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Madsen

The Bloomer High School boys’ basketball coach is defending himself against accusations that he became physical with a student-athlete during a game Jan. 24.

Bloomer head coach Luke Madsen sent a statement to area media Monday, saying that a situation “has been brewing since early February,” when two players made accusations about his coaching style, with the allegation that Madsen became physical during a timeout during a game in Bloomer.

“As you may know, two of our starters quit Jan. 31 and Feb. 1,” Madsen wrote. “This came as a surprise to everyone in and around our program, as we were 12-2 at the time, and seemingly, rolling along.”

Shortly thereafter, an investigation was conducted, he said.

“Per our district’s public complaint policy, our school administration and coaching staff met with the families of both players to discuss their complaints,” Madsen wrote.

“One of the families then took the next step in the complaint protocol and requested a meeting with the superintendent of schools. Dr. Mary Randall and a building principal in our district then conducted an investiga-tion which included interviewing all varsity players, coaches and other bench personnel. The findings of this investigation did not, in any way, support the claims of the family. In fact, the findings showed that players enjoy playing basketball in Bloomer and have had a positive experience.”

Madsen said one of the families was not satisfied with the outcome of the investigation, so it will be addressed at a school board meeting March 20.

“They have made it clear that the only outcome that will satisfy them is my termination as basketball coach,” Madsen wrote.

However, schools Superintendent Randall said she wasn’t sure if it will be an item on the agenda and said she needed to speak with Madsen first. She declined to make any further comment about the situation.

The Blackhawks finished the season 19-5, losing 83-79 to Mauston in the Division 3 regional finals. They shared the Heart O’North Conference title with Northwestern and Hayward — Bloomer’s first conference title since 2012.

Madsen has a 49-23 record in three seasons in Bloomer. He joined the district in July 2014 as the Bloomer High School dean of students, athletic director and boys’ basketball coach, with a starting salary of $72,000. Madsen had been Chippewa Falls High School head coach since 2004 before leaving for Bloomer. He took a sabbatical, missing the 2012-13 school year, while living in China.

Contact: 715-723-0303, chris.vetter@ecpc.com