SAUGUS — Anthony Nalen, who was set to begin his second year as Saugus High football coach, was placed on administrative leave last week pending an investigation over a team-related issue that happened last month during preseason workouts, according to several reports.
Nalen was not at Friday night’s opening game, which Saugus lost, 30-12, at Amesbury. Coaches from lower levels directed the team.
School Committeewoman Elizabeth Marchese confirmed the suspension late Saturday night, but would not comment on the nature of the investigation or how far it has gone. Other reports, however, have suggested that the incident involves hazing and that the police have been brought in to investigate.
Marchese voiced strong support for Nalen.
“Anthony Nalen is one of the most caring, and dedicated coaches I have ever had the honor to know,” said Marchese. “He has done more for our players, families and Saugus football in his short tenure than most.”
School Superintendent David DeRuosi Jr., and high school principal Michael Hasham were either called or emailed for statements, but neither could be reached. Efforts to reach Saugus Police were also unsuccessful.
Last season, his first with the Sachems, Nalen’s team finished with a 4-7 record.