An otherwise stellar hockey season has been sullied by allegations of an after hours drinking party at Winthrop’s town rink allegedly involving the team’s head coach, Dale Dunbar, and some players. In response to the allegations, Winthrop Town Manager James McKenna has placed Dunbar on paid administrative leave as manager of the rink pending the outcome of the investigation.
The alleged incident occurred close to midnight on Friday after the hockey team lost a first round playoff game to Woburn.
According to police reports, a patrol officer noticed the lights on inside the rink while driving by and pulled in to investigate.
Chief Terence Delehanty said the officer allegedly found the coach, players and many beer cans inside the locker room area. There were also a number of empty beer cans in each room at the rink. Allegedly Dunbar, and at least one assistant coach were present during the drink fest.
Whether any coaches took part in consuming alcohol with players remains to be seen.
“I have no comment at this time pending the outcome of the investigation,” said Winthrop Athletic Director Peter Gobiel. “To be honest I’m kind of waiting as the investigators go through everything but haven’t been updated on anything at this point.
Gobiel stressed that while Dunbar is a coach and not a teacher and works as the manager of the town rink his administrative leave falls under McKenna’s authority.
“We hate to have any season end on a sour note,” said Gobiel. “We don’t support this kind of behavior but we will let the investigation play out and see what’s what and go from there.”
Superintendent of Schools John Macero explained that there was no need for disciplinary actions against Dunbar from the School Department because the season had ended and his contract is renewed on a yearly basis.
“Our coaches are paid through a one year stipend and the contracts are renewed at the beginning of each school year,” said Macero. “The hockey season ended Friday after the game so there was no need for us to take action. If an incident like this had occurred during the regular season I would have to remove the coach pending the outcome of the investigation. Right now we have to look at where the investigation goes and then determine if we would renew the contract or not.”