The search resumes for the next head football coach of Erie High

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The search is back on for the next head football coach of Erie High School.

Erie’s Public Schools made the announcement today that the district will resume its search for the next head football coach following discussions between district administration, the Erie Education Association (EEA), and two internal candidates for the position.

The Erie School Board tabled a vote on filling the position on June 30.

Since then, the two internal candidates have elected to forego their contractual rights, which will allow the district to conduct a full, open search.

“A lot of thought and effort went into interviewing candidates and discussing with them specific contractual obligations related to the position,” Superintendent Brian Polito said. “Joe Gabbard was the most qualified candidate who met those obligations. We share his desire, and the desire of the second candidate, to proceed with an open search that allows us to continue to be as transparent as possible in our hiring process and hire the best candidate for the job.”

According to the Erie School District, the search will begin immediately.

“We are extremely proud of our football program, our student-athletes, and all who work to support them on and off the field,” Polito said. “We know our community is too, and that’s why we want to make sure the public has a voice in this process.”

The Erie School Board released a statement regarding the open search for the next head coach of Erie High School:

“It is important that our hiring process is as transparent as possible, takes into account community input, and ensures that we hire the best, most qualified candidate who meets all requirements of the job. We recognize and celebrate the fact that the Erie community is deeply invested in Royals football and in our student-athletes. Rest assured that we hear you. We ask for your patience as we move forward with an open search to fill the head coach position.”

One of the internal candidates, Erie High School teacher Joe Gabbard, joined Erie’s Public Schools in 2010 as a football coach at Strong Vincent High School; in 2017-18, he helped coach Erie High’s varsity football team to a District 10 championship. He said he intends to reapply for the head coach position as part of the open search process.

“As a teacher, I am committed to excellence in the classroom,” said Gabbard, who teaches social studies at Erie High. “As a coach, I am committed to doing what is best for our team and for the future of our student-athletes. Right now that means conducting a search that instills public confidence in the process and that allows everyone to have the opportunity to be heard and show that they are the best candidate for the job.”

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