there junior year outside of blowouts but all 4 of them started and saw heavy minutes last year. Those four kids worked hard and we rewarded there senior year where Sav could have easily started an equally or more talented Sophomore but chose to do the right thing for the seniors for worked hard and put the time in. Out of that group Sterns/ Beck had an awesome years and contributed heavily to the teams season while the other two weren’t real difference makers. At the end of the season Sav also made sure to do the right things by the seniors for season ending awards an gave All section to the 4 seniors who worked there tail of for him instead of giving it to the teams arguable top two offensive players in Walter and Daniello who were given H/M as it has become custom for the Savs to reward the seniors with post season awards and make the younger kids wait their turn.
Your argument that the older players suffer in the recruiting process is also wrong because the program the Sav’s built has allowed players to get a chance over a player at another school who is either better than the jj player or equally talented because he plays for an established program like John Jay. Any parent who has even the slightest knowledge about John Jay Lacrosse in a recruiting environment knows that because of the program Sav built schools will look harder at that player and give them more of a chance then a kid from a less established school. Plenty of players who did not play much there junior year have gotten looks from d2 or d3 schools and it has shown if you look back at all the kids from Jay playing college lacrosse or who have played college lacrosse over Savs time as coach at JJ and you will clearly see your logic is flawed. Parents in this community are spoiled by the teams success of the last couple of years and if you look back to players from 1998-2004 teams that were very talented but because the program wasn’t as established as it was today schools wouldn’t even consider them.
Sav’s success in growing the and parents greed thinking there son was an all star when he’s average at best led to parents going nuts because they couldn’t handle the truth that there son wasn’t going to a top 10 school for lax when very few kids in the country get that chance.
All you parents need to teach your child the important life lesson of hard work because once they hit the real world crap like this won’t happen. If they don’t put the time in and work hard in there careers they will be stuck in the entry level job that got out of college 5 years ago waiting for there time for a promotion they think they will get because they paid there dues being average while the younger employee who has been there for a year and who works his tail off and outworks that guy and gets the job the older guy thought he would get just by being there for period of time. Maybe you could get his boss fired for doing the right thing just like our beloved coach because your sons busy being lazy playing xbox while others are practicing.
Best of luck to the Savs and thank you for all you have done for our community and players
Your 1st paragraph detailed description of Sav’s playing time decisions are a real credit to him.
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I agree with you . I do believe that being a senior holds some weight. In a “tie goes to the runner” sense. If they are equal then at the very least the time should be shared. However, in two particular cases, noticeably superior sophomores got more playing time than two of the seniors. This is were the complaints came from.
Knowing that playing time is not a legitimate complaint, they went after the conduct. It becomes one word against another and then its over.
Its just too easy to get rid of a coach if thats what your aim is.
I apologize to those who have been offended by my emotional opinion-thats what it is- I knew of a conflict in regards to this situation as of last season, so for me its astonishingly frustrating.
Hey, no need to apologize to anyone. It is emotional and frustrating and you really care about the team. I would be going bonkers if I was a Jay fan (I’m a Rye guy). But when something like this happens to an elite Section 1 program like Jay, it can negatively effect the whole Section.
If this is a 100% done deal then I hope “the powers that may be” in the Jay lacrosse community are hard at organizing whatever needs to be done to bring in a great coach ASAP
Listen this applies for all hs coaches, if you are happy doing your personal camps and clinics all year where you get all of your youth-hs players to attend and PAY money you are at the mercy of the parents.
I’m trying to figure out WHO would want to coach under these circumstances?! i’m honestly embarrassed for the people who complained in the way that they did- did they voice their concerns to the coaches first? i would have been MORTIFIED if my parents did such a thing. unfortunately now these children will follow suit and handle similar life situations with the same obnoxious entitled action. john jay coaches, band together and get a COACHING CONTRACT to protect you from pugnacious parents like the ones involved in this situation. coaches make very little money, they do it because they are passionate about the sport… the players… the program! protect yourselves!
Anyone from Marr’s staff maybe leaving? It is a good job at Jay?
This is all a rumor mill. Great things are being said and all that, but seriously, no one will understand the impact of Savs absence as much as his players. This whole situation started with players complaining, and it elevated from there. Its a sad time for JJ, and its hard to find any good in it because theres not a coach who would be better for the team than Sav.
Just remember these coaches lived and died for this program. They would get 4 or 5 films on every team, they were so prepared and put the time in. I cant not see someone coming in spending more time than these guys. The bottom line is these guys are educators not some lax punk that played college ball and can shoot on goalies. These guys taught the game the right way.
JJ if I were you I would be at the next board meeting in full force there is still time to get this man his job back.
How is it a good job at john jay, the next coach to come in better watch his back. If he does not win right away he could be ousted. This is a bad job for someone to take very risky. If they do well its Savs talented kids he built if they do bad they stink as a coach. tough one to take.
january 14th is the next board meeting
i feel the need to copy and paste this to make sure you know what i’m referring to.
“But in one respect I have to respectfully agree with Parent on the point that the priority in playing time should go to upperclassmen (that have paid their dues ) BUT ONLY IF they are integral, strong players that really can contribute to winning a game. Inotherwords these really good jun/sen dont sit too much at all in order to give the great potential soph time to play, develop. Particularly if the super kid and/or kid with potential is a soph. These days with winter/summer tournaments, showcases, etd, a super Soph will get noticed anyway.”
I couldn’t disagree more with this explanation and feel as though you truly don’t understand the game of lacrosse at a competitive level if this is how you feel. i play d1 lacrosse in college, and the reason i am here today is because of how hard i was pushed my freshman and sophomore years in high school. not only is the recruiting process getting earlier, but if you want any chance at getting looked at, you need all the experience you can get, especially if you have the talent. the tournaments and showcases are not enough. the reason i am at the college i’m at today is because my coach saw me play during my sophomore year in the state championship…. the fact is, NONE of this is even the biggest issue. A coach puts out his best team. END of discussion. When a player steps out on the field, they are representing john jay, not their year of graduation, and the entire team should be supporting them. it is so disappointing to see such an amazing coaching staff lost due to some senior and his parents that can’t get a grip and support the teammates.
the people involved in this terrible situation are ruining the game of lacrosse. if there are any parents haven’t figured it out yet, it’s not about you, and it certainly is not about ruining a passion for the coaches who spend more hours thinking, helping, teaching, and enjoying time with your own kids than you do from the months of march to june. i hope the players on the team who truly appreciated the incredible hours put in by this coaching staff step up and make sure this never happens again, and enjoy the game of lacrosse for what it really is.
jjw2…i agree with everything you have to say.
and that laxbro senior responsible should probably keep practicing his sweet cradling on the sideline. with the parents filming it at four camera angles. then he’d definitely play.
Best Quote, Playlacrosse:
A coach puts out his best team. END of discussion. When a player steps out on the field, they are representing john jay, not their year of graduation, and the entire team should be supporting them.
Well said and I AGREE. Looking at my comment my words were too general and did not reflect my basic message. Sorry to be not clear enough.
As you said you absolutely play your best team, no matter what yr the kid is. What i was trying to say was that if for example a soph and senior are EQUAL in ability and scoring potential, with say one starting slot open, I assume a coach would start the senior ( with great coaches making sure that all top players got approriate playing time .
Congrats that your hard work resulted in the Coach feeling you belonged on the field ability-wise which is all that counts.
And you were also correct that the important thing is not al all what you/me are discussing but the larger issue of parents ruining the game and unfairly ending the Jay coaching tenure of a GREAT coach.
Also just want to make it clear that as Joe knows I am in NO way connected to Jay and totally back Sav– the decision was terrible.
I can’t believe that some people here actually think that a senior who stinks has the right to play over a more talented Soph because he has “paid his dues”. What dues? They obviously did not work hard enough to earn a spot in the rotation. Some of you people sound so stupid. This is about putting the BEST team on the field not the oldest. Everyone wants playing time but no one wants to work for it. You are not Entitled to anything in this life even if you did pay for a camp. Get used to it. Hard work pays off not complaining to mommy or daddy. I GUESS WE CAN CHANGE THE OLD SAYING OF WINNING ISN,T EVERYTHING ITS THE ONLY THING TO WHINING ISN’T EVERYTHING ITS THE ONLY THING. Get real people this is a VARSITY SPORT not JV or some summer camp. You can solve the problem real easy JJers, start cutting these crappy kids and get rid of the dead weight. Someone needs to do these kids a favor and tell them that they are not good enough because parents will not. They all think that their kids are superstars and they can’t even throw or catch. What a joke. I feel bad for these kids who work hard. Keep working guys and keep your heads up.
Maybe if you read my post carefully you would see that nowhere do I claim that Savs actually did play younger players over equally talented seniors; what I did say was that I heard that crticism from several parents. Notice that I said “criticism” and not “complaints”, as these were parents of kids who were getting a lot of playing time. Finally, if you read all the way to end of my post I clearly said that just because some parents said it, it isn’t necessarily true. You are of course entitled to your opinion, but do not put words in my mouth that I never said.
You also name four players, and state that Savs could have started “equally or more talented sophmores”. Are you saying that there were sophmores who were equally, or more, talented who should have played in their stead? What about some of the juniors on last year’s team? Weren’t some of them as talented, or is it just last year’s sophmore/this year’s juniors who are so talented. I can tell you that I myself grew weary of constantly reading about how talented that group is, and that Jay’s program was building for the future around these kids. I do not say this to demean them at all–they truly are a talented bunch who have played togehter for a long time, and certainly would have, and hopefully still will, go on to accomplish great things; however, I get the sense from some of these posts that there are those who feel that this group should have gotten even more playing time, and that some of the seniors were only playing because they were seniors, If I misunderstood those posts, I apologize.
As I said in my earlier posts, the best players should play, period. What I raised as a question was whether it is appropriate to play a younger player who may not be as good as an upperclass player right now, but who may develop into a stronger player in the future (and, for purposes of this discussion, assume that I mean a future year). This does occur–I’m not saying it did occur at Jay, but it does occur in all sports, at different levels. My goal was to get some discussion going as to whether this is the right answer at the high school level. There are many of you who think that it is, and I respect that, but I disagree (and, lest you think I am just expressing sour grapes, my son was a starter and got substantial playing time). Maybe it is time to move on from this
One thing I certainly agree with is that the Savs should not have been treated this way IF PLAYING TIME WAS THE ISSUE (apologies for shouting), even if they did play sophs/juniors over seniors in some questionable situations (and I’m not saying that there were questionable situations). What I understand the issue to have been was that there were some parents who did not like the language that was used by the dismissed coaches. Even then, it seems to me that if that was an issue, it could have been corrected in a way that was short of dismissing a successful coaching staff, but I admitedly don’t have all the facts as to why the board did what it did.
