ROCKINGHAM — Richmond Senior High School’s head football coach has agreed to a one-week unpaid suspension following his Saturday arrest on an impaired driving charge.
Mike Castellano’s suspension began Monday and will end Friday, Richmond County Schools Superintendent Dr. Cindy Goodman said. Raiders offensive coordinator Steve Burdeau has been named interim head coach and will lead the team in Friday night’s game at South View.
Castellano attended the final moments of Tuesday’s practice. He was accompanied by Dr. Jeff Maples, RCS associate superintendent of curriculum and instruction. School board member Jerry Ethridge, Richmond principal Keith McKenzie and the school’s athletic director, Ricky Young, also attended the practice.
Castellano also addressed the team in the locker room following practice.
“Although the actions occurred on his own time, Coach Castellano is fully aware he is a representative of our district and our football program,” Goodman said in a late Tuesday statement. “Most importantly, he serves as a role model for our students.”
In a separate prepared statement released by Richmond County Schools spokeswoman Ashley-Michelle Thublin, Castellano apologized and expressed his regrets. He has not admitted guilt in the case and is presumed innocent pending court proceedings.
“I’m truly sorry that my current situation reﬂects badly on Richmond County, Richmond Senior High School and the Richmond Raiders football team,” Castellano said. “Richmond County deserves people of outstanding character leading their athletic programs, and I’m extremely sorry my current situation reﬂects negatively on everyone involved with the district.
“Working at Richmond County Schools is a privilege and an honor, and I’m sorry my situation does not reﬂect that. I hope and pray that I will be accepted in time by this great community and judged by my actions going forward.”
Cary police Officer J.M. Platz arrested Castellano at the Crossroads Cary Apartments at 9:45 p.m. Saturday on suspicion of driving while impaired.
Police have not said whether Castellano was tested for the presence of an impairing substance and declined a Daily Journal public records request for the section of the arrest report containing Platz’s field notes.
Castellano was released without bond and is scheduled to appear in Wake County District Court on Oct. 26, according to the police report.
Goodman said Castellano “immediately reported that he had been charged with a criminal offense early Sunday morning to his principal, Mr. Keith McKenzie, and to me,” in accordance with Richmond County Schools policy.
Along with the one-week suspension, Castellano “will also be required to satisfactorily comply with other specific requirements,” Goodman said.
Citing personnel policies, Thublin declined to say what those additional requirements are.
“Mr. Castellano is in agreement with these decisions and has consented to them,” Goodman said. “He has stated his deep regret to all of us.”
Castellano was hired May 20 as head football coach and social studies teacher at Richmond Senior after three years as head coach at Middle Creek in Apex.
Reach Corey Friedman at 910-817-2670 and Shawn Stinson at 910-817-2671.