The Herald, Sharon, Pa.

Local News

August 13, 2013

Former Tigers player fought with Wildman

No motive given; coach released from hospital

SHARON — Football practice opened as usual Monday at Sharon High School, the day after head coach Jim Wildman was attacked in a bizarre incident at his Bentley Avenue home.

The 66-year-old Wildman was recovering at home after the attack. He told The Associated Press that a plastic surgeon used 60 stitches to repair bite marks to his ear. He was released from a Pittsburgh hospital early Monday.

The suspect behind the attack, Joseph Koscinski, 38, of 200 Logan Ave., is in the hospital himself under police guard, recovering from facial injuries he suffered in the attack.

The coach told the AP he didn’t recognize Koscinski when he showed up “in a fit of rage.” Only after police told Wildman the suspect’s name did he recognize him as a former player, the coach said, adding he has no idea why he was attacked.

“When he was at my door, he didn’t look anything like anyone I know,” said Wildman. “He screamed a number of things that, honestly, threatening types of things, but, specifically, nothing that alluded to or gave me any indication why he was here.”

Koscinski was charged with aggravated assault, burglary, reckless endangering and making terroristic threats. He will be arraigned on those charges upon his release from the hospital, Sharon Police Chief Mike Menster said.

Football practice started Monday in Sharon and assistant coach Dan Schneider said players were prepared to practice.

“Life throws you curveballs and you have to deal with it. We’re ready to go,” Schneider said.

Acting Sharon Superintendent Mike Calla said administrators met with the coaching staff Monday morning.

“Our focus is on the students,” Calla said.

The kids were “upset, but handling it well,” Calla said.

“We’re giving (Coach Wildman) his privacy,” he said. “We know he’s home and he’s recuperating. He’s working with his assistants to keep a finger on the program.”

Wildman is in the process of returning to coaching after an 11-year retirement left him yearning for the sidelines.

“I had painted every room in the house twice,” Wildman quipped to the AP.

When he initially retired in 2002 after a quarter-century stint as head coach at Sharon, he’d compiled a then-record 208 wins during his tenure.

In February, Sharon school board members gave Wildman a three-year contract to return to the sidelines this fall.

When he was rehired, Wildman described himself as “65 going on 43.”

During the 1990s his teams tallied 103 victories. He is a member of both the Mercer County (2003) and Pennsylvania (2000) sports halls of fame.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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