OK, Lets give the parents what they want. Everyone gets fancy cotton, colorful T-Shirts. AND we Just have INTRAMURALS!!!!!
Forget the teaching, and real life experiences that our boys, and Girls get through Varsity Competition. Lets let our economy, and future society fall further!!
Coaches, Sargeants, Bosses, etc, when in charge yell to motivate and make us Better. THAT IS LIFE!!!!
One reason I hate this process, is that most discussions are behind closed doors, and create rumors and suspicion etc. (I understand the need for privacy, to prevent the AD and Board of Ed from being sued (LOL)) . There is no transparency, no documentation of what line was crossed or even the definition of the line itself. They sign non disclosure agreements so we can’t hold anyone accountable, both the accusers and the accused. This effects the whole JJ Lax community not just the above. There has to be a better way to do this where a great coach is not lost through cloak and dagger. See you on the 14th.
As a coach up in Sec 5, I can at least speak to a few things popping up in this thread:
Players are NEVER “equal”, there is always a difference. Parents may not notice, but coaches know the differences between kids. What looks like “equal” talent from the stands is always differentiated in some way on the practice field. When a coach starts a sophomore over a senior at the same spot, there IS a reason, and it is usually tied to winning games. All the talk in the stands may be about the senior being “equal” to the sophomore, but I guarantee you the coaching staff discussed it at length and decided on the soph for a reason.
Coaches want to win. Coaches want to build programs. Coaches want to place as many players in colleges (that they may not have gotten into otherwise) as they can. Coaches want to see ALL kids succeed. If anyone claims a coach has an ulterior motive when in comes to handling individual kids, well, I have to say I don’t know any coaches who even have the TIME to have ulterior motives!
Coaching today is not easy. Kids are a different breed than the coaches (most coaches today had “old school” coaches back in the day). Parents can be wonderful and they can be nut jobs. On some teams some years, the coaches may have to be more vocal. Other teams, other years, the experienced/respected players take that role. It is always unfair to judge a coach on one “situation” or even one season (forget W/L, I am talking about how he handles his players). I have had teams that frustrated me to wits end, and I have had teams that motivated themselves. Sometimes the coach has to get more or less involved and boisterous depending on which group he currently has.
The only way to judge a coaching staff IMO is over time, and the JJ coaches passed that test with flying colors.
I agree with so many of you. I think that although we may be focusing on different angles we would all somehow like to see this overturned. I have heard in the past, of things like this happening. It can happen. We can be strong in numbers. The people behind this can be taught that they made a mistake and the implications from this particular event could serve to protect future coaches in all sports.
Let the January 14th be the day.
This is not about the Savastanos. This is about the evil nature of what is becoming too common place. To treat professionals like this is a mistake and it has to be addressed.
The powers that be will try to save face. Keep in mind that they slapped all of us across the face. They are saying what you accomplished and achieved does not matter. They are saying that only their authority matters. They are trying to intimidate. Lets show them that we can’t be intimidated and that our accomplishments do mean something.
Let the 14th be the day.
Lets go Jay
Call O’reilly on fox news to come to the meeting on the 14th. Read the story about the Duxbury coach in mass who was canned and then reinstated.
Appears that some folks in Duxbury had a change of heart…
http://www.eduxbury.com/index.php?optio … Itemid=120
on Wed Aug 05, 2009 5:31 am
Forum: Boys’ High School Lacrosse
Topic: Massachusetts Lax
Did they play the best players, or the best connected players? Sometimes even the best Coaches get caught up in “Who’s you Daddy”
Unfortunately, the real story here will probably never be known. The best thing to do is to look ahead, not behind. It’s time to toss out serious names to take over this job. In most scenarios a coach suddenly being relieved of his post just four months from the start of a season would be a real problem.
John Jay, obviously, isn’t most schools, so you have to wonder if the Indians’ talent alone will still be the deciding factor in whether they win the section or go far in the state tournament next season. I’m not jumping the gun because if you look at Jay’s roster they have strength in numbers and they are still very young.
I think Jay will be successful regardless of whomever the coach is.
But where I’m a little concerned is the Xs and Os come the big games. I don’t have the schedule in front of me, but let’s assume they play all the powers they usually play. Does a new coach have the strategic wherewithall to “outcoach” the coaches at Corning East, Manhasset, St. Anthony’s, Niskayuna, just to name a few?
To me, once you get past the program building issues, which obviously are very important and something Sav and Co. were experts at, Jay’s 2010 season will hinge upon how they do in those games against teams that prepare you for June. Whomever the AD hires has to be someone with some kind of resume in the big game. Of course, therein lies the dilemma. Who?
My personal opinion: Names like Meola, Schurr, Connolly, Carcaterra, the guys you guys have mentioned, are likely 99.9 percent out of the question for a variety of reasons. So, like many of you have stated, that next school board meeting will be huge. I think if you really care about the Jay lacrosse program you should make it your business to be there and make your voices heard if a new coach is not in place by then.
I know Nick Sav a little. I knew him back in high school. He was a good guy then and now. I have no idea what really went on behind the scenes at Jay, but I do question the voracity of these claims against him only because of all this politically correct nonsense that has invaded high school sports over the last decade-plus. Anyone who played or knew Jim Turnbull or an Orlando at Suffern or any number of coaches you could name from any prominent program in the region, would know that they were tougher on their players than the vast majority are today.
Unfortunately, times have changed. American youth sports have become a nanny state of sorts. Those coaches from the 1980s and early 1990s would probably suffer the same fate as Sav if they coached today because there are many more parents and players, due to socioeconomic status and this sense of entitlement, who think everything should be handed to them instead of earned.
So, again, I am reiterating my earlier post when I say be careful not to throw rumor and innuendo out there because no matter how intensely you debate it and how passionate you think your argument is, odds are, even if there is some truth in what you say, the real story will never come out.
It’s better we all focus on the future.
Replacing Sav will be a Herculean task, one that a new AD will be under the microscope to deliver on. There may not be a better strategic coach in all of Section 1 and points further than Sav. While his methods will always be open to debate, there’s no questioning his accomplishments and the overall respect he’s received from just about everyone.
I wish the Jay AD good luck, because he’s going to need it.
If not from Westchester, then from LI, CT, NJ, or NYS where some assistant coach with a great rep at an elite/very strong program is willing to relocate to become HC.
Yeah I know, very broad universe above with no names. But if you concentrate on the very top programs the list is not that big!
Adding to above of course could be a HC as well.
Yea I am sure they will come to JJ for a $5,500 stipend from far away
Two ex huskers and friends of mine should work together and put in for the job. Tim Schurr and Brian Smith. I think that would work. JJ would be back on Top.
They’re ya go!!
There will be no shortage of worthy candidates. Smith is a good one. As assistant at Somers last year he devised the game plans that led to two big wins over JJ, including the blowout in the sectional final. With the right coach, maybe Jay can finally win the state title that they should have easily gotten after they beat Huntington had the right coaches been in place.
Syracuse and HVlaxNut,
I appreciate your knowledge and I know your perspective is different. In fact your perspective is probably more realistic and mature but for now .. Chill out.
We are John Jay. We have made a business of taking coaches like the ones you have mentioned and sending them home with anxiety attacks. Last year’s “blowout” was engineered by Mr. and Mrs. Marasco ( for creating Jo Jo) and John Jay being down.
They are great coaches. We probably have to look forward, but we still will have to work out some issues internally or any coach we do get will just get fired again.
One of the coaches you mentioned, has already been let go for the same nonsense and this is who you suggest as Sav’s replacement?
Sav is not Charlie Weis. He was not let go because the team was not meeting expectations. Sav is Lou Holtz.
Also, John Jay Lax is for John Jay fans first. You took some liberties when you said “had the right coaches been in place”. Those coaches pulled their starters on Town that year and after going up 12-4.
That’s wonderful that two former Yorktown guys are “putting in” for our program.
Thanks for “saving” us.
Your are spot on with the “Entitlement” comment. And Indian J yes JJ absolutely needs to work out these “Internal ” issues otherwise its the same old same old, and who would want to come into that?
John Jay Lacrosse should be for the players first, not the fans. Put the best players on the field and see what happens. Looks like they’ve been doing that in the recent past. Looks like that wont be tolerated by the “FANS” any longer. Get ready for mediocrity in the future. “Saving” you, not. Who started you in the first place? Yorktown roots.
Do not think that JJ would go with T Schurr based on the fact that he went through the same thing just two years ago. Or maybe we should be saying that Tim doesnt want to look over his shoulder constantly again for that same reason. As far as B Smith , yes a good candidate however , That teams blueprint was more Coach Lou then anyone else ( Including Mr and Mrs Marasco ) I believe we will see this year that he was not the only reason they won. This whole thing is a mess. Really does anybody outside the district want to get involved. Besides, are Yorktown guys allowed to coach at JJ????
Sadly, many players and parents have no concept of what JJ lacrosse was all about when it first began. It was about being the best team possible and simply trying to beat Yorktown, Brewster and hopefully winning the Sectional title.
With the success JJ has had (which is great, hopefully it gets better) the focus has been pulled away from that and devoted to individual accomplishments. Who got recruited where? What division I school wants you? How can I further my career? It used to be all about the team and if you got recruited to play at the next level, thats great. It stems from the parents. They aren’t as concerned with their sons becoming better young men, learning life lessons and learning how to compete in sports as well as in life. Now its about what can the program do for my son?? I don’t want to generalize though. There are many players and parents that want the team to succeed but they also want to get theirs too and thats when they get carried away.
People have been throwing around big name Lacrosse guys as the next coach. I’m sure some of them will apply. From an alumni’s perspective, the best candidate will have a strong concept of JJ’s history and will have likely played at JJ. A lot of people think that the new coach needs to be a Division I superstar with a huge playing resume. A great player doesn’t always make a great coach. I would love to see a player from the 80’s or 90’s with quality coaching experience become the next JJ coach. Would rather not have someone from Yorktown.
Lastly, having gotten to know many of the current John Jay players very well through summer programs I can honestly say that not many of them are big fans of the Savs and the only reason some of these parents are supporters is because they think they can do something for their son in terms of recruiting. Don’t be fooled. If your son is as good of a player as you think he is, he’ll get recruited. Good players always stand out.
Heres hoping JJ gets a coach with character, strong JJ roots and an analytical lacrosse mind.
I heard that all of John Jay non league games are pulling out in respect for Sav.
