Deb Gentile doesn't know quite what to do with herself.
Usually, early October is when Gentile is gearing up to coach her Wyoming girls' basketball team. But this year, for the first time in 28 seasons, Gentile will not be on the sidelines.
"I don't know what to say," Gentile said. "I'm still so devastatingly crushed by all this."
Gentile, 54, was fired as Wyoming coach in January. It was a messy, highly publicized dispute that boiled down to a confrontation between Gentile and a former player's parent.
Gentile has 479 career wins, including the 1996 Ohio Division III championship. Her name and reputation brought an outpouring of support from fellow coaches and former Wyoming players, but it was not enough to save her job.
A Wyoming player, Jackie Drachman, left the team last winter after some disagreements with Gentile. Drachman's father, David, allegedly made a threatening phone call to Gentile. Bottom line: Wyoming told Gentile she was through.
Gentile wound up filing a criminal complaint against David Drachman, who was acquitted in an April trial.
Gentile has a pending civil suit against Drachman and her former employers at Wyoming, including principal Annie Wade and athletic director Jim Barre. That issue probably won't be heard until sometime in 2007, with depositions still to be taken.
Angie Edmonds, a former Gentile assistant, is now the Wyoming girls' head coach.
Other coaches have called to ask Gentile to help them this season, including longtime friends Mary Jo Huismann (Mercy) and Paula Hayden (Sycamore).
"I may have her come to some of our games and evaluate our team, if she'll do it," Hayden said. "Just to have her eyes up there and help us make adjustments, she'd be great at that."
Gentile is not sure what she will do. She first wants to get her civil suit resolved. Her charges include age discrimination, sex discrimination and defamation of character.
Wyoming officials have withheld comment, other than a press release saying the defendants would contest Gentile's suit.
Gentile, when discussing the situation, inevitably gets tears in her eyes.
"I know it's going to be a long winter," she said, voice breaking. "It's been hard."
GOLF: Ursuline senior Kelsey Lindenschmidt, the area's top girls' golfer, has been named an HP Scholastic Junior All-American by the American Junior Golf Association. The team honors golfers who also excel in the classroom, and Lindenschmidt
carries a GPA of 4.605. Lindenschmidt shared medalist honors at last week's sectional, as she shot a 76 to help Ursuline win the team championship. Lindenschmidt was state runner-up last year.
BASEBALL: Dan Roberts, who coached Purcell Marian to the 2003 Ohio Division II baseball title, has been named coach at Northwest. Roberts went 61-34 in five years at Purcell but sought a change, as Purcell's enrollment has dropped it to Division III. Northwest plays in Division I.
SEMINAR: Clark Montessori will host its annual "Want To Play Sports In College?" seminar today (5-7 p.m.) at the school, 3030 Erie Ave. The free seminar includes advice from college coaches including Mount St. Joseph football coach Rod Huber and Cincinnati State AD/coach Gary McDaniel, and recruiting tips by NATIONAL Scouting Report representative Tom Greco.
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