Noble Local Schools Address Former Wrestling Coach’s Charges

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Noble Local Schools has issued a statement after it was released that a former part-time assistant wrestling coach for their high school was charged with having an illegal sexual relationship with an 18-year-old student on the team.

Superintendent Justin Denius said that while they can’t speak on the case, as they don’t want to interfere with law enforcement, they did release what they want parents, students, faculty, staff and residents to know.

1. We placed this man on administrative leave without pay. We also reported him to the Ohio Department of Education, which has the power to remove any professional education credentials from him.

2. This man’s contract as Assistant Wrestling Coach automatically ends at the end of this wrestling season, and he will not be back as an employee or volunteer or in any position in our District.

3. We are fully cooperating with law enforcement, prosecutors, child welfare authorities, and the Department of Education and will work with all of them to ensure that justice is done.

4. While the man arrested passed a required criminal background check before being hired as a part- time Assistant Wrestling Coach, we want to do even more to inquire into the background of potential employees. We’re working to identify even more safeguards to protect students because we can always do better.

5. While law enforcement is handling the criminal law aspects of this matter, we still want to know if any of our faculty or staff knew about these allegations. We require teachers and coaches to immediately report any allegations of child sex abuse or any illegal activity.

6. We have an outside law firm with no conflicts or ties in our community to do a personnel investigation to see if anyone violated our strict policy that teachers and coaches must report sexual abuse of a student or other illegal activity. We will take prompt and responsible action against anyone found to be in violation of our policies or the law.

7. We want to provide any counseling assistance to the student whom law enforcement has identified as the victim in this matter, and we’ve told the student’s family about this offer. We want to see healing and support for any student who’s been victimized. Also, our guidance counselors have a range of counseling and support options for any other student who is upset or experiencing emotional difficulties because of this situation. We ask the community to stand with school leaders as we seek to hold accountable anyone

who broke the law and as we work to do all we can to keep our students safe. We call on anyone who has any information that could help see justice done to contact the Noble County Sheriff immediately.

Nichole Hannahs
Nichole is WHIZ’s News Director/Anchor. She joined the WHIZ family while attending high school at Bishop Rosecrans, before taking a full-time position in 2005. Nichole is no stranger to the area. She grew up in Corning, Ohio and and graduated from Waynesburg College, where she received her Bachelor’s Degree in Communications emphasizing in Sports Broadcasting/Sports Information and Journalism.When not at work Nichole enjoys watching St. Louis Blues hockey, enjoying time with family, spending time outdoors and reading.If Nichole wasn't in broadcasting she'd probably have become a teacher.Nichole is married to a fellow sports fan Brandon. They have two sons Cameron and Xavier.