Fallout from Maple Grove High School hockey 'incident' continues, targets coach Stefano

11:12 AM, Feb 6, 2013   |    comments
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MAPLE GROVE, Minn. - More trouble is brewing for the coach of the Maple Grove High School hockey team. A source affiliated with the Osseo-Maple Grove Hockey Association (OMGHA) tells KARE11 the organization has called for a vote of "no confidence" for head coach Gary Stefano.

Sources also say a second motion would distance the youth program from Stefano.

OMGHA Board president Dennis Smith says he cannot confirm the information, but says any such motion could also be withdrawn before a Sunday meeting when the vote is scheduled.

OMGHA has 900 young players and is considered a feeder program to the high school hockey teams.

This all comes after an incident involving the team at a private home in December, that led to the suspension of 13 varsity and junior varsity hockey players.

In January, when the district says it was made aware of what happened, Stefano was also briefly put on administrative leave pending the investigation, though he was reinstated within a day.

Stefano previously called the incident his worst experience in his 32 years with the district. Maple Grove High School Principal Sara Vernig referred to the situation as devastating and disappointing.

The school board has declined to give details on the incident, citing data privacy laws.

At an Osseo District 279 school board meeting Tuesday night, board chair Dean Henke defended the district's actions, and said the district immediately reported the allegation to the police.

"We are aware that there are many rumors about what may or may not have happened in that incident. We know it has been frustrating to parents, students, staff, and media that the school district cannot confirm or deny even the most far reaching rumors because we are responsible for complying with data privacy laws. We take that responsibility very seriously, and we will continue to adhere to the law in this area," said Henke.


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