Reigning U.S. swimming coach of the year sits out state meet's final day after complaints about behavior

Photo: Jackie Molloy/IndyStar

Reigning U.S. swimming coach of the year sits out state meet's final day after complaints about behavior

Boys Swimming

Reigning U.S. swimming coach of the year sits out state meet's final day after complaints about behavior

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The longtime swimming and diving coach at St. Thomas Academy (Mendota Heights, Minn.) finds himself the subject of a Minnesota State High School League (MSHSL) investigation after a behavioral complaint about him on one of the earlier days of the state meet.

As reported by the Minneapolis Star Tribune, longtime St. Thomas coach John Barnes did not lead the St. Thomas Academy swimming team on the final day of the Minnesota Class 1A state meet following an unspecified incident of “inappropriate behavior.” The coach was to be the subject of a Wednesday phone call between St. Thomas administrators and the MSHSL.

While it has not been disclosed what prompted the further discussion of Barnes’ behavior, it was sufficiently upsetting that initial reports and, allegedly, video of the incident, were enough to spark the additional phone call and the possibility of further action related to the incident.

Still, to this point St. Thomas Academy is standing behind its coach, who also works in alumni outreach at the school. As the winner of 15 state titles (14 at St. Thomas), there is still every chance Barnes works towards number 16 in 2019-20 at the school.

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Reigning U.S. swimming coach of the year sits out state meet's final day after complaints about behavior
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