Full statement from Ryan Hardy, former Daniel Hand High School hockey coach

In early April I was informed that the Superintendent of Schools had decided not to renew my contract as the Head Boy's Hockey Coach at Daniel Hand. The non-renewal stemmed from an incident on January 18, 2013 where I was forced to defend my players against a series of egregious on-ice hits that were in direct violation of the rules of ice hockey. This season at Daniel Hand was an incredible experience, one that I am extremely proud of. Our team returned only two players with varsity experience and went on to win the SCC D-II Championship. We were able to win that Championship because we created a culture where every member of the team, regardless of experience or aptitude, was equally valued and able to participate both in practice and in games. Far more importantly than our on-ice achievements, these young men represented themselves and the school in the highest light at all times. We received no majors or misconduct penalties, had no off-ice incidents, and every one of our players went through the entire season in good academic standing. I am sorry that my reaction reflected negatively on the school district, but I take solace knowing that twenty young men and their families left the rink that day knowing their coach had their backs. I want to thank the parents, players, many of the administrators as well as the community of Madison for their support throughout this process. In addition, I'd be remiss if I didn't thank the countless members of the local hockey community, including some great people from Guilford, who expressed their support and admiration for the actions of our student-athletes.

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