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Coaches Suspended for Alcohol Incident During Tournament Trip

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Copyright 2013 Lancaster Newspapers, Inc.
All Rights Reserved

Intelligencer Journal/New Era (Lancaster, Pennsylvania)
October 15, 2013 Tuesday
A; Pg. 1
596 words
Hempfield Suspends Coaches
Brett Hambright
Lancaster, PA

Staff Writer

bhambright@lnpnews.com

Hempfield High School's girls volleyball team - a perennial powerhouse and reigning state champions - is currently without its leader.

Head coach Tom Hunt has been suspended indefinitely for an "incident involving alcohol" last month at a tournament in State College, according to sources.

Matt Shawaryn, Hunt's top assistant and junior varsity coach, also has been suspended for the same incident.

"I've spoken to administrators," Hunt said Monday afternoon. "We're now waiting for due process."

Shawaryn could not immediately be reached for comment.

The suspensions will be addressed at an upcoming disciplinary hearing, which will be open to the public, in front of the Hempfield school board, district officials said. The board then will vote on the coaches' future.

That will happen either at the next scheduled district meeting on Nov. 5, or at a special meeting that could be called before that.

Steve Mummaw, Hempfield's athletic director, along with other schools officials, said no students were involved in the Sept. 28 incident.

Hempfield won the State College Girls Volleyball Tournament that weekend, defeating Parkland in the finals.

"They're all playing," Mummaw said Monday of the student athletes. "Gary Dimm is acting as head coach."

For the time being, Dimm, a former assistant coach, will be aided by two other assistants.

Mummaw did not know if other coaches will be called in to help finish the season.

"At this time, I don't know what they want to do," he said of school administrators.

The situation comes just as the team mounts another push for a state title.

The Black Knights are currently the top-ranked Class AAA team in the state and clinched a fifth straight L-L League Section One title with a win last Thursday.

"It's unfortunate to be in this position because the team is doing so well," school board member Chris Smiley said Monday. "But you don't get a free pass because the team is good."

The school board received an anonymous letter last week about the incident in State College, and first discussed it during an executive session on Oct. 8.

"It's not completely resolved yet," Smiley said. "It has been brought to our attention and put into action."

Hunt said he informed administrators of what happened before that meeting. He said he addressed the players and parents a week before informing administrators.

No one contacted Monday would discuss details of what happened at State College, but the letter apparently outlines the events in detail.

Nothing criminal is alleged, according to officials.

Hunt, a second-year coach, led the Knights to a state crown in his debut season.

He previously coached for seven seasons (1997-2004) at Delone Catholic. He also helped start a club team at Juniata College, which later turned into a strong NCAA Division III squad.

Hunt is a math teacher at Spring Grove High School in York County.

By Monday morning, both his and Shawaryn's names had been removed from Hempfield's online volleyball page.

Next to "Head Coach" and "JV Head Coach" were blank spaces. Dimm, who coached the team in their most recent match, was the only name remaining on the page.

(Shawaryn was a standout on Hempfield's 1996 and 1997 boys teams, which both won state gold.)

When asked to elaborate about the situation, district spokeswoman Shannon Zimmerman declined, saying it's a "personnel matter."

The district outlines expectations for coaches on its website.

Among the list of expectations is: "(The coach) is a positive role model for students, staff, and within the community, on and off the field," it reads.

Tom Hunt
October 15, 2013

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