Mencarini Resigns

In three seasons as Urbana's football coach, Dave Mencarini was 13-9 with a playoff appearance in 2014. He resigned Tuesday after a police report said he struck a Hawks player on Sept. 3.

Dave Mencarini resigned as Urbana’s football coach in the wake of a police report stating he struck one of his players during the second quarter of Urbana’s season opener at Milford Mill High School in Baltimore County on Sept. 3.

The report was filed with the Baltimore County Police Department on Sept. 15 by the father of the player. There are no active or closed charges related to the incident, according to online court records.

Mencarini, 42, resigned Tuesday, three days before he was scheduled to return to the team after a two-game absence that Frederick County Public Schools deemed “a personnel decision at Urbana High School.”

He retains his job as a physical education and strength training teacher at Urbana.

Mencarini was not on the sideline for Urbana’s Sept. 9 home game against South Hagerstown or its Sept. 16 game at Westminster High School. Frederick County Public Schools declined to call it a suspension or a leave of absence.

In a Facebook post Wednesday evening, Mencarini’s wife, Brynn, said her husband had been suspended for three weeks and “essentially forced out” of the job “for something he didn’t do.”

Brynn continued: “Dave has been an educator and coach for twenty years. He is in it for the kids. He loves teaching, and he loves coaching football. He prides himself on developing outstanding students (not only athletes) who get good grades, who are respectful, and who will become outstanding young men and productive adults. He loves these kids. He loves this community.”

Stepping down with Mencarini are assistant coaches Joe Mencarini, Dave’s father, Kevin Tehaan and Joe Rydzewski. It’s unclear why the assistants have stepped down.

Mencarini, Urbana athletic director Ryan Hines and Frederick County Public Schools declined multiple requests to comment on the record about the incident.

The family of the player also chose to not comment.

Mencarini’s tenure as Urbana’s football coach abruptly ends at the start of its third season. The Hawks were 13-9 under him and made one playoff appearance during the 2014 season, his first on the job.

Hines, who spent spent four seasons as Urbana’s football coach and led the Hawks to the Class 4A state title in 2010 prior to taking over as the school’s athletic director on Jan. 1, 2014, will coach the team for the rest of the season.

The Hawks are off to one of their worst starts ever. If they don’t beat visiting Oakdale on Friday night, they will be 0-4 for the first time in school history.

“I’m fortunate to be with a great group of kids and looking forward to helping them grow and have a positive experience for the rest of the season,” Hines said.

Mencarini spoke fondly of his players leading into the season. He was excited about the team’s prospects. But everything unraveled.

According to the police report, Mencarini and a player became involved in an argument and were face to face during the second quarter of Urbana’s 37-20 loss at Milford Mill, a game the Hawks led 14-0 at one point.

Before the altercation, Mencarini had requested to speak to the player, according to the report. The coach had been observed in an aggravated state and was screaming at many of his teammates while using “vulgar language.”

The report says Mencarini “raised his arm, drew it back making a fist” and struck the player on the chest, causing his shoulders to be thrown backward. Since the player was wearing his football padding, there were no visible injuries as a result of the blow.

The report states there were many witnesses to the incident.

After the blow, the player walked away from Mencarini, but the coach followed him and continued to use foul language, the report says.

On the bus ride home, the report says Mencarini approached the player and apologized for his behavior.

The following day, the father of the player notified Urbana High School of the incident. The report states Mencarini sent “multiple” text messages to the father of the player, apologizing for the treatment of his son and calling his own behavior “inappropriate.”

Nearly two weeks after the incident, the father of the player showed up at a Baltimore County police station to file a report against Mencarini and pursue an assault charge.

“I just hate to see something like this,” Damascus football coach Eric Wallich said. “It’s unfortunate for everyone involved.”

Mencarini came to Urbana High School in February 2014 with a raised profile.

In 10 seasons as the head football coach at Quince Orchard High School, the Cougars never missed the playoffs. Mencarini won more than 100 games and was named the Coach of the Year in 2007 after leading Quince Orchard to its first state title in Class 4A.

