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Andover High School Hockey Players Say They Won't Play For A New Coach

ANDOVER (CBS) – Several of Andover High School's hockey players said Wednesday they won't play for a new coach next year, after the controversial removal of their coach.

Chris Kuchar's contract was not renewed for next season, despite the fact that many in town credit him with turning the boy's hockey program around in recent years. His assistants were also let go.

chris kuchar
Chris Kuchar in February 2018. (WBZ-TV)

The players met with principal Philip Conrad Wednesday morning to discuss the move, a day after about 200 students walked out of Andover High to protest the school's decision.

According to WBZ-TV's Dan Roche, the players were told Kuchar was "not meeting the expectations Conrad set." The hockey staff was informed that administrators "expectations" in the coaches' handbook were revised this December - during their season, Roche said.

The players left Wednesday's meeting with Conrad very frustrated, saying they felt like he answered every question the same way, in that he couldn't get into details because of the law, Roche reported.

Andover Protests
Students and parents protest firing of Andover High School hockey coach Chris Kuchar (Image credit Dan Roche/WBZ)

The players then told Conrad that none of this year's team will try out under a new coach next season.

There has been no comment yet from Conrad or athletic director Bill Martin.

The Andover boys hockey team was back on the street Wednesday protesting along with some parents. Assistant hockey coach Steve Belmonte told WBZ there has been a lot of support for Kuchar.

"Not only did the kids come out but we had a lot of parents come out in support as well as parents who don't even players on the hockey team," said coach Belmonte. "I would say more than 50 percent of the cars going by were giving us honks and thumbs up and stuff like that so they understand the root of the problem."

Back in early 2018, Kuchar and two assistant coaches were cleared of any wrongdoing by the state Department of Children and Families following allegations that he mistreated players and deprived them of food and water as punishment for poor performances.

According to the Eagle-Tribune, Andover Superintendent Sheldon Berman wrote a "lengthy letter" in 2016 to the principal and athletic director that Kuchar "be fired for mistreatment of his son" who was playing for Kuchar at the time.

"I would say that the kids and the whole entire Andover hockey program is at the loss here," Belmonte said.

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