David Marvin, Warroad’s head girls hockey coach, files defamation lawsuit against concerned parents

Published: Nov. 15, 2023 at 4:32 PM CST
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ROSEAU COUNTY, Minn. (Valley News Live) - Warroad’s head girls’ hockey coach, David Marvin, has filed a defamation lawsuit in Roseau Co. District Court against parents within the Warroad community, after they expressed concerns against the coaching staff.

On November 2nd, Valley News Live reported the allegations against the team’s coaches, alleging mental abuse, neglect and sexual harassment.

The lawsuit says “this case is about baseless allegations, wild fabrications, and false statements made by Shana & Matt Lanctot, Jeff & Patti Johnson, Coreen Lindquist and Kristin Coauette, against David Marvin, designed to damage his reputation in the Warroad community.”

Earlier this year, a letter from parents and community members was submitted to members of the Warroad school board, alleging that sexual comments by the coaching staff have been made towards the players. One allegation was that a member of the coaching staff got so drunk during an overnight trip to the state tournament that they passed out in a player’s room and in bed with members of the team. Another allegation is that the coaching staff has ignored concussion protocols, allowing players to play without being medically cleared to do so. Bullying and “unfair advertising advantages” have also been alleged.

In an open records request, Valley News Live obtained on November 13th from the Warroad school district, documentation shows that coaches Layla Marvin and David Marvin both had one complaint filed against them in 2023. Both complaints were investigated and no disciplinary action was taken against David Marvin, but Layla Marvin was reprimanded and suspected from staying with the team on overnight trips for the 2023-2024 hockey season. The district’s Administrative Assistant Trish Gausen says no complaints were filed against David or Layla Marvin prior to 2023. The manner of the complaints were not released.

Page three of the lawsuit filed on Wednesday says, “For months, defendants have conducted a campaign to harm Marvin’s reputation and have him removed as a coach for the Warroad Girls Hockey Team. Among other things, defendants have made reports about Marvin to the Warroad High School administration, including the athletic department.” The lawsuit, says that David Marvin has been damaged in the amount of $50,000. The parents have 21 days to respond. You can read the lawsuit here.

In a statement submitted to Valley News Live on Monday, October 31st from Warroad’s Superintendent Shawn Yates, Yates says “The concerns raised have already been addressed and while some individuals may not be satisfied and are looking backward at years past, the district is looking forward to having a great 2023-2024 school year.”