ALIQUIPPA, Pa. — A longtime football coach in Beaver County has been voted out.
"It's a shame the school board did to him what they did based upon how he really gave his heart and soul to this program and the school district,” said Jim Frederick, who spoke on Zmijanac’s behalf.
There was strong reaction in Aliquippa after the school board voted 7 to 2 to replace beloved hall of fame high school coach Zmijanac.
The head football coach had an impressive record at Aliquippa High School during his 21 seasons.
Under his leadership, the team earned 237 wins and 36 losses.
They won six WPIAL titles and a state championship.
But some school board members say it wasn't enough and he prevented his players from future professional success on and off the field.
"He didn't do enough for kids. These kids were D1 kids. D1 athletes. Only to end up on the corner!" said Aliquippa School Board member the Rev. Ezra Lowe.
Those that knew coach Zmijanac said otherwise.
"I wouldn't be any place else on a Friday night because of coach and the type of program he's built. The type of respect he has and the type of kids that leave this program better than when they came in,” Frederick said.
Zmijanac had little to say about the decision, but that he respected it.
"The school board should always do what they think is best for the school and the kids and the program and that's obviously what they did,” he said.
Meantime, parents are left wondering what will happen next.
"I feel like it's gonna be hard to fill his shoes…So good luck!" a mother said.
Zmijanac’s contract is up June 30.
The superintendent said he had no comment
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