Darin Eggleston was appointed by the Granville Board of Education on March 14 to be the head coach of the Granville-Whitehall varsity football program for the 2022-23 fall season, pending the approval of the Whitehall Board of Education on March 21.
Eggleston served as head coach for the Railroaders’ junior varsity program last fall.
Although Eggleston declined an interview with NYVTmedia until the appointment was made official by the Whitehall board, he provided information on his coaching and teaching history.
“I have been the assistant varsity coach here (in Whitehall) since 2018,” he said on March 15. “Last year I actually took over this program but it ended up being junior varsity due to younger players.
“I’ve been coaching football since 2004. I started in Hudson Falls and then my teaching job took me to Ticonderoga. I came back here (to Whitehall) in 2018 to get back to my hometown teaching and coaching.”
Granville athletic director Justin Nassivera said that of the four applicants for the position, three were interviewed by the committee of Nassivera, Granville superintendent Tom McGurl, Whitehall superintendent Patrick Dee and Whitehall athletic director Keith Redmond.
Nassivera said the group was impressed most by the excitement generated by Eggleston.
“Throughout the interview process, Darin was one of the candidates that we looked at carefully, Mr. McGurl, Mr. Dee, Mr. Redmond and myself. Darin was the name that came forward, he’ll do a good job with the team,” Nassivera said on March 14 after the board meeting.
“He is very energetic,” Nasivera added. “When we talked during the interview process, he was fired up and ready to go and like I said, he brings a lot of energy and I think that will transfer over to the kids going forward.”
Nassivera said no “formal” conversations were held with potential or committed football players for this upcoming fall on what they are looking for in a coach, but side conversations did occur.
“I think the kids will be fired up for him,” Nassivera said.
Nassivera spoke on the process going forward in terms of building the coaching staff and making the appointment of Eggleston official.
“So obviously, Darin has to go to Whitehall’s board, they’re meeting Monday night. I would expect that’s going to get approved. Then him, myself and Mr. Redmond will sit down and look for assistant coaches and see if there’s anybody looking to join the staff and we’ll get going,” Nassivera said.
“I know their guys have been in the weight room, I’ve been opening up the weight room for our football players, so the guys are ready to go. We’ll piece together a staff from here and we’ll be ready to go. Uniforms are getting ordered, we haven’t really put out any sneak peaks yet but some of our boys have seen them and they are pretty excited.”
The football program cost will be equally shared with Whitehall, according to the Granville board.
In the public comment session just before the decision to appoint Eggleston was made by the board as a part of the personnel consent agenda, Granville coach Benjamin Hover asked if it would be appropriate to speak with the board in executive session in regard to “certain concerns with coaches, parents and certain individuals.”
Following an executive session lasting more than an hour, McGurl asked, going forward, for the board to consider the parameters and “why” the district would want to pursue a sports merger.
“I think that as we are approached for more and more mergers, or if we consider more mergers, that it would be good for the board to have a conversation of why are merging, what is our goal for merging.
“Basically, you charged us as administrators, myself and the athletic director, with going out seeking mergers. We need some parameters to work off of that,” McGurl said. “Do you want us to find mergers with whoever? Do you want mergers that it’s going to keep a team alive that we don’t have numbers for? We need to know some kind of parameters because we can make any of that happen.
“What I don’t want to do is start down a conversation with other schools to create mergers and have unanticipated issues later on and have other schools get excited about mergers and we say we’re not in anymore.”
Board member Michelle O’Brien asked McGurl if these parameters would be constructed by the board’s athletic subcommittee or by all members of the board.
McGurl differentiated that for general-purpose or goal-setting, a merger should be discussed with the entire board. However, a specific sports merger should be discussed in the subcommittee.
McGurl, O’Brien, board members Connor Hoagland, Mario Torres, Ed Vladyka, John Troy and board president Audrey Hicks all chimed in with elements to consider for future mergers, listing the number of participants for the sport, competitiveness in terms of wins and losses, geography, the opportunity to excel, the lessons to be learned by playing the sport, and finances.
“I was in athletics all of my life,” Troy said. “Don’t get me wrong, everyone wants to win. But more important is what they learn from playing. We need to do whatever we can to see as many Granville kids participating as possible. We may never be a state champion, but the life lessons you learn from sports, somebody’s going to win and somebody’s going to lose. It’s just a fact of life.”
Two merger requests for the 2022-23 fall season between Granville and Whitehall were proposed to the board following the discussion, with cheer and volleyball mentioned.
Cheer would see Granville participants going to Whitehall’s program and Whitehall student-athletes joining the Granville volleyball program.
No official decision was made, but an athletic committee meeting will take place before Granville’s second budget workshop meeting on March 28. A decision is expected that night with the deadline for merger paperwork to be submitted by April 1.
If approved by both boards, cheer and volleyball would join the active mergers in boys and girls cross-country, football and boys soccer between Granville and Whitehall.