By Steve Ruman
The Girard Board of Education on Wednesday hired a new athletic director.
Now the school district must begin a search for a new high school football coach.
At its monthly meeting on Wednesday, the Girard board approved a recommendation by superintendent David Cappuzzello to hire Nick Cochran as the district’s athletic director. Cochran will replace Joseph Cappuzzello, who is stepping down after serving the district for 39 years.
Cochran has coached the Girard High football team for the past four years. However, district policy does not permit employees to serve as both an administrator and coach. The athletic director job is an administrative position.
In four years with the Indians, Cochran posted a 24-19 record. In 2011 he guided Girard to an 11-2 finish and a trip to the regional title game.
Prior to 2010, Cochran served as the Indians’ offensive coordinator. He is a Girard graduate, and was a multi-star athlete at the school.
Cochran will officially step down as coach on June 30. He will assume the role as athletic director on July 1.
Cochran was one of six candidates interviewed for the position.
“It is very, very tough to see Nick step down as coach,” said David Cappuzzello. “The program will certainly miss his influence and his knowledge of the game. He has an unbelievable knack of getting the most out of athletes.
“The bottom line is that Nick was simply the best choice. His vision and planning will make him a perfect individual to run our athletic program. Now he has the opportunity to influence so many more Girard athletes.”
While he doesn’t officially assume his new role for another four months, Cochran will work closely with Joseph Cappuzzello throughout the remainder of the school year — including helping in the process to find his replacement. David Cappuzzello said that in addition to hiring a football coach, the athletic department must hire coaches for girls soccer and boys golf.
“Everyone involved felt that by making the hire now, Nick could work closely with Joe for the next few months and it would make for a very smooth transition,” David Cappuzzello said. “With Nick’s background in football and given the fact that he will be the future AD, it only makes sense that he will have a big say in the future of the football program.”
Cappuzzello said he expects the football coaching position to be posted both within and outside of the district next week.