No Manhasset, Corning East, St Anthonys, Syosset, Ridgefield
That fine 90″ Alumni just go back to the Bob K years where kids were not prepared for the next level and played all crappy teams. Why not mirror the program after yorktown and push for the top and win State Championships. Remeber all college coaches didnt reccruit from jj until they got put on the map and beat real teams.
I am a 2004 Alumni from JJ
90’s alum …
Analytical mind. Former JJ player from the 80s or 90s. Someone with appreciation of team history.
You just described Geoff Nolan. I hope the administration considers him for the permanent head coaching job. He is a class act who has served the district well.
2004 JJ alum – that’s the sound of your alarm. Time to get up my man and stop dreaming. Win state championships??? John Jay has won ZERO.
90’s Alumni – sounds like a job for John Cunniffe
Geoff Nolan would be a great coach, but I believe with his business it would be tough to give the program the full commitment he knows it deserves. An asst. coach doesn’t have the same responsibilities but you’re right G. Nolan would be a great candidate.
2004 Alumni proved my point with his arrogant comments. John Jay played Wilton, Yorktown (not-required to), Greenwich, West Islip and scrimmaged Darien and New Canaan almost every year. You are too young and ignorant to know this but those teams WERE the powerhouses in those days. Not to mention Bob Kear was the pioneer that sent his team to the Hand Jamboree every year and played against superior opponents. Your lack of respect to the man who started the program that you had the PRIVLEGE to play for is sickening.
In addition, Sav was blessed with players who grew up in Bob Kear’s Lewisboro youth program. If it wasn’t for that youth program you would not have enjoyed that success so please do your homework.
assume you kid-cancelling games with jay just srews the kid more-teams should support the kids by playing jay–wrong what happened to sav BUT THIS ABOUT THE KIDS
2004 JJ grad really does need a history lesson. Jay had kids recruited by Duke, Virginia, Army, Brown, etc. under Kear.
Cirigliano, Neuman, Cunniffe and Peters- respectively
For someone like me that is not familiar with Jay Alum, etc, can you provide a 1 line background on these guys?-Thanx
I know these coaches both professionally and personally and it makes other coaches not want to take their time, energy, and effort into a developing their program. They devote all of their time to develop their athletes to their fullest potential.
Parents do not realize how emotionally and physically draining coaching is and how we devote our heart and soul for the success of our athletes.
So parent complaints= get rid of coaches?!?
Why don’t the parents just coach,(VOLUNTEER) only…and the district can save money and maybe then they will be happy.(and see what it is all about)…
When does it end?
Either let coaches do their jobs (you have to remember every coach has their own style) or you will be without some amazing coaches.
When does this all end? We need to save both our athletic and physical education program that are both at risk because of administration not understanding its importance.Maybe they should listen to the actual coaches and teachers who are behind the scenes busting their tails to make their program the best they can be.
Am I clear?
If you have any questions just ask any coach or teacher!
Charles Cirigliano class of 1990 attack Empire starter and All American.
Did not play at Duke by his own decision to pursue music composition. Graduated Duke in Three years.
Anthony Neuman- 1990 Defense Virginia, All American and Empire Starter. Started four years on Virginia and played in NCAA championship against his nemesis Dom Finn ( Town)
John Cuniffe – 84 Jay’s first All-American and Army grad lives in the community and helps with JJ youth.
Tom Peters- nasty Face off guy, Beast, H.S All American and monster at Brown.
There are a lot more when I have time I will throw them off
Thanks Indian J
Bottom line is the program was so succseful because they only had 2 coaches in the history of the program. Now it will be a revolving door because of these crazy parents…………………………………………….
It may not be greener on the other side.
Northernlax – props for two of your earlier posts. 95% of what has been posted is inaccurate. A successful 10 year coach/district employee does NOT get released over one or two whiny parents. The truth is a cold reality sometimes, especially pertaining to people we like and/or respect.
To many others – from early indications, more than qualified candidates have come forward. Those that know how things work are not afraid of the district/parents/AD /etc. – they only see the possibilities, the talent, the passion, the immense opportunity.
I don’t need to be reminded by the green monsters how many titles that YTown has won – total respect is due. Lets deal with current events – name another program in Section 1 that is not intimidated by YTown other than JJ? They will continue to battle each other – but each year is different, mystique and aura left the building years ago in this relationship.
Love the JJ trip down memory lane – have the qualified alum step forward, much like the YTown alum have done. As others have mentioned – isn’t this Geoff (Ted) Nolan? Don’t come better or more prepared, or more committed than him.
Oh, and when the games start next year – don’t we think that Jay will have a qualified coach and the games will be determined on the field?
The subject of playing time and fairness:
A coach puts out his best team. END of discussion. When a player steps out on the field, they are representing john jay, not their year of graduation, and the entire team should be supporting them.
You put the absolute best talent on the field regardless of the political climate. This was not some intramural team.
If you follow John Jay Lacrosse and watched John Jay last year your claim that the Savs play the start a younger player over an equally talented senior who has paid his dues is completely a bunch of B.S. Last years team started seniors who did not see any action or limited action in there junior year. Sterns played limited minutes his junior year, Dunworth/Beck/Masterson never touched the field there junior year outside of blowouts but all 4 of them started and saw heavy minutes last year. Those four kids worked hard and we rewarded there senior year where Sav could have easily started an equally or more talented Sophomore but chose to do the right thing for the seniors for worked hard and put the time in. At the end of the season Sav also made sure to do the right things by the seniors for season ending awards an gave All section to the 4 seniors who worked there tail of for him instead of giving it to the teams arguable top two offensive players in Walter and Daniello who were given H/M as it has become custom for the Savs to reward the seniors with post season awards and make the younger kids wait their turn.
The subjects of tactics and strategy and coaching ability:
But where Im a little concerned is the Xs and Os come the big games. I dont have the schedule in front of me, but lets assume they play all the powers they usually play. Does a new coach have the strategic wherewithall to outcoach the coaches at Corning East, Manhasset, St. Anthonys, Niskayuna, just to name a few?
McCarthy said hes gonna put the best possible staff in placesound like he just got rid of the best possible staff.
Northerlax, the best coaches available just got fired!
The subject of character:
These coaches that you are thinking about getting rid of are the same coaches that we as a community organized a Fire Engine Escort and Parade for after a Championship Season. Many administrators, teachers, parents and community members gathered for the celebration and gave their accolades.
The coaching staff has always received glowing recommendations every year. They received them from the Athletic Director, Administrators and even the Superintendent of Schools. The Superintendent of Schools actually wrote how this was the Best Program in the school in terms of showing Great Character, Sportsmanship, Teamwork, and Enthusiasm. He was even on their sideline for many games taking pictures and supporting the program and said that the coaches and players represented themselves in a first class manner.
I have watched perhaps over 100 Section 1 varsity events, and I have seen many coaches virtually out of control on the sidelines who are still coachin today, Cant say I ever saw or heard anything like that with the JJ lax team.
A common sense BS detector:
If what they did was really so bad, why do they still have their teaching jobs?
Success on the field:
6 Straight Sectional Championship Appearances? Winning 4 straight Sectional Championships? Making it to a State Championship? Being the team to beat the #1 team in the Nation (Huntington 63-0 record)? Leading 12 kids to get All-American Honors? Helping countless numbers of kids to get Scholarships? and helping them to get into great Colleges and Universities? In creating a Nationally Ranked Program
All the while with this most admirable trait:
These coaches never cut anyone in their lives; they believed in anyone who wanted to make a commitment and be apart of something they werent going to be the ones to take that away from them.
JJ Lax has a no cut policy, so no one was denied the opportunity to play at a varsity level in this program ever. If youre not good enough to beat out a better player for playing time, youre not being denied anything, youre just not earning it.
I do not know coach Sav. I do know from personal experience that the combination of a no cut policy and dominating success can create unrealistic playing time expectations. Especially in a down year where most of the games are no longer decided by halftime allowing everyone on the bench to see playing time. One of the many things I have admired about the Jay Lax program has been the no cut policy. After what has happened now with both Sav and Kear, I am not hopeful that that policy will survive.
As you commented this thread has been focused on the Sav situation and the eventual positive resolution for the team.
So please dont use this particular thread to introduce superficial boastful comments like all teams in Section 1 (except Jay) are “intimidated’ by Town. This thought is irrelevant to the critical situation.
And it’s WAY wrong. Great respect for Town-ABSOLUTELY. But Intimidated-ABSOLUTELY NOT.
Finally and most importantly, I agree with you that this coming season Jay WILL have a great coach and as you say, “the games will be determined on the field.
slacrosse – i’ll post the last 5 years record of yorktown vs., other section 1 opponents tomorrow. you already know THE ANSWER though.
I’m talking about reality – not locker room make believe stuff.
slacrosse: you asked about some history on older JJ alum; here’s a few that Indian J didn’t mention. These guys all played under Bob Kear during the 1980’s:
Craig Mygatt, JJ class of 1984, JJ All-Amer; Played @ Vermont. Still today on UVM’s record books for most goal both in career and single season.
Patrick Kelly, JJ class of 1983, Played at Holy Cross, Still on several of Holy Cross’s all-time records list, including the most career assists:
Patrick’s younger brother, Marty Kelly, JJ class of 1988. two time HS All Amer. Marty still is Nazareth’s highest career goal scorer, 3 time college All-Amer and in that school’s Hall of fame: http://www.nazathletics.com/hof.aspx?hof=34&path=&kiosk=
My main message to you was to please stay on the subject of the Jay situation. You made a side comment and I responded. We’re done.
Let’s leave further “intimidation” debate for another thread.
1982 JJ Grad,
Thanx. Any of these guys coaching, be in the mix as candidates?
Perhaps we need to think a little more broadly about the role of sports and our kids…more disturbing news about a someone in the Sec. 1 lax community today in the Journal news…and then there was this about D3 athletics from a couple of days ago…
Is it time we paid the coaches a fair wage and at the same time demanded from them the absolute highest standard of integrity?
This is only the latest (but highest profile) firing of a coach in Section 1. The problem is that there really is no appeal process, and the whole truth rarely comes out. The school boards and ADs hide behind the line “it’s a personnel issue and we can’t discuss it”, which is not right. We, the parents and other taxpayers, have a right to know how our money is being spent. And if someone is fired, we also have the right to decide for ourselves whether or not good judgment is being practiced by the administrators we elect/hire to run our schools.
Absolutely right. These are PUBLIC schools. The PUBLIC pays the salaries of the administrators. The PUBLIC (both sides) has a right to be seriously listened to in these matters with a clear prevailing view carrying a heavy weight in any final decision.
