Hollidaysburg assistant boys swim coach leaving job

A Hollidaysburg Area High School assistant boys swim coach who holds a side job as a strip club bartender has resigned his coaching position.

The resignation of Baron Leonard, who also works at Club Coconuts in Altoona, was included in a list of personnel matters that the Hollidaysburg Area school board accepted, without discussion, during its

Wednesday meeting.

Leonard’s side job as a strip club bartender had generated some controversy among some parents and school officials earlier this year. Parents urged the school board to retain Leonard despite requests in an anonymous letter.

“It was my choice entirely [to resign],” Leonard said Thursday.

There was no coercion by the board, he said.

“Members of the school board were very good to me,” Leonard said.

But since the anonymous letter was sent to the board complaining of his side job at Club Coconuts, he’s not felt entirely welcome at the district, he said.

Leonard holds four jobs and said he needed to reduce his responsibilities and wanted to work where he felt most welcome.

Leonard said he received several text messages from students he’s coached.

“They were upset,” he said.

He said he knows who sent the letter and believes it was sent for motives other than concerns about him or his other jobs.

Hollidaysburg Super

intendent Bob Gildea had previously declined to say whether he wanted Leonard to return as a coach. On Wednesday, Gildea said he was aware that Leonard was reconsidering his job options but said he was surprised that Leonard decided to resign.

Leonard was present briefly at Wednesday night’s board meeting as Hollidaysburg Area swimmers were recognized for their undefeated regular season.

Mirror Staff Writer Russ O’Reilly is at 946-7435.