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Hugoton's Gillen reinstated after investigation

Published 3/14/2014

By BRETT MARSHALL

bmarshall@gctelegram.com

After being suspended for Saturday night's sub-state championship game, Hugoton girls basketball coach Andy Gillen was on the bench Wednesday night when his Lady Eagles fell to Holton in a Class 4A-II state basketball first-round game at Hartman Arena in Park City.

Gillen, in his second season as head coach for the Lady Eagles, had been suspended by Hugoton USD 210 for Saturday's sub-state championship victory over Goodland.

Mark Crawford, USD 210 superintendent, said Wednesday that Gillen had been suspended while the school district was conducting an investigation into Gillen and another teacher, Doug Waters, a high school arts teacher.

Crawford declined to comment on the nature and specifics of the investigation.

At a Tuesday meeting of the USD 210 Board of Education, Gillen was re-instated to his coaching position.¬ 

"He's our coach, and we're pleased to have him coach the girls," Crawford said of Gillen, whose two-year record leading the program is 36-10, including a 19-4 mark this season.

Waters was suspended, without pay, through March 31, the next date for the school board to meet, Crawford said.

Crawford said that the suspensions came as a result of the district conducting its own investigation, along with Hugoton police.¬ 

No arrests had been made by Hugoton police, Crawford said, as of Wednesday.

"We needed to look into some of the allegations, and we needed some time to conduct the investigation," Crawford said. "After completing that process, the board has reinstated coach Gillen."

Gillen declined to comment on both his suspension and the investigation.

Waters also declined to comment, referring questions to his KNEA representative and legal council, David Moses, who did not return a call seeking comment.

Crawford said that the district portion of the investigation had been completed, adding that the police investigation was still ongoing on Wednesday.

Hugoton Police Chief Courtney Leslie could not be reached for comment.

Gillen is a certified teacher and is employed by the High Plains Educational Cooperative, an organization that supports 17 southwest Kansas school districts with services for students with exceptionalities.

Gillen previously coached girls programs at Ulysses and South Gray. His 2010 South Gray team won the Class 1A state championship.

Staff writer Angie Haflich contributed to this story.

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