NEWBURGH – Former Newburgh Free Academy boys’ basketball coach Frank Dinnocenzio, one of the faces of the class-cutting scandal that rocked the school district seven years ago, has applied for the job in hopes of returning to the bench.
Dinnocenzio was a key figure in Newburgh’s seven-month investigation into regular class cutting by the highly successful 2008-09 and 2009-10 Newburgh teams.
Four of six of Newburgh’s top players from those teams did not graduate on time. During the scandal, Dinnocenzio faced heavy criticism from the NAACP, local leaders and the community.
According to sources, Dinnocenzio, who teaches at NFA, will interview for the position this week.
Current NFA boys’ basketball coach Matt Brown will also interview in hopes of remaining at the helm. Brown took over for Dinnocenzio in 2012 after he was not retained by the school board.
Dinnocenzio is soliciting support during his bid to return as coach. In an email he recently sent out en masse to friends and supporters, Dinnocenzio wrote: “I am applying for the Newburgh Enlarged City School District Boys Varsity Basketball Head Coaching job. I am trying to make a comeback as the coach and I am asking you to write in as a reference for me, talking about what you know of me as a person and coach (if you cannot describe me as a coach, please give me a reference as what you know of me as a person).”
Dinnocenzio added: “If you could please e-mail the reference as soon as possible that would be appreciated. I cannot express the importance of your reference and how much it would mean to me.”
In his email, Dinnoncenzio instructed supporters to send the letters of recommendation to Newburgh Superintendent Dr. Roberto Padilla, Athletic Director Edgar Glascott and School Board President Phil Howard. The former coach provided email addresses for all three administrators.