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Sarsland resigns anew

By Paul Walsh, Star Tribune, 04/10/12, 12:49PM CDT


Elk River hockey coach Tony Sarsland had been on paid leave since February

Elk River boys' hockey coach Tony Sarsland



Elk River hockey coach Tony Sarsland, under investigation and on paid leave since February for undisclosed reasons, has resigned from the team, a school official said Tuesday.

Sarsland, whose long tenure has been scrutinized for everything from the coach's ability to control his anger to the players' rough style of play to accusations of recruiting, resigned Monday.

The School Board had intended to hear about the school district's investigation Monday night, "but that became a moot point" with Sarsland's resignation, said district spokesman Casey Mahon.

Sarsland remains with the district as a teacher at VandenBerge Middle School.

District staff interviewed up to 20 players on Feb. 10 as part of an investigation that began Feb. 6. In an e-mail to the team's families, the district said players would be interviewed about "complaints that we have received against Coach Sarsland."

In the wake of his players being question, Sarsland resigned but then reversed himself on Feb. 16.

Sarsland has not responded to numerous calls, including on Tuesday, seeking comment about what the investigation involved.

Junior varsity coach Ben Gustafson took over for Sarsland on an interim basis.

Since 1993, the Elks have earned six trips to the state tournament -- winning it all in 2001 -- and claimed 12 conference championships. If he had remained coach, he would have been on target to get his 600th career victory next season. He finishes up with a 27-season record of 588-277-26.



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