Parents of player in Columbiana call for firing of girls basketball coach

COLUMBIANA, Ohio (WYTV) – Two Columbiana parents are upset with how a coach treated their daughter, feeling it was way past the normal coach-player dynamic.

The parents have already taken the girl off the team and they want the coach to be gone, too.

Rob Hall had enough while watching Clippers coach Ron Moschella interact with his daughter during Monday night’s loss to Struthers. Tuesday night, he told the school board about it.

“She was coming off the court and Coach Mos grabbed her by the arm and told her to get on the bench, gave her a push in the back and it happened twice,” Moschella said.

Hall was in the stands watching the game, and he was getting text messages from friends that were watching on TV because it was the WKBN Game of the Week.

“Made the comment that I can’t believe you are just sitting there letting that happen. If it was my daughter, I’d be down there on the floor,” Hall said about the texts he was receiving.

Hall presented his concerns with Coach Moschella to the athletic director, principal, superintendent, and board of education. The school board said they would not comment on the complaint but would take everything Hall said into consideration.

Superintendent Don Mook told First News he could not comment since the district was investigating the complaint.

Hall also handed the board a letter from his wife Casey. One section explained her entire summation, “I will not let this go until Ron Moschella either resigns or is fired.”

“It’s just not right for a 17-year-old girl to be disrespected by a coach who should be a leader and a mentor. A 17-year-old should not be worried about her wellbeing while going to play basketball with her friends,” Rob Hall said.

Some of Moschella’s former athletes did speak out in support of their former coach.

Jessi Moore, a 2005 Boardman graduate, played under Coach Moschella for three years at Boardman and was part of the 2005 team that went to the State Final Four. She said Moschella has been a big part of her life and helped her become the Federal League Player of the Year in high school.

She did say that he’s a demanding coach with high expectations or his players.

“Coach Moschella had higher expectations for me than I had for myself, and saw potential that I didn’t see. On senior night, Coach Moschella hand writes letters to the girls and reads them to them, and I think it’s the most special memory I’ll ever have of that team, of that coach,” she said. “Because it wasn’t, he wasn’t a coach, he was like a father figure. It’s not just one side. It’s not just him yelling. It’s where all that comes from. His place of truly caring about the success of the team, the success of every single person on that team as an individual. I’ve never seen somebody so invested in coaching, and invested in the lives of the players they coach.”

First News reached out to Coach Moschella and left a message, offering him a chance to respond. We’ll report what he has to say when and if he chooses to say anything about the allegations.

The controversy is happening at an interesting point in the season. Columbiana has won 20 of 22 games, and its next game will be in the state tournament.