Coach of 31 years is let go, students and parents outraged

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Updated: 7/21 11:13 pm

LANSINGBURGH, N.Y. – A Lansingburgh coach will not be returning to the field next school year.

Coach John Cipperly said he was notified by his athletic director last week that the district decided to go “a different direction,” but he was never given a reason as to why the district made the decision.

Cipperly was the girls’ soccer and softball coach for the district for 31 years. 

Parents and students who are outraged over the decision attended the school board meeting Monday night. They, as well as Cipperly, said they were more bothered by how the decision was announced versus the decision itself.

Athletic Director Michael Harkin said he did not recommend Cipperly for the position, and Cipperly said he feels blindsided.

“I am concerned they hadn’t come forward out of pride for the position, so right now I felt like I was the person because I was here, and I know the kids and I know the program and I know the league,” he said.

Many of his players said they felt the same way. They attended the meeting with hopes of getting Cipperly back into the game.

“I honestly feel betrayed as a student in this district,” varsity soccer captain Emily Maloney said. “And I’m not really sure how to feel about what just happened because it was so sudden.”

School board members said they cannot talk about personnel issues, and parents and students left the meeting with their questions unanswered.

“Our coaches explained it to us on our summer league that it was like a punch in the gut to them,” varsity soccer player Leah Simmons said.

Another person had applied for the position Monday, but backed out and no longer wants to be considered. The board said they have to discuss what happened Monday night, and then they will make a decision.

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