CARROLL – After guiding the Bloom-Carroll softball team to the Division III state finals for the past two seasons — including a state title in 2013 — head coach Aaron Alvelo more than likely won’t get a chance to coach the Bulldogs the rest of this season.
Alvelo, 43, was placed on administrative leave after recent allegations surfaced about nearly $6,000 missing from student activity funds. The funds in question were meant to send the softball team to Florida on Wednesday.
A letter hand-delivered to Alvelo on Monday informing him of the leave of absence states that he cannot have any communication with parents of the softball players or the players themselves, other than his own child.
Alvelo’s daughter, Taran, is a senior on the team and ranked as the top high school pitcher in the country.
Aaron Alvelo also was ordered not to attend practices, games or be involved in any coaching activities, nor is he allowed on school grounds, according to the letter.
Bloom-Carroll Athletic Director Chad Little told police that multiple parents from the softball boosters came to him with concerns about cash that had been turned over to the coach from the past several fundraisers.
“After conducting an informal audit with (Little’s) records and the boosters, it was discovered that $5,881 in cash was missing from deposits dating to the beginning of December 2014,” according to the report.
Alvelo has not been charged with any crimes related to this incident. However, he was listed as a suspect in the Carroll Police Department’s initial incident report. The situation was classified as a fifth-degree felony in the report.
Alvelo responded to the allegations Wednesday, telling The Eagle-Gazette that he wants to move forward and will formally resign from his coaching position in the next couple of days to avoid any further distraction from the team.
“I know all the money is accounted for and it’s in the account,” Alvelo said.
The team raised funds for a trip to Florida for several months, but Alvelo had told The Eagle-Gazette a week ago that the team had not raised enough money and would not make the trip.
Because only an informal audit of funds was conducted at the time of the initial police report, Little told officers that a formal audit also would be completed for the department’s review.
Bloom-Carroll schools Superintendent Lynn Landis responded to the investigation into the softball coach Wednesday, saying the allegations were brought to the administration’s attention by parents of the softball program:
“The allegations were about fundraisers and student activity of the high school softball program,” Landis’ statement reads. “An investigation is underway regarding the allegations. After the allegations arose, the coach was not permitted to be at practices or games. Instead, the coach was placed on leave while the investigation is pending.”
Alvelo led the Bulldogs to the Division III state championship in his first season as coach when the Bulldogs defeated Columbia 3-2 in 2013.
Last season, the Bulldogs once again reached the state finals, but they lost a 1-0 heartbreaker against Westfall in a state record 14 innings. In that game, Taran Alvelo struck out a state record 24 batters.
In his two seasons as coach, Aaron Alvelo has a 58-7 record. Former Bloom-Carroll coach Choc Woods is coaching the Bulldogs on an interim basis.
On Tuesday, Bloom-Carroll opened the season with a 3-2, nine-inning victory against West Jefferson. Taran Alvelo struck out 16 and had the game-winning hit in the bottom of the ninth inning.