PURCHASE LINE — The Purchase Line school directors avoided a potential controversy Monday when they decided to table the motion to open the position of girls’ basketball coach now held by Rebecca Hudak.
Hudak, who attended the meeting, received a strong show of support by fellow Purchase Line coaches as well as several players during the regular meeting at the high school.
“I am confident you will not find a candidate that is the best candidate for the job but me,” Hudak said during opening public comments.
She argued that opening the position now would put all plans for a summer basketball schedule on hold, which would be detrimental to the players.
She explained that she feels her coaching has “made a significant difference on all levels despite the concerns of a few parents.”
Hudak’s appearance follows complaints made by district parents during a work session meeting held on April 7. Parents had questioned her coaching style, claiming Hudak had made inappropriate comments during a game against Saltsburg and was responsible for a season that included several losses.
“Rebecca Hudak is someone who sincerely cares about our entire program, and she has nothing personal to gain from her position,” said Scott Layden, who coaches the third-grade girls’ basketball team and whose daughter plays basketball at the elementary level.
“It would be in the best interest of the entire girls’ basketball program to not open up this position and to hire coach Hudak as quickly as possible,” said Kelley Goss, assistant girls’ basketball coach. “I think it’s time we all start playing on the same team again to overcome our differences.”
“I have confidence in the board and the administration that they will make the right decision toward the future of Purchase Line,” Hudak said following the meeting and the decision to table the motion. She also showed her gratitude toward the individuals who came out in support of her, saying, “They’re good people.
“I asked them if they would come and support me. I felt at this time I had to present myself as if I was being interviewed for the position again, and I needed my reference letters.”
Board President Mary Ann Pittman said the decision on who will continue in the position of coach will be determined at a future meeting. She denied that the show of support for Hudak affected the board’s decision, saying the decision to table the motion had been predetermined.
In other business, the board approved accepting the bid of BCS Construction Inc. to paint the glazed tile walls of the cafeteria for $5,214 and supply and install two exterior doors for $11,984. BCS had also placed bids to install new flooring and wall base and hang drywall and paint the walls of the cafeteria as well as provide tiling for all hallways, but the board declined those bids.
Board member James Stiffler commented that if the board had approved all options, they would never have to worry about the cafeteria for the future. “We are going to touch that space again by not doing those other items.”
Additionally, the board approved:
• Awarding a contract to ATT Sports, Inc. for track resurfacing at a cost of $76,675 plus $50 per square yard for any additional broken or failed areas not previously identified and not included in the initial cost.
• The renewal of the athletic contracts for Brittany Brownlee, head cheerleading coach, at a salary of $2,000; and Steve Woodrow, head boys’ basketball coach, at a salary of $4,300.
• The proposal for a junior high track program beginning in the 2014-15 school year.
• To hire a cross-country coach at a salary of $2,000 for the 2014-15 school year.
• The retirement of Rhonda Shaffer as head cook.
• The retirement of secretary Susi Globen.
• Awarding a contract to RFI Energy, LP, for coal at $119.99 per ton.