Colleagues express disappointment
It's a shame Votino will now be remembered for the harm he did, one coach said.
HERMITAGE, Pa. -- Some of Joe Votino's coaching peers expressed disappointment at the news that he has been accused of being sexually involved with some female students at Kennedy Christian High School.
"I'm a personal friend of Joe's. I'm very disappointed that it occurred," said Gary Revale, former head coach at Sharon High School.
"For those of us who work with kids every day, that was the wrong thing."
Votino has been charged with corrupting the morals of a minor.
"It's a terrible tragedy," said John Turco, head football coach at Kennedy Christian.
"I didn't have any idea what was going on," said Turco, adding he hasn't been around the school much this spring because he gave up his track coaching position there.
He doesn't teach at Kennedy but has been a teacher at The Rayen School in Youngstown for 23 years. Turco said he doesn't think the teachers at Kennedy knew anything was amiss, either.
Harm to reputation: "I'm very disappointed. I've known him [Votino] since high school," said Donald Andres, current head boys basketball coach at Reynolds High School.
Andres said he was head coach at Warren John F. Kennedy High School when Votino played for Kennedy Christian in the mid-1970s and that Votino gave him some insight into Pennsylvania high school basketball when he made the transition from coaching in Ohio to western Pennsylvania.
"He's a good boy. I feel badly. It's a shame that people are going to remember him for coaching and for other things -- a detractor of young people," Andres said.
Revale agreed that Votino will long be remembered for what he accomplished in the gym -- he led his Kennedy teams to six state PIAA titles, four of them in the last four years -- but added that what has happened will also stay with Votino forever.
"He has been punished and will be punished, and that's appropriate," Revale added.
Former player: "It's kind of a tough situation," said Ed Yoursh of Sharon, who played for Votino on Kennedy's 1986 and 1987 state championship teams.
"Joe is like a second father to me. I just feel bad for his family," Yoursh added. "I have more respect for that guy than anybody."
He explained that there was no indication of any improper behavior involving Votino while he was on the team.
"I hope people can remember him for what he did for the community and for people like me," Yoursh said.