A for Athlete
Advertisement

Background[]

  • Was a girls high school basketball coach in the WPIAL at West Mifflin until 2011.

Insights[]

Media[]

Source, Mary Niederberger, Pittsburgh Post-GazetteWest Mifflin Area girls basketball coach Phil Shar is about to lose is his job for the third time, this time due to an arbitrator's ruling. Mr. Shar had been the district's longtime successful girls varsity coach when he was fired by the school board in June 2009 by 5-4 vote after his contract was opened by former superintendent Patrick Risha. Mr. Risha opened Mr. Shar's contract after Mr. Shar made negative comments about the former superintendent, who died in October, to newspaper reporters. In June 2009, the board replaced Mr. Shar with one of his assistants, Mindy McClelland, a special education teacher. Mr. Shar then ran a write-in campaign for school board and won. In May 2010, a new board majority voted to reinstate him as coach. Shortly after that vote, the teachers union filed a grievance contending that it violated the state School Code to have a school director employed by the district. Mr. Shar took the job as a volunteer, accepting no pay, contending that he was not an employee. However, superintendent Janet Sardon upheld the union grievance and dismissed Mr. Shar again. But a month later, the board rehired Mr. Shar, which prompted the union to take the matter to arbitration. After a Jan. 11 hearing, arbitrator Elliot Newman ruled that it was a violation of section 324 of the School Code for Mr. Shar to be a school director and coach, solicitor Jack Cambest said at last night's board meeting. The arbitrator ruled that Mr. Shar be removed and that Ms. McClelland be paid $8,024 &emdash; the amount she lost by not coaching during the 2010-2011 season, Mr. Cambest said. Mr. Shar said he was angry with the district because the attorney hired to handle the arbitration did not present an oral defense for him at the hearing. Mr. Cambest said Mr. Shar's personal attorney, George Gobel, presented Mr. Shar's defense -- that he was not an employee because he did not accept any pay. Mr. Cambest said the district's attorney, J.R. Hall, made the same argument in a written brief filed after the hearing. Mr. Shar said he does not plan to resign from the board. As a result, Mr. Cambest said the board will be asked to vote on a motion next week to either relieve Mr. Shar of coaching duties or to open the position for others to apply.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/11070/1131184-100.stm#ixzz1GIVpyo6L

Advertisement