First year basketball coach accused of having relationship with player

A basketball coach is headed to the wrong court.  Thomas Kessinger is accused with having an inappropriate relationship with a teen.  Police said the coach was involved with one of his players. It means the first year for the Elwood girls varsity basketball coach could be his last.

“A young man, who had a lot of opportunities.  I just feel bad for him and his family,” said Elwood Police Chief Sam Hanna.

Coach Kessinger, 29, is accused of having a relationship with a 17-year-old player on his team.  His arrest came after an investigation by the school and the Elwood Police Department.  It all began with an anonymous phone call.

“That call said there had been some misconduct between a basketball coach and one of his players,” said Hanna.

Kessinger turned himself in at the Madison County Jail, but he did not stay very long Tuesday.  He bonded out shortly after he was booked in.

“He bonded out pretty quick,” said Hanna.  “He had already made arrangements to bond out before he turned himself in.”

What makes matters worse for this small town is the fact that Kessinger grew up here. He was a standout on his high school basketball team before playing in college.

“He was a talented basketball player,” said Hanna.  “It is just unfortunate.”

Now, the school’s superintendent wants Coach Kessinger out.

“He will request that, but it will be up to the school board,” said Hanna.

The charges Kessinger faces are Class D felonies.  He is not just the varsity girls coach, he is also involved with the alternative school at Elwood.  That all could come to an end at the school board meeting set for May 2.

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