(WHTM) – After a hazing scandal cost the Middletown Area High School football team their 2022 season, the school board named athletic director Scott Govern as the new head football coach.

Govern’s hiring was made official during a Feb. 21 school board meeting with the Board of School Directors unanimously approving the hire.

“I’m looking to shape young men into men of character and provide our student athletes with leadership skills,” said Govern. “I look forward to taking this program in a new direction and changing our culture and still coming back to the hard-nose football that Middletown has always had.” 

In August 2022 then-Middletown coach Scott Acri resigned amid the hazing investigation that resulted in seven players being expelled and ten facing charges.

A hazing investigation found three students had been sexually assaulted during a practice in the turf room, according to the Dauphin County District Attorney’s office. The report also alleged other students were previously assaulted at a residence, summer football camp, and a heat acclimation room.

Chief Deputy District Attorney Jennifer Gettle indicated, “this investigation did not involve just hazing or ‘boys will be boys’ conduct. Rather, two of these individuals committed repeated sexual assaults and encouraged others to participate under the guise of hazing.”

Middletown Area School District announced a new three-phase anti-hazing initiative that includes education, prevention, and a cultural shift.

Prior to joining the Middletown Area School District as athletic director, Govern coached at universities that included Lock Haven University and Gettysburg College. He served as head junior high football coach at Boiling Springs, was a defensive line coach at Spring Grove, and summer coordinator of football operations at Hershey High School.

Middletown will open its 2023 season at home versus Lower Dauphin High School on August 25. They’re scheduled to play a scrimmage against Northern High School on August 19.