Nazario Finds Himself In HS Football Limbo
In the summer of 2003, Victor Nazario was the best and last hope to coach the Beach Channel varsity football team. The program was in danger of being terminated if the school, who relieved former head coach Marty Senall, could not find a head coach before the start of the fall season.
With little time and preparation, Nazario took the interim job and made the most of it. He helped lead the Dolphins into the 2003 PSAL playoffs but with a young and inexperienced team, fell to 1-7 in 2004.
As the coach returned to the sidelines for spring practice, Nazario heard some bad news. Senall had fired a grievance against the Department of Education two years ago for an allegation at an unnamed football player that led to his termination.
“We settled the case,” Department of Education spokeswoman Alicia Maxey told the Wave. When asked for further details of the settlement, the Department of Ed refused to comment.
With the grievance recently being settled, Nazario heard in mid-May that Senall has the right to ask for his job back. And there is nothing the Beach Channel Physical Education teacher told the Wave that he could do to fight it. “It caught me off guard the way the Department of Education put this case off,” Nazario said.
“But it didn’t surprise me. Very few things surprise me anymore. I called our representative David Pecoraro (United Federation of Teachers’ School Representative) and I asked him what avenues I can take. He says there is nothing I can do.”
Senall has seniority rights and has to notify Beach Channel before the end of the calendar school year on June 28. If he declines to take the football job, Nazario will remain the head coach.
“I want to coach. I don’t understand his rational or thinking. He has had the opportunity to coach for 25 years. If he has been blessed to coach for that long, I want to get that chance. We’re both caught in an awkward situation. It’s frustrating.”
When the rumors percolated throughout the team of the possible job change, Nazario quickly alerted the players and coaching staff on the news. Assistant coach Steve Goldman, who was a longtime member of Senall’s staff, is also caught in the middle.
“I am grateful to Goldman. I could have not have had the opportunity to coach without his help,” Nazario said.
Nazario does not expect to talk to Senall about the coaching job. But as the time ticks down to the end of June, Nazario just wants to return on the sidelines when the football season starts in September.
“I want to coach. I’m a community guy. I’m there in the classroom,” Nazario says. “I’m there in the streets. I want to make a difference in these kids’ lives.”