With the fall sports season at the halfway point and the winter sports season fast approaching, the South Portland school board was scheduled to hold a special meeting Tuesday evening in hopes of hiring a boys varsity basketball coach.

Last year’s assistant coach Phil Conley has had his named placed into consideration by Superintendent Suzanne Godin to take over for longtime varsity coach Tony DiBiase, whose contract was not renewed. Conley is one of 11 appointments being recommended by Godin for high school coaching positions.

If Conley is appointed, it will end a controversial situation where DiBiase was removed from the coaching position and the school board refused to accept the superintendent’s first selection for a replacement.

Published reports indicate that Conley will be appointed by the board as the Red Riots new coach. His previous seasons as an assistant coach under DiBiase and his familiarity with the South Portland program seem to be the major reasons why he is a preferable choice over Tim Farrar – a Fort Kent basketball coach whose appointment was rejected by the school board on Sept. 10.

“I think that the process that the board took in dealing with the situation was the best approach,” said school board member James Gilboy on Tuesday morning. “Board members need to have questions answered when we have parents calling us with concerns. The board did the right thing. It followed the steps and heard everyone’s concerns. It did not rush to judgment.”

The meeting is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Tuesday in the high school library. For a complete story from the meeting, see www.keepMEcurrent.com.

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