Under Mencarini, Quince Orchard was the state runner-up in 2011 and ‘12 and finished the regular season with an unbeaten regular season three times.

“I think he is as good as any coach that is out there,” said Wallich, who served as an assistant under Mencarini in 2007. “His record speaks for itself.”

While he worked at Quince Orchard, Mencarini made the 20-mile commute each day to Gaithersburg from his home in the Villages at Urbana, where he has been a resident for almost 15 years.

After leading Quince Orchard to an 11-2 record and a trip to the state semifinals in 2013, Mencarini approached Hines about the Urbana football job.

Hines, who had just left the position to become the school’s athletic director, was floored by Mencarini’s interest.

Hines’ immediate reaction was, “How do we make this work? What has to happen?”

Hines received 28 applications for the job and interviewed four candidates. But hiring Mencarini seemed like a no-brainer for him.

“It’s amazing. I don’t think you can find a better coach in the state of Maryland to take the job,” he said at the time. “We had some strong candidates. But, when you look at the full body of work, I don’t think anybody compares to what Dave’s done. We are very fortunate.”

Shortly after he was introduced as Urbana’s new coach prior to a varsity boys basketball game, Mencarini expressed his desire to spend more time with his wife and two daughters and work closer to home.

That’s why he said he left Quince Orchard. He had spent 17 years as a teacher and coach in the Montgomery County school system.

“I don’t have the energy to start over” with a football program, he said following his introduction. “Here I get to carry on the great tradition that Ryan and all of the other previous coaches have established. That’s exciting for me.”

In his first season at Urbana, Mencarini won eight of his first nine games and reached the Class 3A West playoffs before being routed 46-3 by Wallich, his former assistant, and Damascus. The Hawks finished 8-3.

The following season, after a 40-12 season-opening home win over Milford Mill, Urbana lost three in a row and needed wins in three of its final four games to avoid the first losing season in school history.

Mencarini called the Hawks’ 5-5 record in 2015 humbling and said it forced the entire program to refocus.

Now, that’s something he must do personally with his coaching future looking uncertain.

“This is a good lesson for everyone,” Brynn Mencarini wrote on Facebook. “We will come out of this stronger with the support of our Urbana community.”

— Staff writer Kate Masters contributed to this report

(43) comments

Jgugs

You should be embarrassed the way you are acting. No guilt was ever admitted. Your assumptions are unsubstantiated and you should be ashamed of yourself. If he did something wrong then he would have been released from all his responsibilities from FCPS. Please use your better judgment and think about it. Where are the actual charges? None. Where is he being fired? Not there. The choice for him to step down is what he thought was best for the team. That is what you do when you are a part of a team. You do what is best for them... not you!

frederickdad

Well said Coach Gugs!!!!

KellyAlzan

FNP Mod - please suspend the commenting ability for Texgethigh. His comments offer nothing of value. And could be putting the FNP in for a lawsuit for slander if this allegations are unfounded.

Comment deleted.
bjiggs

I can see that you're very passionate about this particular story. But the fact that you're posting over and over again about it makes me think that you're either a troll or a person with ulterior motives. That makes it very difficult for me to take any of your comments seriously.

phydeaux994

I don't know what happened and I am not taking sides. Did the Coach admit hitting the player? It looks like he did if there has been no sort of hearing to ascertain his guilt. Why would he resign? Maybe the parent of the player agreed not to have him arrested for assault if the Coach resigned. There had to be witnesses to him hitting the player or he wouldn't have given up so easily. Whichever it is, it is a sad way to end an impressive career.

KellyAlzan

Just because a person resigns or steps down - does not mean they are guilty. I know someone in a public position of seniority. He was accused of serious wrong doing. Investigated. Allegations found to be totally untrue. As they were untrue. It destroyed the man. It was very stressful. Sleepless nights, tossing and turning. Trouble focusing. Took all his love and passion for the job out of him. He stepped down.

bjiggs

It's my understanding that he resigned only after the suspension was extended for (supposedly) violating the terms. A football season only lasts 10 weeks unless you make the playoffs. So, when the school extended it, he probably figured it made no sense to continue fighting. What would be the point?

