A settlement reached before a magistrate last week might not be carried out after all.
Akron Public Schools Board of Education President Jason A. Haas said Tuesday that Joe Wojcik and former Akron Education Association President Bill Siegferth worked with the APS to reach a settlement last week to eliminate a possible court case in exchange for a coaching position.
Haas said he was surprised by Siegferth’s comments Monday in the Akron Beacon Journal after hearing that Wojcik had been appointed the East High School boys basketball coach.
APS Superintendent David W. James recommended Wojcik be issued a supplemental contract to coach at East on Monday at a regular meeting and the seven-member Akron Board of Education agreed. Rhonda Porter, general counsel for the schools, said following the meeting she expected Wojcik to accept the position.
Siegferth, who has been involved in the process from the start, said by telephone Monday that Wojcik “right now” won’t take the position.
“The two sides were in court before magistrate on Thursday [June 20],” Haas said. “They worked out a settlement.”
Haas said a negotiated settlement was reached where Wojcik would drop a lawsuit with several charges against the APS, James, Haas and three unnamed persons; in exchange for the opportunity to coach at East after not having his contract renewed in the summer of 2011 after three seasons as boys basketball coach at Firestone High School.
“Mr. Siegferth said all Mr. Wojcik wanted was an opportunity to coach, well here it is,” Haas said. “I don’t know what they want now.”
Wojcik did not attend Monday’s meeting and phone calls and voice messages to him were not returned Monday. A phone call and voice message have not been returned this week.
Wojcik served as coach at Firestone from 2008-2011 and posted a 32-31 overall record. His coaching supplemental contract was not renewed at Firestone in the summer of 2011 following an allegation of a misappropriation of funds.
He was later cleared of the allegation after an impartial investigator found the former coach had not taken booster funds. The board rejected that opinion and voted not to reinstate his coaching contract in 2011. Dave Milo has coached Firestone’s boys basketball team for the past two seasons.
Wojcik consulted with the AEA and filed a lawsuit against the APS, James, Haas and three unnamed persons for breach of contract, wrongful discharge, defamation and civil conspiracy.
Haas said Monday that Wojcik dropped the lawsuit and all of the charges. Porter said the charges were dropped at the meeting Thursday. Wojcik and the teachers union were asking for a judgment in excess of $75,000.
Sommers commits to KSU
Kent Roosevelt senior Matt Sommers has committed to play football on scholarship at Kent State University.
Sommers, who is 6-foot-2 and 230-pounds, plays linebacker for the Rough Riders and was recruited to play that position by the Golden Flashes.
“My wife and I are really excited for Matt,” Kent Roosevelt coach John Nemec said. “We think it is a great fit for him. We love [KSU] coach [Paul] Haynes. He is a wonderful guy. They have a great staff. Matt just felt very comfortable with the football staff.”
Sommers was named the Portage Trail Conference Metro Defensive Player of the Year in 2012 and earned Division II All-Ohio special mention honors. He helped Roosevelt to a 10-2 overall record and a 7-0 mark in the league.
APS coaching news
The APS Board of Education approved James’ recommendation Monday for North Athletic Director Carrie Stewart to also coach the Vikings’ junior varsity soccer team. The North soccer team has experienced a recent resurgence under varsity coach Michael Kane.
Woodridge names coach
Richard Blevins is set to be named the Woodridge High School boys basketball coach, Director of Athletics Don Ross said in a news release.
Ross said 16 candidates applied for the position, which became available due to the resignation of former coach Brian Fantone. Woodridge Superintendent Walter Davis will present Blevins to the Board of Education for their approval at a special meeting being planned for early July.
Blevins has served as a varsity assistant at Cuyahoga Falls High School and Warren Howland High School. He is a graduate of Kent State University and is a physical education teacher at Roberts Middle School in Cuyahoga Falls.
Michael Beaven can be reached at 330-996-3829 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Read the high school blog at http://www.ohio.com/preps. Follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/MBeavenABJ and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/sports.abj.