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Penn Hills football coach suspended for 'smoke bomb' during championship game

PENN HILLS, Pa. — The Penn Hills head football coach will be suspended at the beginning of next season because of an incident that happened during last year's championship game.

According to our news partners at, the WPIAL voted to uphold the one-game suspension against Jon LeDonne.

The WPIAL board of directors asked for the suspension after someone set off a smoke bomb on either the sidelines or the stands during the 5A Championship game.

The smoke stretched the length of the field at Norwin High School's stadium before Penn Hills faced West Allegheny.


The Penn Hills administration appealed the decision handed down last month and a hearing was scheduled.

Monday, the WPIAL heard the appeal, but rejected the request to change the punishment.

The WPIAL decision includes:

  • a one-game suspension
  • sportsmanship education class for the football coaching staff
  • a one-year probation for the football program
  • censure of the administration and football staff

The administration felt it wasn't LeDonne's fault and proposed an alternate punishment for the students responsible.

WPIAL board members questioned how seriously the administrators took the incident, saying it was a suspendable offense, but nothing was done.

LeDonne said the two student athletes were punished at practice.

The vote was unanimous. Penn Hills can still appeal the PIAA.