Howell High School hockey team's season on hold over 'hazing' investigation

Fired coach says what happened on team trip was not hazing but tradition


HOWELL, Mich. – Three Howell High School varsity hockey coaches have been fired and the team has been forced to put its season on hold because of, what the school calls, a hazing investigation.

The high school athletes were on a school-sponsored team trip to Marquette, Mich.

School leaders found photos from the trip of the players at a bar. They are shown walking around in women's undergarments such as panties and bras.

The Howell High School leaders called it a form of hazing.

The accusations have ended head coach Randy Montrose's 10-year career with the team. His two assistants also were let go.

"You work at building a program for 10 years and get the respect of kids and parents," Montrose said. "It's difficult."

Montrose said what happened in Marquette was not hazing -- it was team tradition.

"It's not hazing. This has been something like a right of passage. It's been done voluntarily by the boys. It's more like team building," he said.

For now, no coaches means no games for the Howell team.

"It's shocking and it's depressing," said a parent who did not want to be named. "The kids, they are the ones taking the brunt of it and it's not right."

Montrose said he will not fight the school's decision to fire him.

The season is on hold until another coach is hired.

"Other things have happened around the school with other sports. And I don't know why it seems like maybe we got picked on. That's why we are just kind of in shock right now," said one of the team members.

Randy Montrose
Randy Montrose

- Randy Montrose and team members.