The facts are necessary in order to come to the conclusion that Sav’s dismissal from the lax coach position was unfair. Considering that lawyers were involved, it is possible that he did not adhere to the code of conduct that is the standard for the personnel of the school district. If misconduct is the charge then his dismissal may be justified even if it happened to only one player. These decisions are not made lightly. The administration knows the devotion that Sav receives from us, the parents and the players. Everyone understands that each coach has his own coaching style but there are limits to acceptable behavior as a school employee and if those standards are not respected then there are consequences. I can only imagine that this is the case. I will withhold my reaction until I know the facts. Chances are really good that we will never know the facts so that the parties involved are protected from the wrath of Sav supporters.
slacrose: of the 3 alums I mentioned, Marty Kelly is a coach @ Roger Williams University. Since he’s Head Coach there, I doubt he would be interested in the JJ position.
However, How about either of Bob Kear’s sons as a prospective new JJ coach? Both of these 2001 JJ grads played college lacrosse. And both are now Assistant Coaches at the college level ( Casey Kear @ Franklin & Marshall, and Tucker Kear at Union College)
If the Public were involved this would go on forever. The Public vote to build one athletic field at JJ took 5 years. And we the Public pay a lot of people’s saleries who after elected or hired don’t listen. Facts of life. Time to move on with the results and find a great coach for a great bunch of kids.
Where is Sav’s union lawyer in all of this? Teachers Union is strong and will back the employee when they agree with teacher/coach member. But when they agree with administration on the infraction they back away from the fight. Where is the teachers union in all of this? Go to the union leadership – I don’t believe they are bound by the same rules as the district’s administration.
It has been asked several times why this all took so long.
The timing of the release of this decision after the vote on the fields and not before can not have been coincidental. The major constituency supporting the board in getting that vote passed was the united group of youth programs in town. Alienating that constituency in advance of the vote would have been ….. problematic.
I think Adam Lodewick (Yorktown’s Top Assistant) getting a head coaching shot at JJ would be the best thing for all Section 1 Lacrosse
How about former Jay player Andrew Nappi who has done a GREAT job as varsity coach at Ardsley and maybe bring in another former JJ player as his top assistant along with Geoff Nolan.
We have enough great candidates who are former Jay players. No need to have to look to Yorktown.
So many great candidates overall to pick from though.
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Also, this has been a very heated topic, of course, since we broke the news about the coaching moves at John Jay on Tuesday afternoon. Thanks to the overwhelming majority of you for keeping your comments respectful and thought provoking.
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I can’t wait till this school board meeting so we can see if anyone is there to compliment the board on its decision, or its involvement with this decision on Nick Savastano.
I doubt it.
“Let all the parties involved coaches and accuser(s) come forward to the board meeting and meet face to face to end it all”. I think this is the best idea anyone has had to date.
Who would compliment them when the coach was never told by the board what he was accused of?
Joe is it true that Bill O’reilly and Fox News really coming to the Jan. 14th Board Meeting at JJ?
Name another Team in Section 1 in any sport that has beaten the number 1 team in the nation/land.
slide show: http://www.listal.com/video/1369394
Who cares. After the fluke win over Huntington (a team that killed them that year in the regular season but admittedly took them lightly when they played again) they then lost to a team not even in the Top 25 in the state finals, JD, to totally erase that accomplishment and then some. … and when they played West Islip in state semis the year before they lost 14-2.
No kidding, snope. LOL. If I were you I would post that comment on a blog where the readers aren’t nearly as savvy and knowledgeable as they are here. You may fool them there but not here.
Candidates who have shown interest through the grapevine ( Reliable sources ) are
Paul Carcaterra, Scott Bulkley, Brian Smith, Andrew Nappi, Brian Dalton, Tim Schurr. Interesting?
I would like Dalton the most from that list. He would love to beat Yorktown as much a humanly possible- not that the other coaches wouldn’t, but I think who would be the right guys for the job, He’s at Fox Lane just right down the road and has worked with some of the current kids before.
Yea but Dalton is a screamer and yeller can jj parents take that
Someone show me a SUCCESSFUL Coach that does not Yell???
Is meola still with briarcliff. What about schurr?
At JJ it seems to be that it is a combination of things. Yelling alone can’t get you fired. It is yelling and crossing the wrong parents over their kid’s playing time.
If you are winning and the powerful families ( financially and socially) are happy- You are safe. You can yell F___ at the top of your lungs.
If the parents are upset about playing time, and you mutter the wrong thing or enough negativity builds around you- You’re Gone.
It is an extremely difficult situation.
Dalton I think could handle it- if things got bad he would know to leave ( resign) before any of this non-sense developed. With Sav, he was stuck because he had been there for ten years and did not want to run away from the kids and parents who supported him- the majority.
When will the replacement be named?
I am an avid reader of Joe Lombardis blog and an infrequent contributor. So when I do post a comment its generally because I feel strongly about the subject. Your recent post above and a longer post from you in the early days of this unfortunate situation attempt to paint an unflattering picture of what you refer to as the financially privileged families of JJ (not a quote but close enough). One fact that you seem to be missing is that this was not a band of angry families but one maybe two families that had strong concerns about how the coaching staff treated their child. This fact was stated by Sav himself. Most people at JJ, me included, are not happy with how this entire investigation was handled but we are resigned to that fact that we have to forward and find a new coach. That fortunate coach will take over a team ready to play and parent base that is supportive and passionate about the sport of the lacrosse. Your over generalization of the character of JJ parents is not accurate and certainly wont help in our recruitment efforts to find a great coach. You may not agree but those are the facts.
I am interested in knowing more about the investigation — what ex jj players were interviewed?? I’m sure Chris Bocklett (UVA) Chris Daniello (‘Cuse) K Drew (Cuse) Ryder Bolander (Maryland) all told stories about the coaches bad behavior or was it just the pine riding seniors of last years team. Bring back last years coaches but if there is a reason to go out and get a new coach — let the people know why they cannot come back. What are they guilty of?
If it did not come out in earlier posts. I do mean a minority or one or two groups of parents.(per team) Some of what Im saying is scathing but I don’t think there are any potential coaches out there who not aware, especially after this.
Potential coaches know the positives too and those are great. The amount of talent, the youth program, the school’s academics and teaching staff. I have not revealed any secrets on this blog. I do want to mention however that the way things have taken place here is unacceptable and someone needs to take responsibility other than Nick Savastano.
All of what I have posted is strictly my opinion and I do not quote sources or refer to specific conversations I have had with any one person.
If there are those out there who know the community and disagree that lets welcome their posts.
I suppose I felt compelled to address an issue that does not get addressed because of politics-perhaps I am wrong?
Do your homework school house.. Vin was fired at hen hud but not greenwich or brewster and he never even coached at east fishkill. Bottom line with vin coming to jj they went 96-18 record, 4 sect, titles.
Oh boy, now Hen Hud people getting into the mix…do yourselves a favor, don’t get involved with this idiocy and claim that the 96-18 record is the bottom line. Winning games is NOT the bottom line, there are more important issues when involving high school aged kids. Can’t wait for someone to call me a ‘loser’ for saying that. John Jay needs a coach; switch gears to brainstorming ideas for potential hires.
No Indian J you are correct
Something is just not right here
Abusive Coaches don’t run open practices where the community can come, sit in the stands, and watch – and hear
Abusive Coaches don’t go 10 years without and unsportsmanlike penalty – Abusive Coaches don’t last 10 years
Abusive Coaches don’t have programs whose players year in and year out demonstrate class, character and a “been to the end zone before” attitude on the field and in their post game interviews – always giving credit to the other team.
Abusive Coaches don’t carry 46 or more players on Varsity –
Abusive Coaches don’t ATTRACT 46 players on Varsity in the first place
Abusive Coaches don’t have those 46 players go to bat for them.
Abusive Coaches don’t get fired from their coaching jobs while at the same time getting to keep their teaching jobs. Abuse of students in class is not a lesser concern than abuse of students on a team. …and if past district action is any indication, teachers accused of abusive behavior are pulled from their classes while any investigation takes place. On the other hand – Coaches fired for not playing the right parent’s kid enough …
Look at the players who have come through that program. Look at what they have done in other sports. Look at what they and their family members have done in various sports at the youth through professional level. Find a group of people who have more experience in more sports and with more coaches at more levels than these families. Is it remotely conceivable such a group have put up with the BS that has supposedly been alleged?
Actually it seems that the 10-9 record is the bottom line – that Sav ultimately got fired for not winning enough to please everyone.
Whatever issues you think are at play here – please explain how they would not translate into the classroom as well. My kids don’t play lacrosse – they do/did have to take gym.
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Top candidates for new coach…
3. Mike Bockley
Joe why dont you way in on the John jay coach. We read all of these blogs and nothing from you?
As I hope you all know, our mission is to report news fairly and objectively. In so doing, we always give both sides of any story the opportunity to speak their piece and then let you, the readers, draw your conclusions.
I don’t want to influence whatever thoughts anyone may have on a topic such as this by publicly airing my feelings. I realize this is the era of Fox News and MSNBC where networks, let alone individual anchors, have strong opinions and aren’t shy about expressing them. But I have never operated that way. I think the most responsible journalists are those who do not trumpet their opinions. If I am watching election results of a presidential campaign, for instance, the anchors I most respect are those who I have no idea what candidate he or she may have voted for.
This situation is especially unique as well in that all the facts are not known.
Carcatera espn u commnetator, camps, clinic, can he give the time up to scout teams, prepare, etc.
Buckley would be great but no head coach experience
Mike Bocklet great player not a great coach, no experience very young to handle irate parents.
tough spot to take: if you do well sav had it all in place, if you do bad your not a good coach.
only one way to go is down.
parents want state champioship or bust
Does anyone have any theories why so many coaching controversies have been happening in lax more so than other sports?
Lots of great candidates. Hope John Jay gets a worthy successor to Nick Savastano.
This stuff happens in lax a lot because of $ sure, but also because it is a relatively small sport nationally, and there is room for HS players do great things with lacrosse. So with that comes a lot of controversy over who is getting the spot to do great things, whether its starting on varsity, getting the recommendation for the top summer recruiting showcase, making the Empire team, the list goes on and on. So there are more areas to be displeased when you’re kid isn’t getting the same looks as other kids. When you find your kid has gotten minimal attention on all these fronts, its easier to isolate the reasoning by blaming the coach. Usually, its your kid’s own fault for not being any good, not working hard, and just being on the team for social reasons as laxxers are totally sweet bros.
