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Frontier fires soccer coach



Recorder Staff
Friday, December 01, 2017

SOUTH DEERFIELD — Frontier Regional School has fired a coach after it became aware of a Facebook post allegedly by the coach in which he references drug use and a sexual relationship he had with a student in 2009, according to a letter sent to Frontier families Friday by the superintendent and principal.

Frontier Athletic Director Marty Sanderson confirmed Friday night that boys soccer coach Dale Totman was the coach alluded to in the letter and that he has been dismissed by the district.

Totman worked as a coach part-time and was not a member of the full-time faculty.

“We were notified about a public Facebook post by a member of our coaching staff that referenced a sexual relationship and drug use by the coach with someone who was a student in 2009,” the letter said.

Repeated calls to Totman’s phone Friday night went straight to voicemail, and the voice messages were not returned by press time. The Facebook post referenced in the letter was not visible on Totman’s Facebook page Friday night.

“We recognize the concern that the members of our community feel about this disclosure by a former staff member,” the letter said. “We want to assure you that our students’ educational and emotional well-being is the most important concern for us.”

The letter was signed by Union 38 District Superintendent Lynn Carey and Frontier Regional School Principal Darius Modestow.

The Deerfield Police Department is investigating the matter, Sgt. Harry Ruddock said. It is being led by the School Resource Officer Brian Ravish. The department was contacted by the school on Thursday.

Ruddock said that as far as he knows this is the first complaint his department has received about Totman and possible improper relationships with high school students.

Totman, a 2004 Frontier graduate, went on to play soccer for Western New England University, returned to the area and began coaching the boys’ junior varsity team in 2009, which is when the alleged incident occurred.

Totman was hired as the boy’s varsity soccer coach prior to the 2011 season, and just completed his seventh year at the program’s helm this fall. He helped to lead Frontier to back-to-back WMass Division III soccer championships in 2015 and 2016, the first-ever western Mass. titles by any soccer teams from Franklin County.

The letter expressed “deep regret,” about the matter, saying, “as soon as this information came to our attention, we relayed it to the appropriate authorities and an investigation is underway.” Repeated attempts to reach the superintendent Friday evening, by phone and email, were unsuccessful.

You can reach Joshua Solomon at:

jsolomon@recorder.com

413-772-0261, ext. 264