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Parents Protest Popular Section 1 Varsity Coach's Firing

Mike Oliva.
Mike Oliva. Photo Credit: Iona Prep

ROCKLAND COUNTY, N.Y. - The firing of a popular Pearl River high school coach has led to a vociferous outcry from parents.

The community has come together in support of former football and baseball coach Mike Oliva, who was surprisingly let go by the school district late last month after leading the Pirates a sectional baseball title.

At the latest Pearl River school board meeting, parents packed the room in support of Olivia, who was told his contract would not be renewed last month.

School officials could not immediately be reached for comment on Thursday.

“Coaching positions are year-to-year appointments,” Pearl River Athletic Director Todd Santabarbara wrote in an email to parents announcing the change in leadership last month.

A former Iona Preparatory athlete and varsity football coach at Irvington High School, Oliva coached the baseball team in Pearl River for four years, and the football team for the last three.

The Section 1 title in baseball was the school’s first in that sport in more than three decades.

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