Police investigate Wayne HS wrestling booster club, school fires popular coach | News
A popular local wrestling coach suddenly fired and it happens in the middle of a State Police investigation.
This story has a number of layers to it. We're going to try to peel off a couple for you.
The New York State Police investigation is looking into the booster club for the Wayne High School wrestling team. Police say there is money missing from the club. One current booster says it's close to $20,000. And now the school superintendent says they fired the coach.
It's important to say right off the top that the coach -- Scott Freischlag -- is not a target of the police investigation. State Police say he's not accused of doing anything with the booster club money.
But for some reason last week -- he was fired.
School Superintendent Renee Garrett will only say he was terminated as coach and put on leave as a teacher. The district won't say why.
Freischlag has coached since the late 80's and he won six Section V championships in the last decade.
The connection to the investigation
The current treasurer of the booster club says Coach Freischlag encouraged the current leaders of the club to take their concerns to the state police. The concerns are over the club's money.
Over a period of two years -- from 2008 to 2010 -- the treasurer said the club cannot account for up to $20,000.
We went over minutes from the booster club meetings.
In December 2010, several club executives resigned. Coach Freischlag became president.
In April the club turned its accounting books over to State Police.
In July, the minutes show the booster club closed its existing bank accounts and opened a new one until the investigation "issue is resolved."
In the meantime -- the wrestling team is without their popular coach. The team captain spoke on behalf of his teammates outside school late today.
"He's a phenomenal coach. He's knows exactly what to do in the room. He's a great guy. He'd open up the gym at 6am if he wanted to every single morning," Frank Affronti said.
"Why do you think he got fired?" I asked.
"I thought it was more political reasons that anything and that's not right," he said.
We tried to talk to Coach Freischlag today but he declined.