High School Sports

Former football coach Peduzzi files suit against Hilton Head Prep

Two former Hilton Head Prep football coaches now have lawsuits pending against the school.

Hilton Head Island attorney John Bowen has filed a suit on behalf of former coach Ron Peduzzi, who was dismissed in April from his positions as director of facilities and head football coach. The suit alleges Peduzzi was wrongfully terminated and was not paid for unpaid vacation time and accrued sick leave, and it also accuses Hilton Head Prep headmaster Anthony Kandel and board of trustees member Andrew Summers of defamation of character.

Bowen filed a similar suit in May on behalf of Alex Marx, who was hired to replace Peduzzi but was told Prep was rescinding his contract after he led the school's two-week spring football drills.

Greenville attorney Michael Pitts filed an answer to Marx's suit last week, denying most of the claims and asking that the suit be dismissed and the defendants awarded their costs and attorneys fees accrued in defending it.

Peduzzi's suit asks for $100,000 in damages on the breach of contract charge. It says he had agreed in January to a contract that would pay him $65,000 to continue to serve as Prep's facilities director and head football coach for the 2011-12 school year, and it asks for the damages because Peduzzi "has been unable to obtain employment in his chosen profession" and "has been unable to find other full-time or permanent employment."

Peduzzi is an assistant coach for Hilton Head Island High School's football team this season but is not otherwise employed at the school. Although he was dismissed in April, Peduzzi was paid through the end of his contract June 30, the suit says.

The suit also asks for $25,333.08, or three times the amount of wages Peduzzi says he was owed for unpaid vacation time and accrued sick leave.

On the defamation charge, the suit says Summers and Kandel told members of the community, including Tom Haidon, Dave D'Amico and Leslie Richardson -- all parents of Prep football players -- that Peduzzi "was not fit for his trade or profession in that he had been verbally abusive to and cursed at children under his care and supervision."

The suit asks for an unspecified amount in damages on the defamation charge, saying Peduzzi's "reputation has been damaged throughout the (National Association of Independent Schools) and his reputation and character in the Hilton Head area has been called into disrepute."

Peduzzi, Bowen and Kandel all declined to comment for this story.