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Maple Grove coach resigns after boating drunken driving charge involving minors

10/07/2015, 11:19pm CDT
By David La Vaque, Star Tribune

Tom Starkey’s departure came a month after a boat incident involving minors.

Maple Grove boys’ hockey coach Tom Starkey submitted his resignation Tuesday after two seasons as the team’s coach.

The resignation comes after Starkey was charged with two counts of drunken driving in connection with a Sept. 5 boating incident on Cross Lake in Crow Wing County. He was driving a boat “with several kids on the transom pulling a wakeboarder” when he was stopped by a deputy on patrol, according to a complaint filed in the case. A blood alcohol breath test found he was above the legal limit of 0.08, the complaint said.

Starkey, a Maple Grove alum, took over as coach after the 2012-13 season, which was marked by the suspension of 13 players for an off-ice incident that led to then-coach Gary Stefano not having his contract renewed.

Starkey told the deputy that the kids on the boat were under age 16, with the youngest being 11 years old, the complaint said. None of the minors was identified.

Barbara Olson, a spokeswoman for Osseo Area Schools, confirmed Wednesday that “the district was aware of the arrest.”

Reasons for resignations are considered private, Olson said. Parents of players were notified Tuesday of Starkey’s resignation. The team plans to hire an interim coach for the 2015-16 season and will seek to hire a permanent coach, she said.

Starkey could not be reached for comment Wednesday.

During Starkey’s two seasons at Maple Grove, the Crimson compiled a combined regular-season record of 27-20-3.

Starkey played for Stefano at Maple Grove, graduated in 2000 and then played four years at Air Force. He graduated in 2004 as a financial officer with a rank of second lieutenant. He left the service in 2006 and currently works in the financial services industry.

Before joining Maple Grove as coach, Starkey had been an assistant coach for Wayzata High School’s varsity and junior varsity programs.

 

Staff writer Dennis Brackin contributed to this report.

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