Utah basketball coach resigns amid allegations of verbal abuse, financial impropriety

Ben Rohrbach
Prep Rally

Following his son's senior season, Bingham (South Jordan, Utah) High boys basketball coach Mark Dubach reportedly planned on stepping down from the post he's held for the past 11 years, but he never foresaw having to resign from his teaching position, too.

Dubach, who led the Miners to a state title in 2006, left both Bingham roles following accusations of verbal abuse and financial improprieties, according to multiple reports.

Bingham coach Mark Dubach (ninth from right) resigned amid verbal abuse and financial impropriety allegations -- binghamminers.org
Bingham coach Mark Dubach (ninth from right) resigned amid verbal abuse and financial impropriety allegations -- binghamminers.org

Jordan School District director of communications Sandy Riesgraf told The Salt Lake Tribune that the school learned of the allegations on a Friday in early March, Dubach resigned the following Monday and the school alerted the Jordan Police Department.

A dozen parents confronted Dubach regarding verbal abuse of their sons and asked him to resign during the season that resulted in a 14-10 record and ended on Feb. 25, according to a Deseret News report. Eight parents who spoke to the publication on the condition of anonymity mentioned the following reasons for confronting the coach:

  • He called them names and told them their teammates didn’t like them.

  • He told them to keep quiet out of loyalty to the team.

  • He blamed them individually for losses.

  • He told one boy "he doesn't understand why any of his teammates want to be his friend."

  • He told another boy poor play was the reason his father didn't come to games.

“I did not swear,” Dubach told the Deseret News. “Now I’ve slipped before in my life, but I was not aggressive with this group of kids. Society has changed, and I’ve tried to change, too. I was tougher on them. That’s really what it was, not abuse.”

Dubach remained as coach, for the time being. Three days after the season, Shawn and Annette Morley -- parents of one of the varsity players -- brought evidence of an alleged financial impropriety to Bingham principal Tom Hicks, according to the reports.

While the school opted not to share details, Dubach explained his side of the story to both newspapers. Shawn Morley wrote the coach an $800 check to rent the high school gymnasium for his daughter's youth basketball team, and the money was deposited into a club basketball team account to be used on meals for his players, Dubach explained.

However, teachers and coaches aren't suppose to handle money on behalf of the school. All financial issues are to be dealt with at the school's front office, Hicks told the papers. Dubach's explanation? He thought it was a donation. Still, he resigned.

“We don’t want to destroy anybody’s livelihood or destroy anybody’s family," Annette Morley told the Deseret News. "But in the same sense, we’re not responsible for his actions. His actions caused this. He cashed the check. We thought it was going into a Bingham account, but it didn’t go into a Bingham account. He did all of that, not us.”

Meanwhile, Bingham sophomore football coach Andy Evans, whose son played for Dubach this past season, claims Hicks didn't renew his own coaching contract because of his role in confronting Dubach with other parents during the season, the News reported.

The Morleys also claimed Hicks said, "You may not want to go any further with this," when they made the financial accusations -- a claim the principal denied to the News.

Dubach is the fourth Utah prep coach since 2011 to resign amid financial accusations. His resignation came prior to Rutgers University men's basketball coach Mike Rice's departure over verbal abuse of his players, which brought national attention to the issue.

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