Former RMU men’s basketball coach Matt Furjanic resigns from Woodland Hills

Woodland+Hills+Coach+Matt+Furjanic%2C+who+coached+at+RMU+in+the+early+1980s%2C+resigned+this+week.+Photo+Credit%3A+Pittsburgh+Post-Gazette

Woodland Hills Coach Matt Furjanic, who coached at RMU in the early 1980s, resigned this week. Photo Credit: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

By Austin Bechtold, Assistant Sports Editor

CHURCHILL, Pa.– Former Robert Morris men’s basketball coach Matt Furjanic has resigned as the head coach of Woodland Hills High School after receiving a one-game suspension from the school district due to controversial comments he made during his team’s second game of the season.

Furjanic told Chris Harlan of the TRIB that he received a technical foul on January 8 at Gateway for disputing a play he believed was a traveling infraction, saying, “Dammit. That’s steps.”

He turned in his resignation letter on Friday only hours before his team was to take the court without him due to the suspension stemming from a Twitter post he made directed at the WPIAL. Furjanic also stated on social media that the WPIAL, whom he tagged in the post, should provide coaches within District 7 a list of banned words.

The WPIAL board of directors, lead by 2003 RMU grad Amy Scheuneman, agreed to publicly censure the coach due to his comments but did not suspend him, leaving that decision up to the school district. Scheuneman’s goal was to set an example of how coaches should and should not act but did not want to get heavily involved with the use of social media platforms being used in disputes.

PIAA sportsmanship rules state that coaches must go through appropriate channels to challenge any disputes they may have, rather than through their players, the media, or other spectators.

As a result of this feud, the Woodland Hills School District suspended him for the team’s next game, but after a sour relationship with district administration, he decided to leave the program instead.

Furjanic told Harlan about the poor review he reviewed he received after his first season manning the play system and the lack of backing he received from those around him.

“I wasn’t getting any support [from the administration] anyway,” Furjanic said. “With no support from [the administration], I saw the writing on the wall, from the superintendent and the athletic director, that they weren’t going to support me.”

Furjanic texted his players in support of them and wishing them well in their next game. Woodland Hills entered Friday night’s action 0-2 under their now former coach.

Furjanic was in year two of his second stint with the Wolverines, also guiding the program from 1991-95. The 70-year-old coach said that he hopes to get back on the sidelines at some point in the future to coach a team once again.

Furjanic’s former assistant coaches will now take point on guiding the Wolverines for the remainder of the season.

Furjanic coached the Colonials from 1979-84, guiding the program into the ECAC Metro in 1981. He led the team to a 73-71 overall record, 32-12 mark in play, and two ECAC Metro Tournament bids in 1983 and 1984. Furjanic was inducted into the RMU Athletics Hall of Fame in 2007.