Trinity Area School District reaches settlement

February 21, 2014
Jim McNutt/Observer-Reporter ¬ Ed Dalton, head coach of the McGuffey High School football team taken on July 30, 2013.

A nearly four-yearlong dispute between Trinity Area School District and former athletic director and head football coach Ed Dalton has been settled.

Dalton will receive $50,000, according to the terms of the settlement.

“We are very happy to have it settled and to be moving on from that situation,” said school board President Jennifer Morgan. “I’m going on my third year on the board and this has just kind of been lingering.”

The school board voted unanimously at its regular meeting Thursday to approve the settlement.

Dalton, who started coaching at Trinity since 1999, filed a lawsuit against the district in 2010, claiming a breach of an oral 3-year employment contract.

Initially, Dalton sought reinstatement as Trinity’s athletic director and damages in excess of $100,000.

The dispute began in December 2009, when a newly elected school board opened Dalton’s job as athletic director and also opened all fall varsity head coaching positions. Those decisions were rescinded at the January meeting.

Months later, Dalton was transferred from athletic director to teacher.

He remained at Trinity as a teacher and football coach until he was hired by McGuffey School District in 2012 to serve as athletic director and head football coach.

Dalton declined to comment on the settlement.

Previous attempts to resolve the lawsuit were unsuccessful.

Neither side admits wrongdoing under the terms of the settlement.

Karen Mansfield is an award-winning journalist and mom of five who has been a staff writer for the Observer-Reporter since 1988. She enjoys reading, the Pittsburgh Steelers, a good glass of wine and nice people.

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