Assemblyman Al Stirpe is proud to announce that legislation he authored and passed to ensure equal access to head coaching positions across New York State has been signed by Governor Hochul.
“Today, New York is moving the needle forward in the fight to expand equal opportunities for people with disabilities,” said Stirpe. “Under current state law, high school sports head coaching positions need to be CPR-certified in order to serve in this position. This policy, rightfully, looks out for a student’s health in an emergency. However, it deters a qualified person with disabilities to serve in this position. To help break down barriers for New Yorkers with disabilities, I am proud to have sponsored this bill allowing qualified disabled persons to have the opportunity to serve as sports head coach by simply being paired with a CPR-certified person during all athletic activities. This commonsense legislative measure will allow Fabius native and assistant coach, Josh Virgil to serve as head coach in the Fabius-Pompey School District and continue to inspire future generations of student athletes.”
This law ensures that an eligible teacher or staff member who is unable to hold a valid first aid certificate due to a disability will be able to be a head coach to a sports team if there is a CPR-certified person available during all practices, scrimmages and competitions. This legislation permanently fosters greater job opportunities for New Yorkers with disabilities. Even more acutely, this law will now benefit the Fabius-Pompey School District.
For more than 20 years, Fabius native Josh Virgil has served in several assistant coaching positions, including for the varsity baseball team, boys’ varsity soccer team and boys’ and girls’ varsity basketball teams. As a result of a car accident that rendered him paralyzed from the chest down, Josh was not able to physical meet the NYS requirements for obtaining the position of head coach of a high school sports team. Josh Virgil’s story, coupled with his qualified decades of experience is what inspired this legislation, noted Stirpe.
“I would like to thank everyone that has helped get this bill started, passed and officially signed. This opens the door for so many of us to be able to do what we love. It also shows that anything is possible as long as you believe and to not take anything for granted. Thank you all again! I’m looking forward to the next step,” said Josh Virgil, Dedicated Coach, Family Man and Motivational Speaker.