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Frazee-Vergas board votes against renewing wrestling coach’s contract

FRAZEE - The Frazee-Vergas School Board voted unanimously this week not to renew its contract with the high school wrestling coach who was suspended this year for kicking a student.

John Barlund has served as head coach of the wrestling program since 2005.

He was suspended without pay for one week in late February for kicking a seventh-grader in the groin during his physical education class after the student hit Barlund in the face with a badminton birdie.

Barlund denied the action, saying he was in defense mode and didn’t kick the boy.

Besides the weeklong suspension, Barlund was not allowed to coach wrestling for the remainder of the season.

At Monday’s meeting, school board Chairman Matt Bauer read a resolution stating that not renewing Barlund’s contract “is in the best interests of the program and the district.”

A unanimous roll call vote was taken.

“I have enjoyed the opportunity to coach this team for the past nine years,” Barlund said after the decision. “... I thank the people that have expressed their support for me and my family.”

Denton (Denny) Newman Jr.
I've worked at the Brainerd Dispatch with various duties since Dec. 7, 1983. Starting off as an Ad Designer and currently Director of Audience Development. The Dispatch has been an interesting and challenging place to work. I'm fortunate to have made many friends, both co-workers and customers.
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