The Poughkeepsie Journal has reported in recent days about the sad situation in Poughkeepsie, where Ken Barger and members of his staff have either been suspended (as in Barger’s case) or resigned, leaving the team without any coaches.
According to the Poughkeepsie Journal, Barger “was suspended as part of the district’s investigation into whether students were given special accommodations while taking New York State Regents exams in January. Barger is co-chair of the school’s special education department. Board, district and union officials have remained mum on Barger’s status while the investigation is ongoing.”
The matter was further complicated last week when the remainder of the staff — expected to be led in Barger’s absence by longtime assistant Mike Bianco — resigned en masse last Wednesday.
Former Poughkeepsie star Charles Spencer Jr., who played briefly in the NFL, and former Peekskill lineman Derek Dennis — a basketball state champion who attended NFL training camps after a football career at Temple — helped operate offseason workouts since the staff’s resignation. Another former Poughkeepsie star, Matt Featherston, who played at Texas A&M also remains involved in the program.
Poughkeepsie AD Matt Cameron told the paper the district hopes to hire a new coaching staff soon — perhaps as early as this week.
One of the coaches the district has pursued is John Castellano, a former two-time state champion at Nyack who is now an assistant at Don Bosco Prep. As you can see above, a source told me Castellano talked to Cameron but is highly unlikely to take the job.
At this point, this situation is perilous for any prospective candidates. When you consider the recent turmoil, the interruption of workouts and the fact that practice starts in less than a month, Poughkeepsie is not the dream job it would appear to be.
Truth be told, coaches would line up for the same post if it were available again in December or January.