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Sherwood suspends boys basketball coach Gelfand for season

ALBANY — Sherwood Christian Academy has suspended boys basketball coach Bryan Gelfand for the remainder of the season, according to headmaster Dr. Glen Schultz.

Gelfand has helped guide the Eagles to one of the program’s better seasons in recent memory but won’t join the team as it enters the GISA Class AA state tournament next week.

“We had to take action for the remainder of the season,” Schultz said. “His conduct was unbecoming of a coach or a staff member.”

Neither Schultz nor Athletic Director Eddie Dixon would disclose Gelfand’s action to warrant the suspension.

“He acted inappropriately on the floor, and that was it,” Dixon said. “We had to suspend him. I hated to see it happen.”

Schultz confirmed Dixon’s statements, saying it was from “game-related conduct.”

“His conduct was not in line from what we expect out of our staff,” he said. “We felt like we had to do this for the remainder of the season.”

It is unclear whether Gelfand, who is in his first year coaching the Eagles, will be back next season. He is a volunteer coach who doesn’t teach at the school.

Schultz would neither confirm nor deny Gelfand would be back, however, he did say that all staff and coaches are always evaluated at the end of every season.

“He’s put a lot of effort into it and we want to help him,” Schultz said. “But this is one of those things we felt like we had to do.”

The Eagles played in Friday’s GISA Region 3-AA championship game against Valwood, which wasn’t over by The Herald’s press time. Schultz said assistant coaches Vince King, Patrick Stanford and Pete McSwain have taken over. King was the main assistant who is leading the team.

Dixon said it was an unfortunate incident that he hated to see happen.

“Vince did a great job (Thursday night) and the guys played well for him,” Dixon said. “I feel very comfortable with Vince finishing out our season. I’m very comfortable he’s going to do a good job the rest of the year.”

Gelfand, a former star player for the Eagles, was hired by Sherwood in August and became the school’s third basketball coach in as many seasons.

Gelfand is a 1996 graduate of SCA who was captain of the team that made it to the GISA AAA State Final Four that year. He went on to receive SCA’s first men’s college basketball scholarship when he signed with Division II Mississippi College. Two years later, he transferred to Division I University of Central Florida in Orlando, where he finished his career.

Back in August he called accepting the job at Sherwood a “dream.”

“It has not just been my dream to coach kids, which I have been doing for a few years now, but it has been my dream to coach at my alma mater,” Gelfand told The Herald in August. “I am here to give these young men stability and to help them grow as Christian men and as basketball players. Nothing would bring me greater joy than to help bring kids to Christ and see many sign a basketball scholarship to play in college.”

Repeated efforts on Friday to reach Gelfand were unsuccessful.