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Darren DeMeio

The father of injured Westminster College assistant football coach Darren DeMeio hopes his son will be back at work soon.

DeMeio, 24, and Scott Coy, 29, fell four stories to the parking lot from their Nashville hotel room around 4 a.m. Tuesday. The men and two other members of the Westminster staff were in Tennessee for the annual American Football Coaches Association convention.

Michael DeMeio said his son was home in Clinton, Ohio, recuperating. He said Darren, who suffered a broken vertebra, was wearing a back brace.

“He hopes to be back in a week or so,” said the elder DeMeio. “Doctors said if he hadn’t been in such great shape, it could have been much worse.”

Darren, 6-4 and 225 pounds, is the running backs coach for the Titans. He played high school football at Akron Manchester and played tight end at Heidelberg College. His father said he suffered a shoulder injury that ended his playing career at Heidelberg after his sophomore season and he spent his final two years there on the coaching staff.

Coy, the co-offensive coordinator for the Titans, broke his pelvis and leg. He remains in critical but stable condition at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

Police said the men were horsing around in their room shortly after 4 a.m. Tuesday when they crashed through the window and fell to a parking lot. Nashville authorities described the incident as an accident and said they don’t plan to file charges.

Meanwhile, Westminster College head football coach Jeff Hand hopes the focus will be back on the Titans’ program this weekend.

Westminster’s world was rocked by the incident in Nashville.

Hand said the recruiting day scheduled for tomorrow and the annual team banquet Sunday would go on as scheduled.

The focus of Sunday’s event will be on the 2008 Titans, Hand said, but he acknowledged that “other coaches would have to pick up some of the duties” for the injured coaches.

Students have been on break since before the holidays and they will return to the New Wilmington campus next week. Classes are set to resume Tuesday.

Hand said the office has been inundated with phone calls and interview requests since incident.

“My main concern is for the health of the two men,” said Hand. “Both Scott and Darren are great young men and young coaches.”

Hand said Coy brought great experience and a great attitude to the Westminster program when he was hired two years ago. Coy was a starting tackle for perennial Division III national champion Mount Union College and he later coached with the Purple Raiders.

As for DeMeio, Hand said, it was his professionalism at an early age that most impressed him when he hired the Heidelberg College graduate two years ago.

Hand said he contemplated making the trip to Nashville to see the coaches, but decided to remain on campus. He spoke with DeMeio on Wednesday after he was released from the hospital and has been in contact with Coy’s family.

“He’s obviously concerned for his own health,” Hand said of his conversation with DeMeio.

Hand said Titans players were notified of the situation via an e-mail.

Westminster’s president, Dr. Richard H. Dorman, released the following statement yesterday:

“Athletic Director Jim Dafler and I are monitoring this situation closely and join the entire campus community with our prayers for both men and their families and offer our best hopes for a speedy recovery.”







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