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Three Andover High boys hockey coaches placed on leave amid DCF investigation

The head varsity boys’ hockey coach at Andover High School and two assistant coaches have been placed on leave amid an investigation by the state Department of Children and Families into “certain coaching methodologies,” the school principal announced Wednesday night.

The coaches were not identified in a statement issued by principal Philip Conrad. Chris Kuchar is the varsity coach, according the website of the Massachusetts High School Hockey Association.

None of the coaches are school district staff members, Conrad said in the statement.

In an e-mail to the Globe, Conrad said that the allegations are connected to an investigation being conducted by the state Department of Children and Families.


The agency contacted school officials regarding the investigation, and the school is cooperating, he said.

The school is also conducting its own investigation of the matter, he said. He did not elaborate.

DCF spokeswoman Andrea Grossman said in a statement Wednesday that the department “received a report on this situation and we are investigating.” She declined further comment.

The Andover School Committee issued a statement late Wednesday night pledging full cooperation with the agency’s “. . . investigation into alleged coaching practices that would violate the rules of our school district and would not be in the best interests of the students.”

The committee also said it has the “utmost confidence” in the state and school officials “to conduct full, impartial reviews and present the facts to the public,” the statement said.

In his statement, Conrad said he placed the coaches on leave “after receiving information that certain coaching methodologies may have been used for the hockey program which, if true, are not in the best interests of our student-athletes.”

Attempts to reach Kuchar Wednesday night were unsuccessful. The Haverhill native is in his fourth season at Andover. Prior to that, he coached the Amesbury High-Whittier Voke Tech coop team for four seasons.


Conrad said student safety is the highest priority.

“The safety and well-being of our students is our most important priority, and I am disheartened to hear of the allegations against members of our coaching staff,” he said in the statement.

Junior varsity coach Peter Loring has been named interim varsity head coach. The team was notified of the investigation Wednesday morning, according to the statement.

Andover, which competes in the Merrimack Valley/Dual County Division 1, has a record of 6-3-1 this season. The team is scheduled to play Chelmsford on Thursday at 5 p.m., at the Valley Forum in Lawrence.

Craig Larson of Globe Staff contributed to this report. Danny McDonald can be reached at daniel.mcdonald@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @Danny__McDonald.