Posted: 3:05 pm Thursday, February 13th, 2014
By Jodie Wagner
Ali DeVito’s first season as West Boca girls soccer coach will be her last.The former Bulls standout was fired by her alma mater Wednesday, less than two weeks after she criticized Vero Beach in post-game comments following the host Indians’ 3-2 victory in a Class 5A regional final Jan. 31.
Vero Beach advanced to the state semifinals with the win.
DeVito was quoted by a TCPalm reporter as saying, “(Vero Beach) is considered a rec team compared to the teams we play. Our girls played horrible. We would beat them 8-0 normally if we were playing them at home, but my girls came out too confident.”
DeVito said Thursday she initially declined to talk to the media after the game because her players were upset, but relented.
When she did speak, she said, she did so out of frustration and disappointment.
“It was in the heat of the moment,” she said.
DeVito said she met with West Boca Athletic Director Randy Kalman a few days later after her comments were brought to his attention by Vero Beach.
An apology was extended to the Indians, she said, and she thought the issue was settled.
However when DeVito was called into Kalman’s office on Wednesday, she was told she was being let go.
The decision came as a shock to DeVito, who said she thought she was meeting with Kalman to discuss the team’s annual banquet, which is scheduled for March 13.
She said Kalman told her she was not a good fit for the program and needed to concentrate on school. DeVito, 23, is studying biochemistry at FAU.
DeVito said Kalman also told her she could say a few words at the team banquet, but could not represent the program as its coach. Her younger sister, Bailey, is a sophomore on the team and planned to attend the banquet.
Kalman did not return calls for comment Thursday.
“All I wanted to do was coach at my high school,” DeVito said. “This is so wrong.”
DeVito played for West Boca from 2004-2008. She signed a collegiate scholarship with Darton State College in Albany, Ga., and was a four-year starter there.