Corsim

There is an awful lot of Monday morning quarterbacks out there. So hear this those who jump to conclusions without a full understanding. I was there. My son is a football player at Urbana. The bad man you want fired, who is dangerous, is a thoughtful kind and respectful guy. On more occasions has shown extreme respect to adults and students (who don't have enough adults In their lives). He does what most people are to afraid to do. He leads and does so with integrity. He cares and probably too much. Did it occur to anyone that he left because he sees what this is doing to the students. Probably not! That's because he beat a kid down who was in pads. Oh and by the way NOT. Think about, consider maybe that the coaches that followed did so as a show of solidarity in the face of politics! There are no winners in this situation but the biggest loser is the kids and the school. One last thing, just because someone files a police report does not actually mean that a crime was committed, if it had been, there would have been criminal charges that followed. Hence the word "allegations".There were no criminal charges of any kind. Lastly the person that filed that report, well guess what he wasn't there either!

KellyAlzan

FNP Mods:

Texgethigh has done nothing but submit abusive and harassing posts in this topic today. He needs a time out. Please unplug his posting capabilities for the next day or two

texgethigh

Nothing but the facts mame

duffy5x

Auntie Mame?

DebMcCain688

I normally do not make public comments but I felt compelled to share what I am hearing among my family & friends on this heavyhearted topic. My nephews played football in Montgomery County and have only said stellar things about this coach and his family. Unfortunately, they did not play under Coach Mencarini but many of their friends have. The football community is a close nit group who often engage in conversations beyond the playing field and the score of a game. At times, while attending my nephews games, I have been privy to these specific conversations.

Coach Mencarini is a legacy in Montgomery County along with his father who has also coached for decades. Decades. Both of their reputations have been nothing but stellar. The impact that Coach Mencarini has on students, players, families and the community at large must not be pushed to the side because of a suspect and exaggerated situation which has snowballed in the media.

I am embarrassed how Urbana High has chosen to handle this situation. I fully believe that in today’s world with cell phones in every pocket that this incident would have been caught on video (even if in the background). I am sure everyone who attended the game has painstakingly poured through their personal pictures & videos hoping to catch a glimpse of the interaction between the coach and his player. Nothing. Nobody has found anything to support the claim. The same as my neighbor shared about the investigation which took place. Not one player on the entire team, not on coach, not one parent or one fan saw Coach Mencarini hit his player. I suspect a heated exchange, as the player described, would have caught the attention of someone’s eye. Perhaps it is because it didn’t take place as such?

Though the years, I found Urbana High to remain PC and often makes decisions based on politics vs. reality of a situation. I believe the pressure was there and bad decisions were made on the part of the school. Why did he step down? Because I assume it was a knife in his back after all of the years of dedication he has put in to serving the students of MCPS/FCPS. I wish my nephews could have played for Coach Mencarini. I will be praying for the coach and his family.

sevenstones1000

Thank you for sharing gossip. I hesitate to point out, but you did not conduct the investigation, so you have no idea what everyone saw.

bwarner093

If he actually cocked back and punched the kid he would have been terminated immediately. Read between the lines. They are covering their asses.

texgethigh

The kid walked away and tried to defuse the situation but the coach followed him and continued to cuss and harass him.Thats a sickness.Lilpeanut thinks this kid is so soft,its insane.Maybe he should get revenge would that make you happy.Then he would be hard core.

DebMcCain688

Because you were there....and all the videos, bystanders, parents, teammates saw this? Not one person. It must not have gone down as the boy said. It has been a long time sinvr I saw a high school game, but if my memory serves me, the hesd coach is quite a focal point. The player is now trapped to keep to his exaggerated lie. He can't come forward now. Lose face? What a shame.

Oh, your reply is barely literate. I had to read it twice to gather the gist of your ignorant comment. God bless. I will be praying for the Coach and his family.