At John Jay, these things are exponentially worse than they are other places. Not EVERYONE in Katonah-Lewisboro has money, and social prestige community wide. Not to mention, it is still a pretty small town, with room to move up the social ladder. Some parents see that as hard to do when they’re missing out on the carpool to travel team practice, the blue chip top 250, or the group recruiting visit to that D1 powerhouse. Can’t blame you’re kid for not being any good, because how can that be? Lets blame it on the coach, and make up tales about verbal abuse that everyone on/around the team knows is a wack excuse, EXCEPT the top levels of administration who have the obligation to make you go away at the lowest financial cost possible, especially during times like these.
my vote for replacement if needed goes to Brian Smith. played for him for a little bit on a summer team. gets it. coaching experience in a successful Section 1 program. whoever it is, they should keep Geoff Nolan if he’ll stay.
Good luck to all the JJ bretheren across the border. Having gone through numerous coaches at the HS prior to Colsey, we’re hoping we got it right this time and he sticks around. A lot to be said for constancy at the HS head coaching position.
here is the list of coaches who want the jj job
RJ Rossi old ridgefield coach and owner of north county turf
Paul Mcnulty old wilton coach
Timmy Schurr old somers coach
Brian Smith somers asst.
Brian Dalton old fox lane coach
Chris Kear old Wilton asst
Al Meola old briacliff coach
I would say that the likelihood of Coach Colsey taking the John Jay job himself is remote for the 2010 season, but not zero. The scenario in Ridgefield after the 2008 season is very similar to what John Jay has now, and JJ’s youth program is light years ahead of Ridgefield’s. If there’s as many wealthy people with influence with the school board as has been alleged here, then John Jay’s next coach may be closer than it seems.
Ridgefield’s youth program has advanced significantly from previous years. Ridgefield now has 40+ kids attending winter lax practice, a successful fall ball team, and in addition to that a they have a large, well established youth program that is regularly in the top of Conny’s. Although John Jay’s youth program may been “light years ahead” a few years ago this is now not the case.
If Colsey take JJ maybe Sav’s will take Ridgefield………………
Rossi is a solid choice. you don’t hear his name much but he gets it done. Not only does he have the high school experience he has been #1 assistant at westconn for the past 4 years since leaving Ridgefield. He is really well connected with the college coaches. I know he has helped me.
Colsey isn’t going anywhere. He lives in Ridgefield and loves it and will be here to coach his kids in 10 years.
looking at the list by “lovely”, I think Meola, Smith and Dalton would be the best fit. All 3 have solid experience and teach near by, but are also young, energetic and can relate to the kids probably better than some of the other names on the list. I’m just wondering if JJ will be reluctant to hire a Lakeland or Ytown graduate.
Tell you right now: Meola, Smith and Colsey are not going anywhere. Take that to the bank. I know this for a FACT!!!!! Nolan, Rossi, and Dalton you have a chance with?
After all that “I owe” Ridgefield last season, be shocked to see Colsey leave!
JOE AND ALL OTHER BLOGGERS
HAPPY HOLIDAYS AND TO A GREAT 2010 SEASON
I have to agree with KTown…Adam Lodewick from yorktown is a great coach. He would be an excellent candidate and I am shocked that he has been over looked so far.
I think Lowdie with assistants like Timmy Shurr and Geoff Nolan would be a great staff for JJ to make it though this turbulant year! They do have lots talent on this team and the defensive no nonsense mindset these guys would bring to this group would be unheralded.
Not sure the info on the Ridgefield and JJ youth programs is correct – Jay’s top U15 and U13 teams lost to Ridgefield’s last year and Ridgefield has a group of younger kids who are just incredible. Colsey isn’t going anywhere…but don’t overestimate the talent of the younger Ridgefield kids.
Wow, Mr. devilindisguise, don’t hold back your feelings. It’s Christmas for heaven’s sake. Play nice now.
For the record, I was contacted about the JJ position and am not interested. I am writing in because I don’t want my own players even thinking I would consider leaving. Good luck to the JJ program as they move forward in their search.
Roy – Thank you for being upfront and honest with the team. That is another thing that makes you such a great fit for Ridgefield. Good luck to Jay in finding a new great coach. Sounds like they are well on their way as their search committee is obviously well aware who the top coaches in the region are.
Now that we have heard and analyzed some names, who is the leading candidate to be the new coach?
If I had to pick a favorite I would say Scott Bulkley from Darien. He played at UNC and has been the top assistant for the five time state champs for the last 7 years or so.
It would take a lot to get Bulkley. He is an elementary teacher in Darien and most of the time those teachers can’t get out of school until 3:30-4. Plus its at least a 30 min. drive to JJ.
Question: in New York, is it required for the Head Coach to be a school employee (ie: a teacher at the school) ?
No 1982 JJ Grad it is not. There are a few criteria to be a head coach, certifications and CPR and such but you do not have to even be a teacher much less an employee of the school.
I would like to thank Coach Colsey for taking the time to confirm his committment to the Ridgefield HS team for the LaxWithJoe readership, as well as providing some actual news regarding the indication of interest shown by the K/L school district in his availability. If a list of potential candidates actually contacted by the school has been reported previously by any other news outlet, I regret that I have not seen it.
I also hope Joe and all at LaxLessons have had a splendid Holiday season, with congratulations for creating this wonderful resource for all lacrosse fans, parents and, most importantly, the players and coaches who grow the game in our area.
I don’t really have anything to add on this Savastano topic, but I just wanted to be the 200th comment on this posting. Lol.
what school are you from li guy
To help alleviate the “playing time” pressure and anxiety for coaches, players, and parents, How bout some thoughts on limiting rosters to say, 25-30 players (believe J AND some other teams have 40+ players). This reduction should go down the line to JV, modified (but the more junior the team, the larger the rosters to see who is developing, has potential, etc).
At some early stage/age, it would be made clear to kids/parents (via a yearly signed written “understanding” ) that there will be roster limitations so that as many kids as possible on the roster will have the best chance to play throughout the season.
While this may discourage kids from playing it may be best for them to pursue other sports/non sport activities. A “no-cut” policy serves no practical purpose. Kids REALLY dont want to warm the bench (I dont think they even really like their friends seeing them never play)– and parents dont want to see them warming the bench. I also assume that there would be no varsity letters for kids that dont play, so another reason for not warming the bench?
I know that this will REALLY be tough for kids (and their parents) that bust their butts and love to play– but dont make “the cut” at some level. Again maybe kids /[parents would better focus on multiple sports to give themselves a chance to find one or more where they can really contribute?
Just throwing this out for discussion.
Not for nothing but your comment to me and Slacrosse a while back was a bit misguided. I’m not trying to save anyone. I merely named some suggestions and explained why I didn’t think some of them would be top candidates. As you know I’m privvy to some information that the general fan is not. If I wasn’t and couldn’t write a coherent sentence, Joe would have no use for me on this blog.
I understand this is a heated issue and whatnot, but don’t think for two seconds I’m casting aspersions in either direction.
Fact is, as I stated earlier, getting a true Xs and Os guy in at Jay is as important as finding a program builder, or in this case sustainer. John Jay is as much about winning lacrosse as it is sheer numbers of players learning and growing into the game at all ages.
The fact is whether I’m a Yorktown guy or Slacrosse is a Rye guy or we both come from Mars we have every right to offer an opinion on anything we choose. Personally, I think we were both more than fair and both do not wish Jay ends up with some freshman coach from Kentucky.
You may not believe this, but I truly believe John Jay getting a coach in place that can outcoach everyone on their killer schedule, including Yorktown, is a MUST.
Because not only would that be great for Jay, the more power programs there are over the long haul in Section 1 the better it will be for everyone involved.
So, relax man. I’m actually on your side.
Also, it’s important to mention, when you cover high school sports, as either a blogger or reporter, it’s extremely important the “news” be reported carefully. It’s not responsible to discuss another coach’s personal issues or reasons for an earlier dismissal — even if you know all the facts, which I do in the case of some of the guys discussed for the Jay job.
High school sports coverage is a very delicate thing. The average fan can throw anything out there he or she wants, subject to moderation, of course. I do not have that liberty, nor would I want it if I could.
You start messing with high school kids’ lives you do far more damage to the individual than you do the school or the fans of the school in question.
That helps no one.
We start treating high school kids like pros we retard the entire reason for high school sports in the first place — pure enjoyment, social interaction and personal growth.
I understand. I think my comments were coming from feeling as if the body was not even cold yet and that saying oh well lets get a Yorktown guy in there was not appropriate at the time.
Also, I agree that getting an awesome x’s and o’s guy ( and a true thinker) in there would really help too. I know that Jay’s coaches were not the shrewdest when it came to game plans. I know.
Please understand, if something does not change in the community, x’s and o’s won’t matter. I know also that it was HVlaxnut’s comments that sparked my response more than anything else. It was the comment about the state championship in particular.
I believe that you are on the side of lacrosse. I understand. I hope this thing works itself out too.
Also, I am chill.
I am looking forward to LI Guy making the 300th comment in this thread by the end of next week.
It is also official Brian Smith is staying at Somers. He wants to be there to win another section title.
Was just curious as to why folks like devil are killing the guy who was a driving force behind bringing serious, committed lax to ridgefield. I should know, I played for Rossi for 4 years. I am still in touch with him and he has been nothing but a mentor and friend. Devil must either be a former player who never played, or a parent of a player who never played(sounds like a parent, because the players always knew where they stood with him). Granted, Rossi was no BS, but he developed us. He was the type of guy you either loved or hated. To say he will never coach again is childish. Does anyone recall that Ridgefield beat JJ in 2006 under Rossi, with not much talent on our team? How did that happen devil? luck I guess right? That was the start of Ridgefield lax getting on the map. Give credit where credit is due. Be careful who you talk badly about. As I follow this thread, he maybe the only guy available in short notice. He would do a great job.
Many of you do not understand how high school sports work. You can’t just pick any coach you want – there are union issues. If a school employee is certified to coach & applies – they get the job.
Also, this is not about playing time. School superintendents & legal teams do not have time to deal with such small and trivial issues. There is a lot more to the story than most of us will ever know.
It’s great to see such support for a coach, but this type of action is no different from how untenured teachers are treated if parents have an issue with them.
Especially on the the union issues. However, and you are not alone in this, many posters from outside the community are saying that the various powers that be don’t have time to deal with playing time issues. You are missing what we are saying. The parents had an issue with playing time, knew full well they could not do anything about that and found things that they could complain about. Although it will take a long time to get the story and that it will never be known in full, it did in fact stem from playing time.
