Parents show support for New Rochelle coach who was reassigned

NEW ROCHELLE, Westchester County (WABC) -- Parents in Westchester County showed their support for a beloved football coach who was sidelined before a big playoff game.

They showed up at a New Rochelle Board of Education meeting Tuesday night, waving signs and chanting on behalf of longtime football coach Louis DiRienzo, and making it clear they want him back.

He was re-assigned after an incident that may have involved possible substance abuse by a student at the school.

DiRienzo has had a long and storied career at the school.

"Coach D does deserve a statue, the community will rally behind him," one parent said.

In a sign of how important the coach is to some in the community, parents sat through a two-hour board of education meeting during which his name was never mentioned.

So when they got the chance, they were ready to make their case.

"The problem that is plaguing this community is this board and its tyrannical leaderhship," one man said.

The matter is complicated by a new and white superintendent in a school system with many African-American and Hispanic students and faculty members.

The football team and some students walked out of class to protest the decision to reassign the coach, and many parents support them.

"We can learn a lot from the football students who stood their ground and stood up for what they believe in," said one parent.

The board says they are still investigating the incident that involved DiRienzo and no final decisions have been made.

New Rochelle won in Saturday's State Tournament against Utica Proctor without its veteran coach.

DiRienzo is in the Westchester Hall of Fame for his coaching accomplishments.

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