(Following is the text of a letter from Mike Gurski to Shamokin Area School District Superintendent James Zack withdrawing Gurski as a candidate for the district's vacant football head coaching position.)

Mr. Zack,

Please accept this letter as confirmation of withdrawal of my coaching application submitted to the district for the varsity football coaching vacancy. Following the initial interview process, I have observed actions by several members of the board of directors which are indicative of deeper political issues, and are not supportive of a cohesive effort to build the football program I envision for the student athletes at Shamokin Area. This decision to withdraw has been a difficult one for me, but the culture, which currently exists, is concerning and representative of an unwillingness to work together to further

develop and foster the growth of the program. Over the past 16 years of my coaching career, I have been involved in many situations where difficult decisions must be made, many of which are for the better of the team and not the individual. I am withdrawing my application because I do not feel these guiding principals currently exist, including that of teamwork, patience and trust of one another.

Furthermore, I would like to thank you for the opportunity you have afforded me in the past to be a part of the lives of the student athletes who represent the district with pride and dedication to their school and their team. I have valued the professionalism and the support, most specifically of that which has existed by the administration, including the superintendent, Mr. Zack, the athletic director, Mr. Kashner, and the high school principal, Mr. Venna. The effort of these individuals has helped to build a relationship that I both value and respect. I will continue to support the young men in your football program in their endeavors both on and off the field. Under different circumstances, I would welcome the opportunity to continue to develop the Shamokin Area football program, however, is is my opinion that, at this time, the best interests of the team have been list in battles, which appear to be personal in nature.


Michael F. Gurski