Wall seeks new head coach to restart football program embroiled in hazing

Wall High School is looking for someone new to lead the soccer team after being derailed last season by high-profile hazing that led to the cancellation of final games.

A job posting posted Friday makes no mention of the ongoing saga that has led to the suspension of three football coaches and the athletic director this past fall, and criminal charges against several Wall High School students this month.

“Wall High School seeks an experienced Head Varsity Football Coach to build on a history of success,” reads the ad on the district’s website, NJ School Jobs and other education job boards.

The ad praised the public school’s reputation and location.

“Wall High School is a highly regarded public high school with approximately 1000 students. Located in southern Monmouth County, the school is easily accessible via Garden State Parkway, I-195/138, Route 18 and Route 35,” the ad reads.

It does not detail a salary range for the new coach or a start date for taking over from the Crimson Knights varsity football program.

Some in Wall had wondered whether the district planned to start a soccer team next fall or whether school officials were delaying a decision and unfairly ignoring players.

Earlier this month, several Wall High School students were charged with hazing and sex offenses in connection with the alleged attacks in the football team’s locker room in September and October.

A video reportedly showing part of one of the attacks involved four teens holding a student in the air and trying to spread his legs, according to an NJ Advance Media story about one of several videos circulating of the alleged attacks on the locker rooms. In the video, another person appears to poke the alleged victim in the buttocks with a broomstick after he broke free and fell to the ground.

School district officials have not publicly discussed the status of head coach Tony Grandinetti, who has led Wall’s football program since 2017. In 2020, the team had a 7-0 record and was ranked No. 1 on the NJ.com Football Top 20. Grandinetti, who also serves as a business teacher in the district, has not publicly responded to the allegations of hazing or his future.

District officials have said little about whether Grandinetti and his staff knew about the alleged hazing, why the three unnamed coaches were suspended or what their job status was.

“The Board of Education has taken no action regarding staff in the district,” Board of Education secretary Brian Smyth said earlier this month in response to a question about the status of the suspended coaches.

At a Wall school board meeting last week, the father of a sophomore football player told school administrators that the fall season could be a disaster if the district didn’t allow coaching staff to begin conditioning the players and other off-season preparations. to prepare for the match. team.

“February is late and March is going to be a disaster,” said Chris Rogers, the student’s father who is also a teacher and soccer coach. “They need certainty that their season will start as soon as possible. Otherwise you will lose my son.”

The criminal charges against the students accused in the hazing case will be heard in the Superior Court of Monmouth County’s Family Division and the proceedings are expected to be closed to the public because they are minors.

Last week, a lawyer for some of the alleged hazing victims said he has already filed a tort report to begin the process of filing a lawsuit against the school district.

Staff Writers Matthew Stanmyre and Steve Strunsky contributed to this report.

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Kelly Heyboer can be reached at: kheyboer@njadvancemedia.com.

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