March 3, 2011
Castleton State coach forced to resign
By Tom Haley
Rutland (Vt.) Herald
|Rich Alercio was asked to step
Rutland Herald photo
It seemed to be a honeymoon that would not end. Now, has ended
in the worst possible way: Divorce. Rich Alercio has resigned as
head football coach at Castleton State College following an
internal investigation of an incident in which Alercio was alleged
to have violated NCAA rules by arranging a contact which led to a
significant benefit for an athlete.
The extra benefit was a series of three loans that were
co-signed or endorsed by a part-time employee of the college. The
loans totaled approximately $22,000 over a two-year period.
Castleton State President David Wolk accepted Alercio's
resignation and promoted defensive coordinator Marc Klatt to the
head coaching position.
"The college submitted a thorough report to the NCAA and now
awaits the association's findings," Wolk said. "We have concluded
this is an isolated incident."
Alercio was the first coach in Castleton football history,
having been chosen from a field of well over 100 candidates when
the program was launched. The Spartans' first season was in
The program enjoyed rapid improvement under Alercio, going 3-6
that first year and 5-4 last season with a record of 5-2 in the
Eastern Collegiate Football Conference.
Addressing the players, staff and Friends of Castleton State
football on Tuesday, Alercio said, ""Regrettably, I must announce
my resignation as head football coach at Castleton State College.
We have unfortunately discovered a National Collegiate Athletic
Association compliance violation placing our young program and this
school in jeopardy of NCAA penalties.
"While I believe in my heart the violation occured without
forethought, artifice, or mal-intent, it occured nonetheless. As
the head coach of this program, I am responsible for all that
happens in it, both on the field and off.
"Just as i have analyzed thousands of hours of game film over
my career, I've played this scenario in my head over and over as
well. In hindsight, it's clear we should have had a proactive NCAA
compliance program. Given the potential ramifications to the
school, perhaps the entire athletic department should have a
dedicated resource safeguarding the interests of all Spartan
athletics. I leave that lesson learned to those who build upon this
foundation, as it is certainly one I will carry forward.
"I remain respectful of coach Alercio and what he has
otherwise accomplished thus far for our team and the college. I
will speak positively about his future prospects with future
employees," Wolk said.
Klatt was the only other full-time coach on the staff. He came
to Castleton in the summer od 2008 after 12 years of coaching at
the high school and college levels. He was on the staff at NCAA
Division II St. Cloud State in Minnesota when he was hand picked by
Alercio to help him start the new Castleton program.
"We are fortunate to have an able and respected successor on
our staff," Wolk said. "Coach Klatt has an impressive record of
coaching, teaching, recruiting, and mentoring that makes his
the best person for the job. He will provide a smooth transitionand
lead the team's forward progress in all the areas that matter to
the student athletes and the college.
Klatt assumes the head coaching duties immediately.
"I'm proud of my team, I'm proud of my staff, I'm blessed to
have a wonderful family and friends and a community that has
embraced our family. It has been my extraordinary privilege to be
the first Castleton football coach," Alercio said.
The announcement of his resignation was only made Tuesday,
but there were signs, as subtle as body language, back on
Feb. 13 at the team's annual banquet that not all was
well in the Spartan football family.
The team had a prolific offense that was among the
best in the nation that helped it achieve its winning record
in just its second season.
Alercio said he has no job at this time and does not want to
rush into the wrong situation.