The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

Local News

March 1, 2014

Participation of former Lakeside wrestling coach in state tournament has fur flying

Superintendent takes action - Jerry Brady sits in stands Friday

ASHTABULA — The Ashtabula Area City School District took action Friday to keep former Lakeside coach Jerry Brady away from the state wrestling tournament.

Brady, who was fired Feb. 10, was on the mat coaching Thursday at Ohio State University’s Value City Arena in Columbus. Brady said he joined his brother, Jim Brady, who was named head coach after he was fired, because the wrestlers wanted him to be there.

Superintendent Patrick Colucci said no one knew Jerry Brady was going to do this.

“No school official knew about this and as soon as we found out, we took measures to make sure it won’t happen again,” Colucci said. “He was immediately notified.”

Jerry Brady was not in the competition area on Friday.

The school board unanimously fired Brady as Lakeside’s wrestling coach, following Colucci’s recommendation to terminate him.

Brady was accused of standing by as a 17-year-old wrestler assaulted a 16-year-old student outside Lakeside Junior High School on Jan. 21. The fight, captured on the school’s security tape, started over a wrestling bag. Colucci has said he reviewed the tape before making his decision.

Ashtabula County Prosecutor Nick Iarocci charged Jerry Brady with two counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

Lakeside’s wrestlers at the state tournament will not be penalized for Jerry Brady’s actions, said Tim Stried of the Ohio High School Athletic Association (OHSAA).

“It’s primarily an issue for the school district,” he said.

The OHSAA did not know Jerry Brady was no longer with the Ashtabula Area City School District, or that he’s been charged with the misdemeanors, he said.

“Often a handful of coaches come with a team,” Stried said.

The father of the 16-year-old assault victim said Friday moving Brady’s brother to the head coaching position after he was fired was a mistake.

“Apparently (firing him) wasn’t clear enough. It’s ridiculous! We all kind of knew he was going to be there, but he was on the mat coaching the participants,” the father said. “It’s totally unacceptable.”

Colucci said Jim Brady was the assistant coach.

“We followed protocol,” he said. “We moved the assistant coach to the head coaching position.”

School board member Julie Petros said he got some calls about it.

“We knew nothing about it,” he said.

Fellow board members Alfred DeCato and Kim George said they didn’t know about Brady’s actions until they read the Star Beacon.

“I always go to sports first,” George said. “Then I thought, “Oh no ...”

George said she’s confident Colucci has taken measures to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

In response to Jerry Brady’s comments to the Star Beacon at the tournament Thursday night — “(The wrestlers) wanted me to be here and be part of this. I had to be here” — the victim’s father said he bets the young woman who’s in jail and accused of driving gunmen to Hiawatha Avenue would like to go home and be part of her children’s lives.

He said, “I bet her kids would like her to be there, too.”

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