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Mount Holyoke fires squash coach Allen Fitzsimmons after plea deal in endangerment case

— Mount Holyoke College officially severed ties Monday with its former head squash coach, Allen Fitzsimmons, after he pleaded no contest to a charge of reckless endangerment in Connecticut.

He received a one-year suspended sentence and two years’ probation, according to the Waterbury State Attorney’s office.

Fitzsimmons had been suspended from the college since March after a fourth-degree sexual assault charge related to a 2006 incident in Connecticut was filed against him.

That incident occurred before Fitzsimmons was hired by Mount Holyoke in 2008 and did not involve anyone connected with the school, according to a statement from the college.

The offense occurred while Fitzsimmons was the head squash coach at the Westover School, an all-girls college preparatory school in Middlebury.

At the time of Fitzsimmons’ arrest in March 2012, Westover released a statement saying the allegations against him were first reported by the school to the Department of Children and Families in 2008.

Mount Holyoke spokeswoman Mary Jo Curtis said the college “takes the prevention of sexual assault and sexual harassment very seriously.”

“Upon learning of the charges against Mr. Fitzsimmons, the college immediately took steps to safeguard its students, faculty, staff and visitors, in addition to launching a thorough review of the hiring process.”

Details about the charge were not available from the Waterbury State Attorney’s office.

Bob Dunn can be reached at bdunn@gazettenet.com.

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