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Judge denies former Saugus football coach Nalen’s injunction

SAUGUS — Newburyport Superior Court Judge Elizabeth Fahey has denied former Saugus head football coach Anthony Nalen’s motion for an injunction seeking reinstatement.

Nalen’s attorney, Michael Castano of Revere, confirmed Fahey’s decision Tuesday afternoon.

In a statement emailed to The Item, Castano wrote, “Today the Court denied Coach Nalen’s Motion to be Reinstated as Head Coach of Saugus High Football. Although we are disappointed, this decision is not unexpected as injunctive relief is purposely difficult to achieve.

“The Court did acknowledge that Coach Nalen has suffered irreparable harm as a result of the administration’s actions,” the statement continued. “The judge also left open the possibility of reinstating Coach Nalen if the complaint can be successfully amended.”

Castano also wrote, “I will be meeting with Coach Nalen to discuss the various options available to him as his claims against the administration move forward.”

Nalen sought an injunction after being handed a letter of intent to terminate last Tuesday. Nalen, a computer science teacher at Belmonte Middle School in Saugus, was given the letter by principal Myra Monto on Saugus Superintendent David DeRuosi’s behalf. According to Castano, the letter pointed to “failure to supervise” as the main reason for the intent to terminate.

Per Saugus administration procedures, Nalen was set to take part in an exit interview last Thursday but didn’t because the hearing on injunction request was the same afternoon. Castano said Nalen was handed an official letter of termination the next afternoon, at the conclusion of the school day at Belmonte.

The termination stems from an alleged incident that took place Aug. 17, during Saugus’ first day of preseason practices in which a player practiced in his underwear because he wasn’t wearing the appropriate red, black or white colored shorts, in accordance with team rules. Nalen was placed on administrative leave Aug. 30, before the team’s season opener. His assistant coaches refused to take over the team in his absence and were also subsequently dismissed.

Saugus police were asked to investigate the incident and released a five-page report two weeks ago concluding that no crimes were committed in connection with the incident.

In the meantime, DeRuosi tabbed Mike Mabee as interim head coach. Mabee has coached the Sachems through their first three games of the season. After dropping its first two games, Saugus earned its first win last Saturday with a 14-0 shutout of Salem at Stackpole Field.

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