NEW PROVIDENCE, NJ – First-year varsity football head coach Mitch Goodstein submitted his letter of resignation last Thursday to superintendent Dave Miceli.
According to an email sent to several football families that included the resignation letter, Goodstein cited his “diminished authority" as head football coach for his main reason to resign.
“The district has the right to hire and fire who they wish and that is their prerogative,” Goodstein said. “I also have the right to express my feelings to the administration and not stand for being micro managed. With the above statement being said, I resign effective immediately as head football coach of the New Providence Pioneers."
At the center of Goodstein’s resignation is his inability to hire certain assistant coaches to his staff. According to a New Providence football parent, assistant coaches Bob Romeo and Mike Kuchar were not returning to their positions next year, leaving two openings on the 2017 coaching staff.
The source said Goodstein attempted to fill the two open positions with coaches from outside the district, but those hirings were met with criticism from district administrators because “he did not go through the proper channels of Board hiring procedures.”
Goodstein said in his resignation letter that he should have the authority to hire coaches that “benefit the greater well-being of the program.”
“These men were not in a position to take over the program, just to add input and expertise when needed,” Goodstein said of the potential new assistants. “I am the one that asked these men to come on staff and it was my decision to do so. I need not worry what the perception is on the outside, my only concerned is what their abilities are as coaches. Regardless of their age.”
Goodstein also accuses the district’s administration of forcing certain personnel decisions on him, while also keeping other district employees “on pins and needles and have them fear that if they question authority, they will be terminated.”
Goodstein said he felt “second guessed” by members of the district’s administration, despite his long-standing relationship with the program as a fan, player and coach dating back to the 1970s.
“I have seen all the ups and downs of the program and I currently see where it is headed,” Goodstein said. “There is no one more dedicated and has a passion for New Providence football than myself. I took this position to lead and revive this program because I did not like the direction that is was going. I did what I thought was best for the program.”
New Providence athletic director Rocco Constantino offered no comment on Goodstein’s resignation when reached through a text message on Monday night.
Messages sent to Goodstein’s district email account were returned with a “failure to deliver” message.
Goodstein was hired last February in replace of former head coach Joe Carollo who parted ways with the department in January 2016. The Pioneers went 1-9 in Goodstein’s only year as head coach, missing the state tournament for the first time since Frank Bottone was the head coach.
According to several sources, the search for New Providence’s fifth varsity football coach in program history has already started, with an internal job posting to current members of the district staff. Former head coach and current assistant Art Cattano has been named the interim head coach. Cattano will oversee player registrations for this season until a permanent coach has been hired.
Check back in with TAPinto New Providence for more information on this story throughout the coming weeks.