NEW HANOVER COUNTY –– According to Wilmington police, allegations surfaced as early as 2018 about Ronnie Strickland, the former Hoggard High School volleyball coach charged earlier this week for sex crimes with minors in the 1980s.
Wilmington police filed one report Apr. 17, 2018 for a second-degree sex offense, but according to the department’s public information officer, at the time there were “no leads or evidence in that case.”
On Jan. 14, 2021, New Hanover County Board of Education vice-chair Nelson Beaulieu reported a social media “tip” to Superintendent Dr. Charles Foust regarding Strickland. According to NHCS, Foust passed along the information to law enforcement.
“While respecting law enforcement’s role and offering as much cooperation as possible, Dr. Foust and the NHCS Human Resources department will also independently conduct a thorough review and investigation in response to any report of employee misconduct,” district spokesperson Brandon Shope said.
Strickland went on to coach his final game the night of Jan. 14, StarNews reported. He was relieved of his coaching duties the following day, ahead of the season’s closing at the end of that month.
Warrants for the arrest of Strickland, 67, claim he engaged “in vaginal intercourse and a sexual act” with one teenager on their 16th birthday in 1980. About three years later, Strickland allegedly engaged in another sexual act with a different teenager. In both cases, he had “assumed the position of a parent in the home” of the alleged victims, the warrants state.
Strickland taught for NHCS from 1977 through 2009. He coached volleyball since August 2009 and received $450 a month during the season.
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