Since he had been coaching for ten years with tremendous success, he should have been given a written warning stating exactly what the district’s position was
In truth, he did run a very transparent program. There were parents on the sidelines at almost every practice and game. Now, others will benefit from ten years of infrastructure building that he was the chief contributor to- and he will receive nothing for his effort.
the worst thing you can do is to be really great. Mediocrity is safer and able to be controlled. Greatness is not. Hey, this guy keeps winning championships for us! How appalling! The word I keep coming up with is “ridiculousness.” Let me guess…some loud mouthed connected (probably wealthy) parent is behind it all. Bring the Sav’s back on Jan. 14th. He is the only one winning anything in the KL Schools.
Yeah right. I guess “really great” means losing to a mediocre Jamesville DeWitt team by 5 goals in the state finals after beating one of the best teams in state history. That’s NOT great. Or getting trounced to Somers last year in the sectional finals after losing to L/P last year and Rye the year before. NOT great at all. Maybe now John Jay will finally reach their potential and achieve results in line with their talent level.
how can administration justify firing him as a coach but keep him as a teacher? by no means do i want him to lose his job but i’m trying to understand the boards way of thinking
Indian J said: “Now, others will benefit from ten years of infrastructure building that he was the chief contributor to- and he will receive nothing for his effort.”
The same could be said for Bob Kear……..but change the ten to twenty years,
EmpireLax Said: “I guess really great means losing to a mediocre Jamesville DeWitt team by 5 goals in the state finals after beating one of the best teams in state history. Thats NOT great.”
Actually, the score was 13-11, that would be 2 goals, not 5. And Jamesville-DeWitt was ranked #10 for all teams in NYS in 2007, and #17 nationally (LaxPower ranking). I would hardly call the #10 team “mediocre”. Unless of course I had a negative attitude with an agenda.
The same could be said of Kear, but Sav made more dramatic changes in the short term. Also, the fact that this is the second time to happen in our district adds to the frustration.
I hope some posters will be attendance on the 14th (Im going to try to get up from the city to get to it but may not be able to) if for no other reason then to get some answers.
The board will mandate from the new coach that he be kinder and gentler to the players, and must rotate in more players. They didn’t fire a guy just to bring in someone else to coach the same way. Championship caliber teams in aggressive sports are coached hard and starters play until the game is heading into the win column. This new coach won’t be able to coach that way.
Depth is critical in lax so that will help JJ wear down other teams. If you have the players, play them.
Play your best players until you are up by ten, then get the other kids a chance. Play to win. Use the best players to make sure you win.
How about the roster reduction I put forth in #202 as a way to alleviate having to play so many bench players (once you’re confident of a win). Maybe 25-30 kids?
Who wants to coach at John Jay read this link. Outragous
Is there any chance Jay could have the new coaches lined up and submitted for board approval in time for the January 14th meeting?
You are not the first to come up with an idea like this, but I still think you are missing the point a bit. These parents want their kids featured on championship teams. If you cut them, there will be huge problems. If you play certain kids over others there will be huge problems. Its a no win situation , unless you take a few law suits on the chin and teach the community that they can’t do anything about playing time- then this type of behavior amongst parents would become much more infrequent.
If you know you are right, go to court and fight. Don’t cave.
r the fan,
The current school board seems to be sympathetic to the “typical” family within the community. This means that the push for a more “typical” athletic program has begun. John Jay lacrosse is in trouble because of the “have nots” in the athletic community who want to be as well-known as those who have been successful. The “politically correct” types want athletics to be kept in “perspective”. Student athletes who don’t start-particularly in the girls sports, don’t want to miss going on spring break AND sit the bench, so what happens on the teams that don’t have mandatory practices is this: The players with good character stay behind and try to improve and the other families go to Boca Raton only to return to complain about playing time and lack of recognition.
Is it Ok for a young actress or actor to go away on vacation just before the premier of the school play? Why can’t a serious athletic program be allowed to flourish ?
Seems from the comments that the pro-Sav group is using the 14th mtg to try and save his job, or at least find out what happened, and not to hear about new coaches. That being said I get the impression that coaches are being sounded out?
Thing is the “athletic have nots” as you put it complaining about playing time at the varsity level at Jay have often been the same folk who pushed for earlier and earlier “select” and “travel” teams at the youth level.
The board still has a budget to pass here. About the stupidest thing they could do is try to present a fait accompli to the community on the 14th.
If you think the board is going to successfully ignore several hundred parents who show up to discuss one thing, you’ve got your head stuck in the sand.
How many votes does the budget usually pass by? How do think the prospects are this year given the economy? How so you think alienating several hundred voters would typically be counted upon to vote yes would impact things? If the board tries not to address the issue at the meeting, the aftermath will be eventful indeed.
I beg to differ — it will be very eventful based upon the # of people in the community going to show up for answers and explanations!
let’s make it our business to go to the meeting and voice our opinions and get answers
I think KL School Board fields questions at their meetings, at least they did when I was a kid. Lets remember, being a member of the board is a political office voted on by the taxpayers, as are the budget decisions as mentioned by Old Coach.
Thanx. Wow, sounds like a tough situation!
schoolhouse is right, the meeting won’t do anything. the decision has been made, and it likely will not be upturned considering all the players’ efforts that were to no avail. and if what westchesterfan said is true, Im quitting the team.
Dont start quitting just because things look bleak, particularly if you’ve been playing for a while. Get used to playing thru adversity which is going to be thrown at you in many facets of your life.
Who is emerging as the leading candidate to guide John Jay in this new decade/new era?
JJ will get back to being a soft team that colleges dont want to recruit from. the Savs made those boys a little tougher. You cant make a lamb into a lion but you can make them into a cat
The recent posts have become increasingly ridiculous. Must be blog fatigue.But Hen Hud Parent takes the crown.
Hen Hud parent, when was John Jay soft? Was it 2005 when the beat the Sailors 13-6, or 2006s 15-2 shelling, could have been 2007 14-4, or perhaps 2008 18-6. Maybe it was last year when Jay was having the worst season in recent memory and beat HH 10-2. Yes, Sav coached all these teams but hard to argue with the lacrosse talent coming through the system.
I could not help but notice you checked this years schedule to make sure that HH was not playing JJ before making your bold prediction. The 2010 team would beat the Sailors by 15 goals with no coaches on the sideline.
I know, I am being a little rough here but dont hit a team when they are down.
Hen Hud beat John Jay in 1995 when vin sav was coaching hen hud and bob k was coaching jj
Whoa, Hen Hud beat JJ in 1994.
Only Sec 1 team beating Jay in 95 was Yorktown.
94 Hen Hud won 11-8
95 Jay won 14-1
96 Jay won 13-6
97 Jay 12-7
Hen Hud had a very strong team in 1994 with Vin Sav as coach
a bunch kids from Hud went to play at college that year
94 is Hud’s only win over Jay.
Reading about the events transpiring at JJ is very sad and just terrible for everyone who loves lax in Section 1 (especially the JJ players) and for the sport itself. I grew up with the sport in LI at a perennial powerhouse program and lived in a real lax culture where I had the privilege of learning first hand about the relationship between individual effort and success in life from a very tough (former marine drill sergeant) far-from-perfect coach who knew nothing but the fundamentals, made even budding superstars wait their turn to shine yet produced championships and many great college players, and despite his roughness and occasional unfairness to me and many others is like a father to me over 35 years later. In my view, JJ had been one of the only Section 1 programs that seemed to really “get it”; where the town bought into a system that subordinated petty individual concerns for the greater overall communal benefits. Being in a town where nonsensically varsity “A” and “B” teams have been formed at additional taxpayer expense to make sure every little Johnny and Janey could have “Varsity sport” on their college resume, and where everyone who knew anything about lax has been systematically run out, I have looked on with envy at the JJ way – until now. You don’t see the elimination of so-called evil “stratification” in the competitive orchestra or math or science context for some reason – I call it “revenge of the nerds”. Affluence + frustrated jock parents + spoiled kids = the JJ lax disaster. Clearly there is a widespread problem and plenty of shame to go around in Section 1. Just my opinion.
Hey Northern / why would you even bother to get into it with hen Hud parent. Read 235-238 slowly and and think how silly it sounds. Does any of that matter, what happen over 10 years ago or 3 year ago or for that matter what someone out of the school district thinks. This is about people and today, coaches and students that are effected in the K/L district.
I agree I went off topic. Just responding to a post that seemed out of line. I should have showed restraint. Hen Hud Parent, my apologies.
Indian J as usual you are spot on with the facts.
Now, back to the challenge ahead. Who is going to coach this team in 2010. Have any front runners emerged?
If I had to guess I would think that Geoff Nolan will be interim head coach for this coming season and they will revisit after season long term.
Rumor is Matt Bocklet, well see how it plays out
Seems like Nolan as acting head coach this year with Matt B. as top assistant would work and then Matty taking over as head coach next year and hopefully for decades to come in 2011.
Sure he’s young (still early 20s) but it would be very nice to see Matt Bocklet on the coaching staff. As a player he’s certainly accomplished: One of the best defenders Johns Hopkins has had this past decade and on the all-MLL first team in only his second season! But I think it would be great for him to coach at JJ. After all, he is a JJ graduate, unlike any former JJ head coach, and being so young hiring him would be good in the long term. Plus, he’s already had coaching experience at the high school level and he’s highly involved in youth camps/clinics.
Jaybird how do you know this?
How feasible would it be to continue playing professional lacrosse and be a high school Head Coach? Bocklet was (still is ?) an Asst Coach in Dallas Texas, so as an Asst, he probably could have come and go as his professional schedule required. Would it be possible to put in the required hours as the Head Coach @ JJ and still play professional ?
If the Bocklet thing is true, I wish him luck (god knows he’ll eventually need it), but I have a hard time believing that Matt would want to take over the job that his former coach was wrongfully removed from. If anybody knew how dedicated the JJ staff was, it was Matt’s crew. Why would you want to step into this mess now? Yeah, the talent is there for the next couple of years, but so, one would assume, are some of these kids and parents who sparked this fire.
One of the most troubling things about this whole fiasco is that 90-95% of all the parents and all the kids in the program (and the district for that matter) are great people, and they’ve all gotten a bad rap. Sadly, it’s the 5-10% with delusions of the playing time they feel they somehow deserve that have fueled this debacle. The JJ staff coached hard. They coached to win games. When kids messed up, they heard about it, sometimes at high volume. But they also heard how improve and how to correct mistakes, I guess that doesn’t matter anymore. Nowadays, coaches just have to be glorified cheerleaders. Discipline is out the window, just tell everybody they’re doing great, even when they’re not. Sadly, that might actually work at JJ for the next two years to some degree; but in the long run it’s going to run this program back to the middle of the pack. At the very least, it’ll bump them out of the elite pack of teams that this staff fought and scrapped to become a part of.