Lilpeanut

This Tex person is obviously the kid or his dad or family member... whatever. Coach Mac is one of the coolest, kindest people around. Coaches knock their players around all the time (not saying he even touched him but for example) it's part of being an athlete and being pushed to work harder. It's not abuse! This kid needs to grow up and grow a pair, and stop crying to Mommy and Daddy because his coach yelled at him. This country has gone so soft, it's insane.

sevenstones1000

I believe it is because the coach punched him, not because he yelled. That is my reading of it, anyway.

texgethigh

Apparently the Attorneys for Frederick County Public Schools thinks he did something wrong if they suspended him for 3 weeks.

DebMcCain688

It's all PC and politics.

texgethigh

His wife said he was " Forced out for something he didn't do " Then why did he send multiple text messages to the father apologizing for assaulting his son and calling his own behavior "inappropriate" Dave Mencarini needs professional help.People who abuse others will not stop until they get help or something very bad happens,

bwarner093

Wow tex, you must have a personal beef with this guy. The article says the family of the kid declined to comment and the text messages must not have been very descriptive or it would have been included in the report. Funny how the dad turned over the police report but didn't want to comment on anything. Afraid to answer questions?

frederickdad

Within the football culture, there is a "thin blue line" that many of the players wont cross. If they are siding with the coach and support him or maybe they don't like their teammate, they are not going to come forward and be the one to confirm the allegations that were made.

frederickdad

If this happened during a game, there could be video that was taken by either of the teams that would show the incident. Or if the coach was acting out in front of the crowd, there could have been cell phone pics or video taken. The key is going to be in the text exchanges between the coach and father. Something must have touched off the father to motivate him to drive back down to Balt County in order to file a police report.

Comment deleted.
skpclark

To say he is a danger to the community and is potentially abusive to his family is a very strong comment. Coach Mac is dedicated to his family and the kids he teaches and coached. The only thing you're right about is that it is very sad.

bwarner093

Heard there were tons of witnesses and none of them backed the kid.

MrHitshed

The guy screwed up and now will pay the price. Football and other sports are very important, but the message here is simply that a coach cannot hit a player. Zero tolerance. I hope everyone learns something from this and gets on with their lives. I'm sure the coach would love to take it all back if he could.

DickD

This sums it up the best; “I just hate to see something like this,” Damascus football coach Eric Wallich said. “It’s unfortunate for everyone involved.” The coach hitting the player in the shoulder shouldn't have happened, but most likely would have been shrugged off as I am sure he takes much harder hits on the field, but the foul language cannot and should not be forgiven.

jwhamann

In this day and age you now have to ask if race was involved....

DickD

What difference would that make - unless you are saying he is a racist.

jwhamann

I meant in general. Not him. Don't you read/watch the national news? I don't know the kid's race.

texgethigh

If he is at Urbana High School today the Police need to go there and remove him.He is a danger.

bwarner093

If he is still there it is because the kid lied. Anyone can file a police report. Doesn't make it true. Article says no charges.

frederickdad

tex is either trolling for attention, or is close to the situation and has a personal axe to grind with the coach.

DebMcCain688

Agree

texgethigh

A grown man sucker punches a teenager.He should not be allowed near children.Find a new job.

DickD

It didn't sound like a "sucker punch" to me. It was bad enough, let's not exaggerate.

99ngamage

He gave a light punch to his chest plate not a sucker punch

FyremanEd

Nothing says guilty as a resignation. If the accusations were false he would fight them not just give up. The assistant coaches must also have a guilty conscience. These sports are for the students to learn skills but some coaches think this is the NFL.

bwarner093

If the accusations were true there would be a case pending...

KellyAlzan

I do not condone the allegations. However, just because a person resigns or steps down - does not mean they are guilty. I know someone in a public position of seniority. He was accused of serious wrong doing. Investigated. Allegations found to be totally untrue. As they were untrue. It destroyed the man. Took all his love and passion for the job out of him. He stepped down.

redryder17

Hack reporting forgot to add the part about the other team members being questioned and not 1 of them saw any of this happen. The parent of the kid involved was also an assistant coach who, more than likely, just wanted a chance at the job himself. Urbana lost one of the best coaches MD has ever seen because a lie.

shiftless88

If there are texts existing as stated in the story then that in itself is pretty bad

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