Residents and non-residents criticize the Dover Area School Board for their suspension of girls' basketball head coach Kevin Glover. Wochit
Kevin Glover said this past season was, without a doubt, the most difficult one he's ever had to endure.
Entering the season with high expectations after leading the Dover girls' varsity basketball team to the PIAA Class 5-A playoffs in his first season, Glover was looking to build on last year’s success.
That all changed, however, when his junior varsity coach, Aignee Freeland, was accused of unlawful contact with one of Dover's players. On Jan. 10, Freeland was charged with third-degree felonies of institutional sexual assault and unlawful contact with a minor after she allegedly had sex with a 16-year-old player on the team.
After the accusations against Freeland emerged, Glover was placed on a leave of absence and replaced as head coach on an interim basis by Tyler Smith.
Glover has now confirmed that he is officially stepping away from the program for good.
“I will miss the student athletes, but I look forward to what the future may hold,” he wrote to the Dover Area school board in his official resignation letter this week. “I wish the Eagles success in their future endeavors and thank (you) for the opportunity to coach these young women during my time at Dover.”
Glover was suspended from his position in mid-December. He said he understood the administration’s position on his suspension while local police and other authorities investigated the situation.
Still, Glover said it was hard on him, his family and his supporters in the Dover community.
On March 1, it was announced that an investigation into potential charges against Glover had been closed and that no charges would be filed against him.
Jeremy Williams, the attorney who represents Glover, said at the time his client had nothing to hide and that he cooperated with police during their investigation.
Glover also was suspended from his jobs with a York City alternative school and a Lancaster County indoor sports complex.
He returned to his job as a behavioral specialist at York City School District's Goodridge Academy on Feb. 15, according to Jennifer Leckstrom, a spokeswoman for Catapult Learning, which is contracted by the York City School District to provide services for Goodridge.
"The allegations against Kevin Glover were unfounded," she wrote in an email.
On Feb. 14, Glover was reinstated at the Spooky Nook Sports Complex after the York County Office of Children, Youth and Families alerted Spooky Nook that he had been cleared of wrongdoing. He had been placed on voluntary suspension from Spooky Nook in January.
Glover's LinkedIn account states that he has been the Girls Amateur Athletic Union Basketball Academy director at Spooky Nook Sports since October 2016.
Opts not to return: Earlier this month, Glover said, he met with Dover officials to discuss whether he would return to the program.
“I had a meeting with the administration a few weeks ago,” he said. “It was good for both sides to just kind of clear the air. They had concerns and obviously I had concerns with the whole ordeal and how everything happened. And I kind of left the meeting with no answer.”
That meeting allowed Glover to do some soul searching about his future. He said he fielded many calls, emails and text messages of support from coaches within and beyond the York area. Ultimately he decided it was best for all involved for him to move on.
“I just felt that it was mutually in everyone’s best interest to just part ways,” he said.
Still, he said he's disappointed that he won't continue his work at Dover.
“There’s disappointment for me for not being able to build on the progress that we were making with the players that are currently there,” Glover said. “I walked into the position initially with the intentions of being there for a while.”
Dover Area school board members had been mum on the issue, characterizing Glover's suspension as a confidential personnel matter.
However, in a phone call on Thursday, March 29, board member Terry Emig said the district left it to the police to handle the criminal investigation.
"My opinion is, since he has resigned ... it’s over," he said. "We just need to move on."
Board members Amy Brinton and Charles Rauhauser declined to comment, deferring questions to Superintendent Tracy Krum, while all other board members did not immediately responded to messages seeking comment Thursday, March 29.
When reached by phone Thursday afternoon, Krum said she appreciated Glover's understanding of the suspension, adding it was a matter of protocol given the nature of the investigation into Freeland.
Dover Area girls' basketball players and their parents packed a boardroom in January, with several residents calling for Glover's immediate reinstatement to the role.
Krum said the then-ongoing police investigation prevented that move.
"We never got that far," she said when asked if she wanted to see him stay on as head coach.
"We wish him all the best in his future endeavors," added district spokesman Bradly Perkins.
Lots of coaches: When the school officially hired Glover nearly two years ago, Dover Athletic Director Rich Leathery said stability was the top quality the school was looking for in a head coach.
Glover, a 2001 York High graduate, brought about a dozen years of coaching experience to the job.
Troy Lokhaiser led the program to an unprecedented three-year period of success before stepping away in 2014. Since then, the head coaching position has become a yearly carousel. Marley (Klunk) Bonilla, Bill Garrison and then Glover each followed as head coach.
If Smith does not return as head coach, Dover will have its sixth head coach in the last six years in 2018-19.
Hopes to keep coaching: Glover, meanwhile, is confident that he'll continue his coaching career sometime soon.
“I may be 34, but I have a lot of coaching left in me,” he said. “I’m confident in my abilities that I will produce results both on the court and off the court. I know I can step in and help, and hopefully that’s sometime in the near future.”
Glover has kept tabs on openings around the Mid-Penn and Lancaster-Lebanon leagues, although his preference is remaining somewhere in York County.
“I think I owe it to myself that I want to bounce back somewhere around here (York), if given that opportunity,” he said. “But I’m still keeping my options open.”
Thankful for supporters: Despite the turmoil of recent months, Glover said he felt blessed to have a large number of supporters backing him throughout the ordeal.
Besides his immediate family, that list includes his friend Dennis Kloster, who was an assistant coach at Dover before stepping down in protest over Glover’s treatment, as well as senior standout Rajah Fink, who led the Y-A League in scoring this season at 25.2 points per game, among others.
Fink sat out a game in early January in support of her head coach after his suspension and called him "one of the greatest coaches that I’ve ever had.”
That support meant a lot to Glover.
“It was rough, it was stressful,” he said. “But it was a blessing to be able to talk to my supporters. And one thing that was reiterated over and over again was that God closes one door for another to open. So I’m just looking at this as a blessing now.”
Reach Ryan Vandersloot at email@example.com.
Education reporter Junior Gonzalez contributed to this report.