I think post #239 by fD1Laxer is right on the money. He’s a Long Island native who apparently played at the Division 1 level, showering praise on one of the only programs in Section 1 that actually “got it”. Yet, all it took was a few anonymous complaints to take down the whole thing…probably a few dollar signs attached to those complaints come to think of it. I’ve read these posts from start to finish, and I think it’s just pathetic that this has happened at all. Matt and Geoff, do yourselves a favor and walk away from this mess, assuming you’re considering it in the first place. Who knows what to believe?
Brian Kuczma played MLL while being the head coach of Putnam Valley, retiring really recently from the MLL. Matt seems to have a very busy schedule – playing MLL and NLL in different cities, asst coach in dallas (I believe to the state champion team episcopal), maverick dallas lacrosse academy coach, coaches at the moonlight lacrosse camp (mostly JJ players), runs the rabil vs. bocklet lacrosse camps with Paul Rabil. He seems very dedicated to the game of lacrosse, I’m sure even if he’s the head coach he’ll be fine. In the Q & A he said he enjoyed his first year coaching at the high school level and wants to continue.
I disagree with you Wasabi. What’s done is done, Sav is gone. It’s sad but we have to try to clean up this mess instead of making it worse for the poor kids! Please don’t encourage qualified coaches to just walk away! It’s already so disappointing for such a great program with such a seemingly bright future to be in this debacle. Other JJ coaches should not walk away and make this mess even worse, I’m surprised you’re trying to encourage that. For the kids, for this JJ program, we must get qualified guys in place of the Savs and help JJ to succeed instead of giving up on this program that the Savs worked so hard to build up.
Hey LAX, I see where you’re coming from, but why encourage good people to come into a bad situation. It’s like when someone says “This tastes horrible, wanna try it.” The JJ brass don’t back their coaches. No argument to be had, it’s a proven fact. Why bother?
…I do agree with you about the kids though LAX. They are the biggest losers here. I wish them nothing but the best. As an observer who no longer has a stake in JJ’s wins and losses, I just feel like whoever the new coaches are will have some blood on their hands if they were attached to JJ’s rise to prominence and are now stepping in to shoes that should still be occupied by the same guys who got them there.
I do see both both sides of the coin though.
What about Kuczma of PV? Great lacrosse background, done a great job with PV.
I dont know where he went to high school?
I played for Sav, with Matt Bocklet and I don’t think you could find a better fit for this program (no offense to their poles last year, but that position would benefit from matt’s teaching). I don’t think Sav would be any more proud of a replacement than with Matt Bocklet, arguably his most accomplished player to date. I think its a job that Matt would not only do well, but would enjoy. Kids on that team are well aware of who he is, and what he’s done over the course of the past 6 years since he left JJ. I can really see high school players at JJ relating to him, and wanting to play well for him. Also his connections in the greater lacrosse community could help keep the program on the rise as far as recruiting, recognition, and scheduling.
Kuczma went to Yorktown in the… 90s??? (IndianJ)
dont worry about it,
Thx for HS info on Kuczma.
Brian Kuczma was a defender for Yorktown 93′ and Johns Hopkins 97′. He was a three year starter at Town and two time All American. He was the anchor of Town’s Defense in 92 and 93.
Not to be confused with his brother Kevin who coached at Horace Greely for a while.
I think having Nolan and Bocklet together would work for the first year. Then reevaluate at the end of the season.
Hopefully we will be able to raise enough of a stink to prevent this “Crying Wolf” routine from happening to who ever is coaching from 2010 on.
whoever the replacements are good luck — sad thing is same board. My advise to the new coaches keep the freshman on the freshman team — sophmores on the jv team and juniors & seniors on varsity. This is how they do it at Charminade and there are no parental complaints.
Could help but there’s so much pressure these days on developing “super” frosh, sophs and advancing them on to the most senior teams possible. Feeding this problem (IF you see it as a “problem”) are schools like UVA, UNC, Hopkins etc that are getting verbal commitments from SOPHS, a practice I feel should be stopped by the NCAA–just too early.
What is it about lax that some of the more successful coaches leave under circumstances like this. Before this, there was Doc Dougherty at Garden City, Tim Weir at L/P, Shurr at Soemrs. Who else am I forgetting?
Nichols at yorktown was run out of town..
Vin Garrison Nanuet
Chris m. Arlington
Joe Corace Mahopac
Will there still be a John Jay summer day camp for youngsters?
Anyone know why Nichols was pressured to leave Yorktown?
Da! Nichols left because or Nutty Parents.
Also (to your #260), why does lax seem to be more unstable in terms of coaches getting fired, leaving, versus football??
Thats because Football players around here dont get big time d1 scholarships
As has been the feeling all along by most here, I’d be shocked if Nolan isn’t the choice. He’s a former JJ player, has been top assistant during Sav’s entire tenure and has the respect of the parents and community. He will give the program continuity and stability. The only question in my view is who will comprise the rest of the staff. I agree with the poster who said Matt Bocklet would make a lot of sense. He definitely would.
Just a thought …. let this thread die and open a new one for the next step for JJ. I feel the kids from JJ reading alot of the negative on this can cause alot of confusion. Sure the negative spillover is unintentional yet is is here between the lines.
Athletes put in alot of hard work and should go into their season with a clear head not question marks . They deserve better (any child, any school) the years go by fast let them enjoy what they have . Hate to say it but lets close the negative and get the wheels going in the positive it will time before you know it . Not from K/L but wishing you folks good luck
Agree with Teper about Nolan.
Matt Bocklet would make a fantastic assistant as would Mike Bocklet. IMHO it is Mike who is the more realistic option. Bottomline is they are both great young men with D1/Pro experience who are tremendous competitors.
Dee-up – If the kids are confused it’s because how little is known at this point. I don’t think a “negative” post could add to their confusion. Besides, if Joe starts a new thread then LI Guy won’t get to be the 300th post.
After the 14th we can go all positive. If Nolan is chosen as coach we can go all positive too- However people have been kept in the dark and that is really what has sparked more negativity than the dismissal. I know a fair amount of what took place- this means that there are many within the community who have a solid idea of what took place. I think now, most of us in the community want to protect the program’s integrity. If in fact integrity has been diminished then we want to reestablish it. Many of us feel that this is impossible if administration officials and the school board are not forth coming. As I have stated in earlier posts, its not just about Sav or Lacrosse, its about the nature of how politics in our community behave moving forward.
I would love to see the program get a great coaching staff and in doing so, not appease the wrong parties one bit.
Agree but aren’t there strict legal obstacles to the Bd discussing what happened with the “public”?
Wow, by reading this thread you would think the Savastano’s were executed.
God forbid John Jay loses a lacrosse game. lol.
As far as I can tell, this is one of the most talented and skilled teams in the section. But I guess if you don’t have the exact right coach on the sideline the kids all forget how to play.
Pam, geez, go to a spa for a day.
I don’t know what happened here, but it seems hard to believe that one whiny kid and his parents would bring down the whole staff. The Savastano’s have been curiously quiet. Have they stood up for themselves in public? Maybe they should, or maybe they realize the parents’ complaints might be valid.
Don’t tell me for a second that all kids on the team were treated equally. There were plenty of kids who rode the pine as a way of life. The summer tournament team was a mirror of the school team – same kids playing different venue.
Maybe instead of pursuing national recognition the program will focus on a balanced program where all kids really have an opportunity to improve and play – you know just like high school sports in the real world. lol.
Injunctions, lawsuits, petitions and hearings…Yup, sounds like Bedford/Katonah.
What the hell is wrong with you people? This team will win at least 10 games no matter who the coach is and if they don’t, don’t worry, the world will still turn.
Bottom line is they will not win 10 games this year and never get back to a nationally ranked team.
The parents ruined there kids chances.
As a former player i will tell you this the talent we had was good but not near the long island powers we beat. We beat those team with heart and hustle and coaching.
In terms of playing time/riding the bench, problem is not that kids ride the bench. This cant be avoided when you have 46 on a squad whose goal is to win games (you may disagree with this “goal”).
No the problem IS that there are 46 kids on the team to start with, about 15-20 TOO many.
Cut the squad size down to give as many players as possible a much more REALISTIC chance (but still not a guarantee) to play.
Kids must get used to being “not selected” which will happen to them throughout life.
Great point slacrosse. No, I’m a firm believer in winning games. If you’re not going to play to win just play a pick-up game. But be realistic about the level upon which you are trying to win. It simply is not necessary for JJ to play on a national level. They have too many players and are victims of their own success in that regard.
The problem is that having to cut 20 guys will bring complaints from the parents of the kids who don’t make the cut. Don’t forget, it’s all about lawsuits, injunctions and equal outcomes.
In the meantime, this will be a fun team to watch and will win a lot of games. If they lose all their out-of-section games and all of their wins come against Section 1 teams, so be it. They will have the respect and admiration of the other teams in Section 1 – and that’s good enough.
Good luck to JJ…compete hard…have a great time.
Why is it not necessary for JJ to play on a national level? Just curious. Excellence is not necessary- its just preferred and appreciated. Or at least one would think it would be appreciated. JJ’s success was realistic. It was the intensity and the concentration that made it that way. Nobody was annoyed with the focus.
John Jay will continue to dominate. Sav was just a sacrificial lamb so the district could avoid getting sued.
A large majority of the parents expect to dominate. If they start to lose, it could be trouble for administration as well as for the new coach.
Wow. Just wow.
Listen, I still haven’t heard the facts yet, so I have no idea as to whether this was warranted or not. If they struck a child, or were intentionally cruel to players, then that’s that. But given the long history they’ve had without any incidents, and what I know of these men, that would surprise me. But if this is in fact a case of parents complaining about their children being yelled at (I can’t imagine this being a case of playing time, that would simply be ludicrous), then unless it was a Mike Leach/ Jim Leavitt type of incident, this then becomes an indictment on the town I grew up in, and where my parents still live.
I’m actually not particularly concerned about how this impacts the results of the lacrosse program, it is just high school lacrosse, but rather about how this effects the Sav’s (if the truth comes out that this was nothing more than agressive yelling at kids), what it says about Katonah/ Lewisboro, and what lessons our kids learn from this type of stuff.
Best of luck to the Sav’s, appreciate what you and Kear have done for this program, and the best to the Seniors on this years team. And I hope that everyone involved in this get’s exactly what they deserve (both good and bad).
any chance of the board changing their mind based on the communities response?
