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Archive for Saturday, May 24, 1997

Zuzzio gives up girls coaching job

May 24, 1997

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Ted Zuzzio won't battle city hall anymore.

Zuzzio, who led Baldwin High's girls basketball team to the Class 4A state championship in 1996 and the runner-up spot last March, surrendered the school's girls basketball coaching post on Friday.

Zuzzio said he did it to "end all the controversies."

School administrators said that when Zuzzio, who has coached the Baldwin High girls basketball team for 20 years, applied for a physical education teach job at Baldwin's middle school several months ago, he knew the district would give preference to applicants who agreed to coach there exclusively.

However, supporters of Zuzzio believed he was being forced out and accused Supt. John Nuspl of pulling the strings. Nuspl denied the accusation.

Zuzzio hired a lawyer because he wanted to coach the Baldwin High girls basketball team at least one more season. His daughter Stacy will be a senior on that team during the 1997-98 school year.

Now Zuzzio has surrendered the opportunity to coach his daughter next season.

"I should be in a position to watch her play, though," he said.

He'll also be able to watch Supt. Nuspl's two daughters play. Johnelle Nuspl will also be a senior next season and Janae Nuspl will be a sophomore.

"I would like to thank my current and former players for 20 exciting seasons," said Zuzzio, who compiled a 332-116 record with two state championships at Baldwin. "I'd also like to thank their parents and the townspeople for their many years of great support. We had plenty of proud moments."

The issue of Zuzzio's status first became murky when he decided he wanted to give up his job at shop teacher at Baldwin High in order to take a PE job at the middle school.

In listing requirements for that position, the district said it would give preference to an applicant "who volunteers to coach and sponsor activities exclusively at the junior high level."

Zuzzio was aware of the requirement, but told the district he wanted the job, and that he was also interested in coaching his daughter next season. He was given the middle school job and assumed he would also be able to coach the BHS girls.

Nuspl, however, said his assumption was that Zuzzio "would coach exclusively at the middle school."

School board members were schedule to settle the controversy at their next meeting on Tuesday. However, Zuzzio's letter to the board on Friday made the subject moot.

It's been an emotional week for Zuzzio, who also coaches the Baldwin High girls track team.

"Yes, it has," he said, "but for my family this is the best decision."

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