Longtime New Rochelle coach Louis DiRienzo resigns amid investigations

NEW ROCHELLE, Westchester County (WABC) -- The longtime head coach of the state champion New Rochelle High School football team, who was reassigned pending an investigation earlier this year, has announced his resignation.

After 28 years working in the New Rochelle City School District as a teacher and coach, Louis DiRienzo has decided to resign from his position effective December 31.

"After much thought, I have decided to resign from my positions as head football coach and teacher at New Rochelle High School," he said. "I am proud of my students' and teams' accomplishments on and off the football field these past 28 years. I will always be rooting for the Huguenots and the New Rochelle community. I thank the community for its support over the years."

The school board had re-assigned DiRienzo while it investigated him for an incident involving a student.

District officials still have not commented on the circumstances of the investigation, but parents told Eyewitness News that it involved a student who is DiRienzo's relative and who was impaired in some way at school.

DiRienzo contacted that person's father, the parents say, and allowed them to leave the school rather than face discipline -- an apparent violation of school protocol.

The decision to take him off the sidelines with the playoffs approaching sparked walkouts and protests, even as news surfaced of a new decades-old allegation being investigated by police.

Yonkers police say a woman came forward alleging unlawful contact involving DiRienzo when she was a high school student and DiRienzo was a teacher in Yonkers.

Further details were not revealed, but the Yonkers Police Department released the following statement:

"The Yonkers Police initiated an investigation into allegations brought forward by a former local high school student, alleging unlawful contact between the student and a former coach/teacher; the incidents are alleged to have occurred in the late 1980's. Due to the nature of the allegations and the amount of time elapsed, any potential criminal charges would not be eligible for prosecution. The Yonkers Police Department has a responsibility to our constituents and all involved parties to investigate these allegations and afford due process and impartiality to the same; as such, no further information will be released at this time."

New Rochelle recently won its third state championship in program history when it defeated McQuaid Jesuit of Rochester 28-0 at the Carrier Dome in Syracuse.

The district did not comment on DiRienzo's resignation other than to thank him for his years of dedicated service to the community and wish him well in all of his future endeavors.

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