May 21, 2018
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Parents of Bangor High hockey players won’t seek coach’s reinstatement

By Dave Barber, BDN Staff

BANGOR, Maine — Parents of many of the Bangor High School hockey team members have decided not to pursue a meeting with the Bangor school board to ask that Denis Collins be reinstated as head coach.

Collins resigned Monday while an investigation was under way into an incident that occurred on a team bus trip back from a Dec. 11 game in Presque Isle against the Wildcats.

“We supported Denis as coach and we support Quinn [Paradis] now,” said Chuck Sanderson. Paradis, one of the team’s assistant coaches, was appointed to take over Collins’ duties.

“We were told by [Bangor Superintendent of Schools] Betsy [Webb] that we would not be able to bring any action before the [school] board because we didn’t have any standing. We weren’t the [party involved],” said Sanderson.

The parents, who met Wednesday at a house owned by the parents of one of the players, believe that dragging out the issue will distract the players, Sanderson said, so they’ve decided to refrain from any further action.

“The parents have decided they will support the team,” he said.

If Collins does bring a request for reinstatement before the school board, the parents will support him in that as well.

Bangor High School officials learned of the incident, which reportedly could have been prevented by a bathroom break, late on Dec. 12.

Collins told the team at the beginning of the trip that there would be no stops on the way to Presque Isle because it would be close for them to arrive on time. For the return trip, when the incident reportedly occurred, no such statement was made.

Collins said he would have stopped if someone had asked, but no one did, either on the way up or the way back.

On Thursday and Friday, Bangor High Principal Paul Butler started interviewing people who had been on the bus.

Butler and Bangor High Athletic Director Steve Vanidestine met with Collins on Friday, and Butler said Collins offered his resignation.

Butler decided to wait over the weekend to take time to think about it. When he and Vanidestine met with Collins again on Monday, Collins offered his resignation again and Butler accepted it.

Collins said Monday he would not pursue another position as hockey coach and didn’t plan to seek reinstatement at Bangor.

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