Working to coach for Mt. St. Joe

May 19, 1994|By Lem Satterfield | Lem Satterfield,Sun Staff Writer

Mike Working, who in three years turned McDonogh's lackluster football program into an area power, was informed yesterday morning that he is the new coach at Mount St. Joseph.

The decision ends a monthlong process that originally was completed on May 9, said Mount St. Joseph athletic director Paul Triplett, adding, "we just had to work out a few details before the announcement was made."

"I'm very excited about the opportunity to work at one of Baltimore's finest schools," Working said in a statement.

Working turned down offers by similar schools and some colleges.

"I am extremely impressed with the faculty and the administration [at Mount St. Joseph]," said Working, "and I am looking forward to meeting the students at Mount St. Joseph."

The move also comes during a controversy involving McDonogh and the Working family.

The coach's wife, Carole Working, has filed a $1 million lawsuit against the school, charging that McDonogh allowed her son, John, 16, to be humiliated by upperclassmen in a hazing ritual by the baseball team during its annual preseason trip to Florida.

The suit claims that a member of the team poured urine on John during the hazing.

In retaliation, John and the Workings' other son, Mike, 18, severely beat the student who allegedly poured the urine, Baltimore County police said. John and Mike originally were charged with assault with intent to murder, a charge later downgraded to assault and battery.

School officials have denied that they are responsible for any hazing and suggested that responsibility should be shared by coach Working because -- as a middle-school baseball coach -- he was one of three adult supervisors on the trip.

However, Triplett said the controversy didn't affect his decision.

"I separated the incident with his sons from Mike Working the person and the coach," said Triplett.

"His qualifications were outstanding and the [selection] committee was impressed with his coaching credentials. "We're looking for a spark that can push our program to the next level."

Working brings an impressive 21-year resume to Mount St. Joseph, including stints with the Detroit Lions, West Point, West Virginia and Wake Forest. He was a legacy at McDonogh, with his father, Dick, who coached through the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s.

Working, whose Eagles went from 2-8 in 1991 to 9-0 in 1993, renewed his contract at McDonogh in February to continue teaching physical education until 1995, but is expected to begin coaching at Mount St. Joseph in August. Triplett said Working also will teach physical education and anatomy courses.

He replaces Tim Perry who stepped down recently after three seasons and an 11-19 record.

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