Mark Dubach long planned to step away from coaching following this calendar season. His son was a senior on the Bingham High School boys’ basketball team. It was the ideal time to step away, he thought.
But the ideal exit did not come for the man who delivered a Class 5A state championship to Bingham in 2006 and coached for 22 years.
Dubach resigned from his post as coach as well as his teaching position following the start of an investigation by the Jordan School District in early March regarding financial improprieties and verbal abuse against his players. The allegations were brought to the attention of the district during the first week of March, according to Sandy Riesgraf, director of communications for the Jordan School District.
“We found out on a Friday and began investigations on that Friday and the coach resigned on a Monday,” Riesgraf said.
Riesgraf could not speak to what the allegations entailed because the Jordan School District decided the allegations were worthy of a police investigation. She said the South Jordan Police Department took the case and it currently is under investigation.
“Suffice to say, it was something that was financial in nature, and because we felt that it was something outside of district policy and it could rise to the level of a police investigation, we went right to police with that information to start to investigate,” Riesgraf said. “We went to the police after the coach resigned, and after he resigned, we no longer had the authority to investigate on the authority of the district.”
Dubach said the alleged impropriety was a miscommunication between him and a parent of a player on the team, Shawn Morley. Dubach said Morley gave him $800 in checks to rent the Bingham High School gym for practices for a youth team, but the money went to a school account not affiliated with Bingham. He said the money was used to feed the student-athletes throughout the 2012-13 basketball season, and he thought it was a donation.
“It was our outside club account that we used for the spring, summer and fall, and that was the account I used for the kids, and I shouldn’t have used it during the [high school] season,” Dubach said. “It was a mistake.”
He said the issue surrounding the check only was brought to light after the season was over.
In an email statement to The Tribune, Morley said, “We have told the truth of the events of monies we gave to Mark Dubach for use of the BHS gym.” Morley also added he never intended for Dubach to lose his teaching position.
Bingham principal Tom Hicks said he could not comment on the allegations due to the ongoing investigation, but he said any fiscal accounts regarding athletics at Bingham High School must be settled at the school itself.
“All accounts associated with Bingham High School are required to be settled over the main office and be receipted,” Hicks said. “No one is empowered to accept any money at any time on behalf of Bingham.”
Dubach also was accused of verbally abusing players, something he denies doing.
“I just think things have been twisted,” he said, adding some players continue to spend time at his house with his son. “I have, over the years, been tough on some kids and held them accountable for their actions, but I think all the kids know I’ve loved them and would do anything for them.”
Morley later said in his statement: “In our opinion, Mark Dubach should not be coaching student-athletes. It is not our intent to damage the reputation of Bingham High School, its administrators, athletes and other students.”
Dubach said he has yet to be contacted by the South Jordan Police Department, which did not return phone calls Tuesday.
Bingham finished 14-10 this season and was third in Region 4.