Katonah-Lewisboro School Board decides not to reinstate ousted wrestling coach

The Katonah-Lewisboro School Board met in an executive session in Cross River Thursday night but was unable to reach an agreement to bring back John Jay wrestling coach Bill Swertfager.

News 12 Staff

Nov 18, 2022, 3:32 AM

Updated 555 days ago

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The battle to save a beloved coach's job in a northern Westchester school district came to a disappointing end for community members who have supported him.
The Katonah-Lewisboro School Board met in an executive session in Cross River Thursday night but was unable to reach an agreement to bring back John Jay wrestling coach Bill Swertfager.
Superintendent of Schools Andrew Selesnick said he met with Swertfager three times this week with the hopes to resolve the situation.
Ultimately, Swertfager did not meet the requirements for reinstatement and Selesnick said the coach was misrepresenting the situation.
"If allowed to stand that false information diminishes the courage and the actions of those who spoke up in May of 2021," Selesnick said.
The district had been looking into a complaint against Swertfager after he allegedly patted a softball player's backside during a game last year.
Swertfager told News 12 it was a gesture of encouragement and he did not believe anyone had taken exception to it.
On Thursday night, Swertfager thanked his community for their outpouring of support. He added that the district required him to sign a document describing the events in a way he didn't agree with, which was something he refused to do.
"I didn't do and never have done, anything malicious, intentional, or morally wrong and this administration knows this to be true," Swertfager said.
Dozens of parents, students and student-athletes took the podium with the hopes to sway the board once again to reconsider.
Community members told the board they will continue to show up to meetings until Swertfager is reinstated.
The next board meeting is scheduled for Dec. 1.


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