Andover school system clears hockey coaches of mistreating players

Andover High hockey players, before a Jan. 25 game.
Andover High hockey players, before a Jan. 25 game. –Jim Davis / The Boston Globe, File

ANDOVER, Mass. (AP) — Three hockey coaches at a Massachusetts high school have been cleared of wrongdoing after being accused of denying players food and water as punishment for losing games.

Andover High School Principal Philip Conrad announced Tuesday that a school system investigation found the allegations were “not sustained.”

Conrad says he will reinstate the coaches if an ongoing investigation by the state Department of Children and Families comes to the same conclusion.

Varsity boys hockey Head Coach Chris Kuchar denied the allegations. He and two assistant coaches were placed on leave last month.

Officials investigated two reported incidents: students not being allowed a water break while being forced to do punitive conditioning during a practice after losing a game, and players being denied food while returning to Andover after losing an away game.

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Read Conrad’s full statement below:

“I am writing to inform you that the Andover Public Schools has concluded its independent investigation of the allegations filed with the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families (DCF) against our ice hockey coaching staff. Our investigation found that the allegations were ‘Not Sustained.’

“It is my intention to reinstate the ice hockey coaches as soon as we can if I can confirm that the DCF investigation has reached the same conclusion. However, at this point we have not received any communication of determination from the agency. As soon as we do I will be able to make a determination about returning the coaches to their full coaching duties. Unfortunately it does not appear that DCF is going to complete their investigation in accordance with the timeline originally provided​ to any of us by the agency.

“This continues to be a difficult time for all of us and I am sure that it has been difficult for you and your family. I hope this can be resolved quickly.​”