Gary Stefano out as Maple Grove hockey coach - KMSP-TV

Gary Stefano out as Maple Grove hockey coach

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MAPLE GROVE, Minn. (KMSP) -

The drama surrounding the Maple Grove High School hockey team is drumming up once more now that Gary Stefano is out as head coach after being suspended and reinstated.

The school confirmed that Stefano is no longer with the team, but officials declined to say whether he resigned or was let go.

In a statement sent to FOX 9 News, the school said the following:

"Maple Grove Senior High administrators are looking forward to hearing stakeholder perspectives as the school begins the process of hiring a new head hockey coach."

In January, 13 of the team's players were suspended after violating the state high school league's code of conduct during an incident at a private home in December.

No details about that incident have been publicly released by the school, which consulted with Maple Grove police but declined to say whether any laws were broken. The department previously told FOX 9 News they have no open investigation regarding the matter.

Stefano was reinstated after the district closed its own investigation, but there are still many unanswered questions about what happened in December -- and STefano seems to have a few of his own. 

"I've been at Maple Grove for 17 years and coaching hockey for 32 years," he said.

Stefano told FOX 9 News the bad news arrived by mail on Feb. 19.

"The district has decided not to renew my contract," he said.

Stefano said he has known for some time now that his high school coaching days were over, but he waited until Wednesday night to break the news to the team. That night marked the last game of the season -- one they lost, which is tough to take for a team that only lost four games in the past two years.

"I just told them I will no longer be coaching at Maple Grove," he recalled. "It was an emotional night -- a lot of tears."

Although the school district has confirmed that Stefano won't be back next year, there's still one major question hanging in the air: Why is he being let go?

"I do not know the reason why," Stefano said.

When asked whether he believes the decision may be related to the incident in December, Stefano said he had no comment.

"I feel proud of what we've done at Maple Grove," he added.

When asked what is next for him, Stefano said he will continue to teach health and physical education at the junior high school and will try to enjoy the extra time he will have.

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