West Catholic football coach Brian Fluck allegedly stole funds while president of the Philadelphia City All-Star Football Game executive committee, according to an attorney representing the committee.
In a statement emailed Wednesday to the Inquirer, Fortunato N. Perri Jr. wrote that an ongoing audit revealed that Fluck, one of the most accomplished coaches in Philadelphia Catholic League football history, “misappropriated and embezzled funds that he was entrusted to manage while in his capacity as president.”
The statement also said Fluck had been relieved of his duties as executive committee president.
Inside his office on the West Catholic campus, at 45th and Chestnut Streets, last Wednesday, Fluck said that he stepped down in early January as president of the executive committee. He was placed on paid administrative leave by the school last week pending inquiries, according to West Catholic.
In an email statement to the Inquirer on Wednesday, Fluck’s attorney, Richard F. Klineburger III, wrote that his client was “more than willing” to participate in a full-fledged audit “to ensure that he, along with the Board, complied with the by-laws.”
The statement added that it is Klineburger’s understanding that “every student who properly completed all of the documentation required for the due diligence process received their scholarship monies.”
The Philadelphia City All-Star Football Game, according to several board members, finances its operation with funds from game proceeds, donations, association dues, sponsorships by local businesses, and other fundraising efforts. From those funds, it awards scholarships to student-athletes.
The organization’s website says it has “given grants totaling more than $400,000 to over 600 Philadelphia students.”
Families of scholarship winners of $500 to more than $1,000 from 2010 to 2018 have said that they submitted the required documentation multiple times to Fluck, the person named on the scholarship paperwork they received, but they did not receive the money or received it long after it was promised. Several vendors for the all-star game also said they have not been paid, and board members of the all-star game said more than $50,000 could be missing.
Several families said they followed up with multiple unanswered phone calls to a phone number on the scholarship paperwork that listed Fluck as the contact person. Families have also provided copies of documents they sent.
Klineburger’s statement added: “Coach Fluck has been a dedicated servant to the West Catholic community and Philadelphia athletic community for over twenty (20) years and the controversy created by these anonymous accusations run contrary to the man who is respected by many. Coach Fluck will continue to cooperate with West Catholic, the Archdiocese as well as the Philadelphia All Star Game Board throughout this process so as to properly clear his good name.”
Fluck (pronounced “Fluke”) was the athletic director at West Catholic from 2007 to 2016.
He was also a standout football player when he graduated from West Catholic in 1988. He then played football at Temple.
On Oct. 6, 2018, Fluck and nine other West Catholic alumni were inducted into the school’s Hall of Fame during a halftime ceremony at Widener University, while the Burrs hosted Bishop McDevitt.
Last season, West Catholic (12-3, 6-1) finished second in the Blue division. In the PIAA state playoffs, the Burrs advanced to the Class 2A semifinals before losing to eventual state champion Southern Columbia.