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Coach: Charges stemmed from divorce - abc27 WHTM

Coach: Charges stemmed from divorce

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BOILING SPRINGS, Pa. (WHTM) -

The Boiling Springs community is rallying behind Coach Rodney Wright.

The 44 year-old Boiling Springs High School coach was recently charged with possession of drug paraphernalia.

According to court papers, state police obtained written consent to search Wright's home on Lebo Road in Penn Township, Cumberland County on January 14. Police say an anonymous tip led to the request.

During the search police found a small wooden box that contained a stainless steel smoking pipe in the front pocket of a red jacket in the foyer of the home. Court papers say the box had odor of marijuana and residue from the box tested positive for the drug.

Police say when they asked Wright's wife who the jacket belonged to, she replied, "My husband."

Court papers show Wright was interviewed by police January 29 and he told police he never saw the box before, but later admitted he handled the box.

Wright released this statement through his lawyer.

"I am deeply disappointed that a contentious divorce with my wife of 19 years has spilled out in to the public spotlight and has led to these allegations. The students and athletes entrusted to my care have always been my greatest priority. I am grateful for the outpouring of support from friends, family, and members of our school community, I intend to remain cooperative with the police. I look forward to clearing my name and having these charges dismissed."

Parents and wrestlers gathered around the coach Friday in Boiling Springs to show their support.

"He is a role model to these kids. He takes that very seriously. The drug charges against him are outrageous. They are untrue. He was set up," said Sandy Shoop, parent of wrestler.

Jennifer Taylor, a parent of a wrestler, wrote a three page letter of support to Cumberland County District Attorney Dave Freed, calling the charge a waste of taxpayer money and based on revenge.

"We feel the charges are fraudulent charges. He was framed and set up and we feel it is an injustice for the district attorney not to see through false charges and false accusations," said Taylor.

Taylor said the parents plan on circulating a petition in support of Coach Wright.

The school district called the charge a personal matter and declined to comment.

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