Maple Grove High School creates action plan after 'coach's worst experience in 32 years'

10:30 PM, Jan 24, 2013   |    comments
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MAPLE GROVE, Minn. - Hockey coach Gary Stefano and school officials from Maple Grove Senior High announced an "action plan" Thursday for how the district will move forward after an incident that left thirteen of the Varsity hockey team members suspended.

Coach Stefano called it the "worst experience" of his coaching career and said the behavior was unacceptable. The incident reportedly occurred at a private home in December.

Maple Grove Senior High Officials, however, say they did not learn of the incident until January 14.

They immediately began an investigation.

Stefano was put on paid administrative leave pending the district investigation, but was reinstated a day after the investigation began.

Principal Sara Vernig, along with the District Administrator in charge of athletics, Wendy Loberg, said they plan to hold meetings with winter coaches from all sports within the next two weeks.

They will reinforce the school's "code of honor" and promote character and leadership among student athletes.

They also plan to gather anonymous surveys from students. "Kids make dumb decisions sometimes, and the bottom line, is we have to use it as a way to help teach them or prepare them for the future," said Principal Vernig. "I will tell you personally, it's been devastating and disappointing. It really has been."

No one from the Osseo School District will comment on the specifics of the incident that led to the hockey team suspensions citing data privacy laws.

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