What a great thread.
In regard to doid, I can absolutely envision the Sav’s being sacrificed because they yelled at a kid(s). Peoplpe are hyper sensitive these days and if they a chance to exploit the “system” and cause problems for someone as a way tog et back at them they will and do.
I also agree with indianJ in a off-the-path way in that competing on a national level is in fact appreciated, but it’s not necessary. The JJ lax program is still a crown jewel of Section 1 simply because of the success and level of participation they’ve built within the section. Whether they ever play out of the section does not matter – they’re still a crown jewel. They have succeeded in a spport that is not easily built.
Don’t waorry about the Savs. There’s a thousand schools out there who would love to have them and they’ll land on their feet. Just imagine them going to Peekskill and turning them into a powerhouse! lol.
Not a question of it “not being necessary” (to play for a national championship). It’s just a natural occurrence.
I’m a Rye fan but I must assume Kids in the J program (as in Rye and ALL other programs) are taught at an early age to strive for the best they can be in lacrosse , school, etc–this is good and natural–Hey its the American way!!
I assume that at one point J wasn’t playing all the non Section 1 top teams they play now but as their quality developed, it was just “natural” for coaches to see that the team needed to play additional strong non Section 1 teams to add diversity and quality to the program. Particulalry when other top Section 1 teams like Town were playing out of the Section. Also imagine that J was getting called by top non Section 1 teams to play. It’s a “reward” for the hard effort put out by the kids for many years!
Reward for effort/results. Kids see this and hopefully apply this to other aspects of their life. Maybe some of this rubs off on the kids that knew in their hearts that they really didn’t try hard enough–but will do so in the future.
Of course in this “rite of passage” no one is condoning true “abusive” behavior (however defined) by coaches.
So no IMO you can’t NOT strive for “national championships”, no matter how far you ultimately miss that goal.
The questions I would ask if I could attend the Katonah/Lewisboro board meeting tonight:
What is the board’s position on comprehensive athletic programs that require a commitment from their participants, compete on the national level and send athlete’s to some of the best colleges and Universities in the United States ?
Is it the board’s intension to reduce the amount of student athletes who receive scholarships, interest from, or gain acceptance from the nation’s top schools?
Are there clear cut guidelines, procedure, or protocol concerning coaching in the district? Is there a course of action that could prevent an accomplished coach from being dismissed in an untimely fashion that can conflict with student achievement?
If a coach is dismissed for his or her conduct, would that then affect their position as a teacher within the district? Are the rules for coaches different from that of tenured teacher’s?
Should be an interesting week. I’m confident after all the smoke has cleared, we will all feel John Jay has made an upgrade in their head coach position.
Well do you have inside info on who is going to take over jj?
whoever thinks jj is not winning 10 games this year is being a bit dramatic. They still play teams like byram hills and rye, who they can beat, two times each. Don’t act like they all forgot how to play without a coach. They are still returning well over 10 guys who saw significant playing time last year and who have been working hard wether or not the Sav’s were going to be the head coach. Let’s give these boys some credit.
[…] announced as soon as Jan. 21. Nick Savastano, the Indians’ head coach since the 2000 season, was relieved of his duties on Dec. 15, along with JV head coach Erik Hoaglund and varsity assistant Vinny Savastano. The trio moved over […]
I’m with you in not thinking Jay will skip a beat this season. I think they’ll be as good as they were supposed to be prior to the Sav news. Too many good, motivated players who will end up being coached by someone real good.
But I’m not with you in your comment that Jay beats Rye twice. Yes at this point Jay should be favored over Rye but I would not say at all that it’s a done deal for Jay to win twice, particularly at Rye.
My thoughts at this point:
1)Somers (assumming everyone plays)
2/3 Tie between Jay/LP
5/6 Tie between Rye/Putnam Valley (dont know PV’s players except Fitz but I’m assuming they be as strong)
Last season Town was ranked in a class of their own.
This season however I don’t see big gaps of “space” between these 6 teams.
We’ll see. Good luck to all.
For JJ loss this year
1 time to Rye
1 time to somers
loss to Manhasset
loss to Yorktown
loss to Ridgfield
loss to syosset
loss to St Anthonys
will beat Corning
will beat byram twice
will beat Greeley twice
will beat Brewster
9-7 record mark it down
Can’t wait till this whole John Jay saga is over with so we can go back to talking about lax and the upcoming season!
I agree with Observer. The sooner we hear who the replacement is the better.
So… in light of all this, who is the favorite in Class B … John Jay or Somers without Jo Jo???
Somers without JoJo still has to be slight favorites as Somers still has solid defense and midfield and strong senior leadership. Returning a lot. I will want to see who else is with Pickel in defense and how they work together before I would pick JJ over Somers. Also Somers much more physical. This is besides and coaching turmoil.
Timmy schurr is the new jj coach
In the past, when JJ has returned as many offensive powers as they do this year, the jump has been staggering in terms of the difference it made in results.
That many sophomores moving into their junior year is a big difference. I do not know however how this whole thing will work out. (Coaching, Somers etc.)
Forrest Walter is going to be a name that pops up a lot this year.
They beat Rye and Somers at least twice with a third win coming in the sectional finals. Its a bit of a risky prediction but I think the juniors are going to be good enough to do it.
why do parents have to hear about new coaches/fired coaches on a blog and not from the school?
With coach Schurr, add at at least one of these teams to the list that JJ will upset.
Im surprised, but he is an awesome coach- Go Indians
#295 – The information has been on the school district board of education agenda since Thursday AM ….so the intent to seek approval wasn’t on this blog first…
I think JJ beats Manhassett and YT ……..they are both going to struggle this year.
Posting for 2 reasons. 1 agree with Blaxdog about both Man and YT, and if JJ beat Syosset last year and are stronger this year why not this year. Besides my cousin’s son plays there and alway good for ribbing. Also want to give Blax the 300 post.
I’m touched……..since I retired and I’m now home with my wife all the time, no one EVER agrees with me
PS Based on what I saw in the Fall, Syosset is going to be ok.
Wow. 300 posts. Now time to focus on the season.
Wow. I was away for a week and look at all the comments I have to catch on. Should be interesting reading.
Excellent coverage of this whole situation. Great feedback from everyone and interesting interviews with Schurr, Savs, McCarthy, etc. But now its OVER. Let’s MOVE ON and DISCUSS LAX.
Has anyone heard how the turnout has been for JFK lax?
I heard 50 kids for jv and varsity. also heard 40 kids showing up to gym sessions.
Sav was the best thing to happen to that program. Earlier posts comparing this to Kear’s firing…way off mark. Kear was a shackle on this program for years..
Was really sad to hear about this. It’s a testament to the dedication of all coaches who continue to take on coaching responsibilities in this kind of environment.
Much agreed ’98. There’s no way the program will get the same level of dedication that Sav put in. I don’t see any chance of that. Nothing against Schurr or Nolan, but two guys overseeing their own businesses can’t possibly give the same level of commitment that a teacher in the building can give day in and day out. For the past decade, Jay’s players could find Sav anytime during the school day to deal with any issues that came up. That’s gone now and that’s going to have an impact. Don’t think for a minute that it won’t.
My knowledge base doesn’t go back far enough to remember the details of Bob Kear’s dismissal, but he deserves a lot of credit too for getting the program going and setting the foundation for future success. Sav, however, amped up the schedule and put Jay on the map nationally. From all accounts, the win vs Huntington in the state semis is one of the best in the history of the section. I know it was the most exciting game I’ve seen at the high school level (possibly any level). Also, it’s not that the great ’07 team needs any excuses, but the subsequent loss to JD in the finals can be attributed more to the physical toll it took to beat Huntington than to any coaching deficiency on the part of Jay’s staff (as it’s been suggested in previous posts). Those kids were just plain out of gas by the time the second half rolled around against JD, and it showed. They still gave a valiant effort in defeat and it’s a shame that they never really got a chance to celebrate that great win vs Huntington. That run to the finals would have never materialized without the beefed up schedule that Sav worked so hard to establish.
Congrats on a great run at JJ and here’s to future success at Kennedy. It’s only a matter of time now before the new look Gaels will have the top teams on their schedule. It’ll be refreshing to see a new power house emerge in Section 1.
While awaiting the inevitable 5th NFL championship to be won by the Colts franchise, and 3rd Super Bowl (the latter by three different head coaches, no less), the previous poster brings up an interesting question –
What does it mean to make a HS lacrosse program “on the map nationally”?
Put another way, how would a scholastic program make a legitimate claim to be “national”? And what difference would it make, if any, to a program’s goals for each season?
Let’s keep in mind the fact that lacrosse as a sport has a rather limited claim to be “on the map nationally” itself. There’s lots of evidence that the game is growing on the grass roots level and that has led to more interest in the sporting media, especially TV, which drives the awareness of any so-called “minor” sport.
So if we define being “on the map nationally” as having a reputation for quality within the lacrosse community itself, what are the components that give such a claim credibility? Everyone will have their opinion, and yours is almost certainly more informed than mine. But as a starter, let’s use the following as a measure.
– Success on the field. Is your program a leading and/or dominant contender for your league and local state championship?
– How important is lacrosse within your community? Have you upsurped baseball as the #1 activity among boys and girls on the youth levels?
– Does your program regularly produce players who move on to play at the NCAA level, in any Division?
I’d enjoy hearing which of these three standards, and any others you can think of, is most important to the notion of claiming to be “on the map nationally”.
Quick quiz: Who was the Head Coach of the 1st two NFL championships won by the then-Baltimore Colts?
“Nationally Recognized Program”:
1) Your team is winning and/or a dominant contender for league/state honors (most seasons). Your team will most likely compete with ELITE out of state/Section competition.
2) Your team will be sending numbers of kids (every yr) to D1-D3 programs with at least 1-2 kids likely going D1
3) Your community will have a strong youth feeder program or with private schools your reputation allows you to successfully recruit from surrounding communities.
im sorry, and i know this is off topic but i know this is a post people will look at often, but when are the empire game try-outs most likely to be this summer? And as far as im sure, the games are set to happen, right?
Kind of interesting going back and reading this thread now that some time has passed since it all went down…
Answer to Quick Quiz: Weeb Eubank, who also famously led the New York Jets to their only Super Bowl Championship on January 12, 1969. Thanks to all for not writing in.
JJ will not get back to the state championship anytime soon. Manhasset is going up to Class B and GC returns everyone.
Interesting to read these comments now that almost a full year has passed since the move was made.