Former NHCS volleyball coach charged with sexual activity by custodian

Former Hoggard Volleyball Coach Ron Strickland (Photo: Tanner Barth, WWAY)

WILMINGTON, NC – Less than two weeks after it was announced the longtime John T. Hoggard High School volleyball coach would not be returning to the sidelines, he was arrested for sex crimes involving students.

According to the Wilmington Police Department, Ronnie Lynn Strickland is charged with two counts of sexual activity by a custodian, a crime which he allegedly committed in 1982-1983 while a volleyball coach for Hoggard.

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Strickland turned himself in Monday afternoon at the New Hanover County Courthouse.

Wilmington Police say the victims came forward, saying the inappropriate relationship started around 1982, while the victims were 16 years old.

The New Hanover County District said after receiving a tip via social media they relieved Strickland of his duties earlier this year. He is no longer a coach for New Hanover County Schools.

He was with Hoggard for 38 years. It was announced on April 2 that he would not be returning to Hoggard High School.

New Hanover County Schools plans to have a crisis response team in place for students and staff beginning Tuesday.

“I am committed to doing everything we can to keep children safe. New Hanover County Schools is cooperating fully with law enforcement,” New Hanover County Schools  Superintendent Dr. Charles Foust said. “Identification of abuse is the first step to strengthening our prevention efforts. We will report and investigate all allegations. Each student should feel that they are safe when they come to school and we hold all of our educators accountable to upholding that standard. The district will not tolerate inappropriate conduct with a student.”