October 17 - Rich Davila, who served as Patriot’s junior varsity coach this past spring, spoke during the public session at last night’s PWCS School Board Meeting in Manassas.
Davila emphasized to the school board that he was speaking to defend former Pioneers coach Josh Steinberg and not to criticize the handling of the situation by the school’s principal, Mike Bishop, and director of student activities, Brad Qualls.
“When I heard of Josh’s dismissal, my first thought was both of my boys and how I was going to explain to them that you can be better than just about everyone in your field, earning multiple coach of the year honors, be a credit to your school and community, treat everyone - from parents to umpires to opposing coaches and players - with the utmost respect, and still get fired for such petty things as weeds on the warning track … and not attending a booster club meeting.”
Steinberg was dismissed on Sept. 18, ending a four-year tenure that included a 67-24 record and two league championships. He led the Pioneers to the 6A state tournament in 2017, when he was named the 6A North Region Coach of the Year. He’s also been named his league’s coach of the year twice.
Davila’s motivation in attending the meeting and speaking centered around his two sons, his youngest of whom will attend Patriot next year and hopes to play for the Pioneers’ program. Many current Patriot parents reached by the magazine have stated they are hesitant to speak publicly about the situation for fear it could be held against their sons by administration or the next coach.
That’s not the case with Davila, who remains outspoken in his displeasure of Steinberg’s ouster.
“I’m here for my sons, one who graduated from Patriot High School this past year, and one who is an eighth grader at Marsteller Middle School,” Davila said. “I have taught my sons to stand up and be heard when you seen an injustice being done, so here I am. Josh is a great educator and coach, as both my sons will tell you. My oldest took his economics class and loved every minute of a very dry subject. And my youngest is coached by Josh on his travel baseball team, and I’m sure some will think this is the reason that I support Josh, to get better playing time for my boy. My boy plays what he earns, and that’s why I support Coach Josh.”
As he concluded his remarks, Davila left the school board with the following statement: “‘Whenever you have a chance to make things better, and you don’t, you’re wasting your time on this earth’. That’s my favorite quote spoken by Hall of Fame player Roberto Clemente.
“I couldn’t stand by without being heard. Coach deserved better than what he got.”
Photo and video courtesy of PWCS