ST. CLOUD -- The Apollo varsity boys’ soccer team will have a new coach next season.

The St. Cloud Area School District decided not to renew Coach Chad Keller’s contract at the conclusion of the 2021 season.

The district listed multiple reasons for the non-renewal, including failure to create a culture of discipline, sportsmanship, and respect, not making sure student-athlete behavior followed district and MSHSL rules, values, and ethics, not following participation, attendance, and COVID protocols, and not having positive working relationships with other activities and administrative staff members.

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At Wednesday night's school board meeting, Keller was given the opportunity to respond to school officials. He says he disagrees with the district’s reasoning.

I think those topics are very vague and not to the point, but I think they have to be vague because I don't think there is a lot of substantial facts to back those four topics. I'm not ashamed of the accusations on that list. I'm not ashamed of anything I've done as an Apollo coach over the last six years.

In his statement to the board, Keller discussed several incidents involving the players on the team that resulted in an investigation being opened into his conduct, saying the problems were caused by an insufficient number of busses and lack of gate security at the soccer field, rather than his coaching. He also says working under five different athletic directors over the course of six years presented many challenges.

Keller, a 2001 Apollo graduate, has been with the district since 2016. Prior to that, he served as the head soccer coach at Sauk Rapids-Rice High School for four years.

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