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Suspended Blackhawk coaches resign


Last updated 3/12/2020 at 12:18pm

CHENEY – Two Blackhawks boys basketball coaches placed on administrative leave in late January have resigned.

According to a recent Cheney School District monthly personnel status form, boys’ basketball varsity head coach Frankie Keplinger resigned his position effective Jan. 31; with assistant varsity coach Chad Smith resigning effective Feb. 5. Keplinger had been placed on administrative leave Jan. 21 pending an investigation into his coaching style, with Smith suspended for a similar investigation on week later.

While the district instituted the suspensions and investigation on reports about their coaching styles, questions surfaced surrounding Keplinger and possible alleged falsification of information on his resume. A preliminary investigation by the Cheney Free Press revealed several inconsistencies with information about Keplinger’s past coaching experience as detailed in a June 4, 2019 news release from the school district announcing his hiring.

Both the coaching style accusations and resume discrepancies were detailed in a Cheney Free Press online story on Jan. 31 and a follow up print version Feb. 5. In a Feb. 1 story in the Spokesman Review, Keplinger said he felt “blindsided” by the allegations and vowed to fight them.

No explanation has been offered regarding the resume inconsistencies as of press time. A request for information from the Cheney Free Press to the school district resulted in job application materials with all information regarding Keplinger and Smith completely redacted, including their names and information supplied in the June news release on Keplinger’s hiring.

John McCallum can be reached at


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