Steinert rehires Brian Giallella as head baseball coach | Sports


HAMILTON — For the past two years, Brian Giallella had to endure controversy and hearsay while being sidelined from the job he loves as much as anything on earth.

Through it all, he never stopped wanting that job back.

And now he has it, as Giallella was approved at Monday night’s Hamilton Township Board of Education meeting to return as the Steinert High head baseball coach.

“I’m really relieved and I’m happy,” Giallella said. “It’s been a long two years and I put a lot of faith in our legal system. The one thing is, this isn’t really about me. This is about Steinert baseball and hopefully we’re gonna move forward, we can’t move back. I appreciate everything that everyone has done for me. This is my passion, this is what I enjoy doing and it’s a big weight off my shoulders.”

The weight was applied on Nov. 8, 2017, when Giallella was arrested at his Hamilton home after an incident with his then-girlfriend. Giallella was charged with misdemeanor assault, but the case never went to court as the charges were eventually dropped and his record expunged.

The public scrutiny became too much, however, and Giallella felt he was becoming a distraction to the program and stepped down on Feb. 3, 2018. He maintained his teaching position at Steinert, and pitching coach Rick Freeman took over as coach for the 2018-19 seasons.

But with the unwavering support of Principal Nate Webber and Athletic Director Steve Gazdek, Giallella’s name was sent to schools superintendent Scott Rocco this year, and Rocco approved it and submitted it to the board for a vote. Giallella was approved by an 8-1 count.

Yet he still understands that despite his record being cleared and the overwhelming board vote, there may still be some people who question his rehiring.

“I can’t worry about that,” Giallella said. “I’ve come to realize there’s a whole bunch of good people out there and I’m just happy the system works. I want to go forward and get back to coaching Steinert baseball. The past is the past. We’re just looking to turn something negative into something positive.”

The positive that he grasped on to during his two years away, was coaching his son Gavin’s team in the Nottingham Little League, while also serving as an assistant last summer for the NLL 12-year-old All-Star team.

“That was kind of the little blessing in disguise of something good coming out of something bad,” Giallella said. “I really enjoyed my two years at Nottingham. I had an opportunity to coach with some great guys, saw some great kids who wanted to play baseball just for the love of playing baseball, and I saw first-hand how a little league organization is solely run on volunteers and how it can work so well. I know we get a lot of those kids and I’m happy to say I think Steinert baseball will be good for a while going forward.”

Steinert has been one of Mercer’s best programs for the past 40 years under Ken Rauba, Rich Giallella (Brian’s father) and Brian Giallella. Prior to stepping down, Brian had amassed 402 wins during 17 years at Steinert, and 20 more in one season with Notre Dame.

Giallella did not see many Spartan games in person the past two springs, due to time restraints and the fact he did not want to be a distraction. He received constant updates, however, from Freeman and assistant coach Mike Hastings, who both teach at Steinert.

“For what Rick did stepping in, was outstanding,” Giallella said. “He’ll tell you he just really wants to be my pitching coach and come back in that role. He puts so much time and effort into what he does in the summer with Post 31, I just can’t thank him enough. I can’t thank all my assistants enough for what they did, basically coming into a tough situation and trying to maintain everything that was done for the prior 35 years.

“I will have to do is rely on them a lot. There’s only one player I coached (CJ Pittaro) and obviously I know what he can do. It’s the other guys. They’re the ones who are gonna have to show me and the coaches will have to help me. And that’s a good thing.”

Giallella was not the only baseball coach approved Monday, as Charlie Iacano was confirmed as the new head man at Nottingham. Iacano takes over for Jim Maher and brings head coaching experience with him as he previously led the Hightstown High program.

Follow Rich Fisher on twitter @fish4scores



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