Dallastown High School fired its longtime girls’ basketball coach on Monday.
The coach, Mary Manlove, said she recently received papers, dated March 16, that cited problems with her "coaching style."
The dismissal, Manlove said, stems from February allegations of verbal, mental and physical abuse against players made by some of the players and some parents.
“Our coaches, players and our program had no idea that any of this was happening,” Manlove said Wednesday night. “A small group of parents and players went to the administration after the conclusion of the season.”
Manlove said no specific allegations were ever given to her and she resolutely denies any allegations. She said playing time was the only known complaint against her, one she addressed during the season, giving more minutes to those players.
Manlove said an investigation was then launched by the administration, Children and Youth Services and York Regional Police. Those investigations were launched after a group of parents met with the school’s administration to voice their concerns.
“Never,” Manlove replied when asked if any discipline was instituted by the school. “Never suspended or disciplined in any way as a coach or a teacher throughout the entire investigation.”
Manlove remains a third-grade teacher within the district.
However, during a March 4 meeting with Dallastown’s director of employee relations and administrative services, Troy Fisher, Manlove was informed the investigation would not result in any charges against her.
Dallastown athletic director Tory Harvey did not immediately respond to attempts to reach him.
Ripple effect: The move could produce a ripple effect throughout the Dallastown program. Seven assistant coaches, from the seventh-grade level up, said they would resign if Manlove were cleared and still dismissed. They made those intentions known to Dallastown administration in a letter given March 4.
Manlove said that the process of their resignations has begun, with coaches Bob Heiser, a varsity assistant in his first season with the school, Megan Stewart, Shawn Maloney, Jenna Miller, Jeff Gettle Matt Smith and Bryan Harbold all emailing Harvey of their decisions.
Many others in the basketball community, such as coaches outside the program as well as former players, also sent letters of support to the administration.
“I have been overwhelmed by support from current players, former players, current parents, past parents, teachers, administrators,” Manlove said. “I have felt an overwhelming amount of support from people in the community saying ‘We know you, we know your style, we know your passion for working with children and athletes, and we know that this is false.’ Every letter of support has been greatly appreciated.”
Winning record: During her seven seasons as head coach at Dallastown, Manlove compiled a record of 114-77. Her team captured the York-Adams League crown in 2013 and the Wildcats were champions of York-Adams Division I in 2015.
Her team was also the recipient of the league’ Sportsmanship Award this season. The Wildcats also took the award in 2011 under Manlove’s direction.
Manlove, a York Catholic graduate, says she is still struggling to process recent events and can’t give a thought at the moment as to whether she will continue coaching elsewhere.
“It’s just too difficult to comment on that,” Manlove said. “I’m still trying to understand what has happened. It’s an extremely difficult process.”
Reach Elijah Armold at firstname.lastname@example.org.