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After going winless in its first season back in CHSAA Brooklyn/Queens Division I, Bishop Loughlin has fired head girls basketball coach Rocco Romano,
Romano, who completed his second season last month at the Fort Greene school, confirmed that athletic director Angela Proce called him with the news on April 23. Proce didn’t return multiple calls that night.
“I think it was a culmination of a bunch of things,” Romano said.
He said he felt getting let go was a possibility right after the 0-16 season. Star Tayshana (Chicken) Murphy got into a fight during a boys game at the school and left to enroll at St. Michael Academy upon the threat of disciplinary action. The Lions seniors left the team early in the year after a disagreement with Romano. But he thought that if the ax was going to fall, it would have happened earlier.
“I thought it might have a chance to happen, but once it got to this point I wasn’t expecting it,” Romano said.
He said he believes assistant coach Kasim Alston will retain his job and sources said he could also be a candidate for the head coaching position.
The timing of the firing doesn’t have anything to do with the situation involving St. Mike’s closing and coach Apache Paschall looking to bring his players to a new school. Paschall, a friend of Alston’s, told The Post on Friday night that he didn’t even know Romano had been let go. Paschall said if Loughlin was interested in bringing him and his kids in, he would listen and that he has four other schools – two in The Bronx and two others either in Brooklyn or Queens – that could take them.
“I’m gonna listen to everybody,” Paschall said. “Geographically, the kids I got, [being in Brooklyn] makes it easier. But there’s a lot of details that gotta be worked out quick.”
Paschall said he plans on deciding on a new destination by May 3. As for Romano, he will have to follow his former players from afar. Loughlin went to the Brooklyn/Queens Division II championship game in 2008-09, but the transition to a stacked Division I was not an easy one. Compound that with the loss of his seniors and Murphy and it really could not have gone any worse.
“This was a rough year,” Romano said. “I appreciate my time at Loughlin. They were looking to go in a different direction. We had a different vision. I can’t say a bad thing about the school. They made me feel welcome while I was there.”
©2010 Community Newspaper Group
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