COHOES, N.Y. – Many Cohoes residents have been left asking ‘why?’ after the high school is making a coach reapply for his job after holding the position for 27 years.
Coach Hytko has been working at the Cohoes High School for nearly 30 years, and now his job is in jeopardy as he has to prepare for the first interview he has had since he was initially hired.
"Let Mr. Hytko retire when he is ready to retire,” said Katie Smith.
Smith is one of hundreds of former athletes Daniel Hytko has taught in the past 27 years. She said that when she heard the school might give his job to someone else, she was speechless.
"I can’t believe they are doing this to someone who has given over 20 years of his life,” said Smith.
Even Coach Hytko himself says it wasn’t news he was expecting.
“I don't want to say surprised, kind of, I didn’t know, just really confused,” said Hytko.
Cohoes School District Superintendent Robert Libby wasn't available for an interview; however they say Hytko technically re-applied for his job every year since he was hired. The reason he has to re-interview for the 2014-2015 school year is because it is the first time someone else also applied for the job. Two other coaches are going through the same process.
“I don’t look at this as a negative thing, I think I look at it as a positive, it’s just corrective criticism and competition is important,” said Hytko.
According to one of his former students though, it is hard to imagine any coach more suited for the job. There has been a large amount of online petitions and even #teamhytko has been trending by former students like Katie Smith. Hytko says that all this support for him shows real teamwork never dies.
“Really, really honored, and impressed, it kind of brings a tear to my eye,” said Hytko.
Just as he tells his athletes, Coach Hytko says there will be no quitting as he plans to re-interview for his job first thing Thursday morning.
“I think the cards will just fall the way they are supposed to fall and we'll just move forward,” he said.
The district tells me they hope to wrap up all of the interviews by the end of this week, and have more information at a special meeting scheduled for Friday.