Phoenix St. Mary’s has fired longtime girls basketball coach Frank Denogean, and the school sent a letter last week informing him his teaching contract will not be renewed.
Denogean said he will appeal the school’s decision not to renew his teaching contract, but had not yet explored the process.
The decision came after Denogean, 48, was placed on a leave of absence by the school in December following an alleged incident involving two unidentified players in a Sioux City, Iowa, hotel during the Sacajawea National Invitational tournament.
A police report filed by the players accused Denogean of “simple assault,” a misdemeanor. No charges or arrests have been made. The two players who filed the police report have since transferred to other schools.
Sioux City Police Sgt. Rex Mueller of the Investigation Bureau said Thursday the police investigation is still ongoing.
Denogean declined to discuss specific details surrounding the alleged incident.
The girls basketball job was advertised on the Arizona Interscholastic Association Web site Wednesday night.
Both St. Mary’s athletic director Ric Moreno and principal Mark Mauro deferred all questions Thursday to the Diocese of Phoenix Catholic Schools.
“All we can really say is he hasn’t been offered a contract for the upcoming year,” said Jim Dwyer, the Diocese director of public information.
“I can’t go into any more detail than that. His contract was up and he wasn’t offered a new contract. There’s still an ongoing investigation and we’re not going to compromise that, or talk about a personnel matter.”
Diocese superintendent Mary Beth Mueller was out of the country and could not be reached for comment.
On Thursday, Denogean said he received a letter earlier this month signed by Mauro informing him the school was not renewing his teaching contract.
He said it was the first contact he’s had from the school since he was placed on leave.
“They have not had the courtesy to make any verbal contact whatsoever. None at all,” he said.
“(The teaching job) was posted online before they even notified me. That was unprofessional at any level.”
Denogean has two children, including a son who attends St. Mary’s.
“I believe in the spirit of St. Mary’s, but not the administration or what they’ve done to me,” Denogean said.
“It’s a sad thing. I’m not a vindictive person, but I have to look out for the wealth of my family, because the diocese hasn’t.”
Denogean taught biology, and was at the school for 23 years.
He led the Knights to state championships in 1992, 1993, 2004 and 2006.
The Knights finished second in 1990 and 2005.
Assistants Everett Largo and Dr. Stephen Neal coached the Knights this season.
St. Mary’s went 19-10 (7-3 in the Desert Valley Region), and reached the quarterfinals of the 5A-Division I state tournament before falling to Mesa Mountain View.
“My main objective is to teach again,” Denogean said.
“I could care less if I ever coach again.”