High school football coach charged with additional sex crimes Three men step forward to join five other former Churchill, Vincent Massey students alleging abuse, exploitation between 2004 and 2011

A celebrated local high school football coach accused of sexually abusing some of his former students is facing additional charges after more accusers recently stepped forward.

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A celebrated local high school football coach accused of sexually abusing some of his former students is facing additional charges after more accusers recently stepped forward.

Winnipeg Police Service said Friday that Kelsey Albert Dana McKay was charged Wednesday with three counts each of sexual assault and sexual exploitation and two counts of luring, which were added to the 14 exploitation and sexual assault he was charged with earlier this month.

Kelsey McKay coaching football at Vincent Massey Collegiate in 2009. (Boris Minkevich / Winnipeg Free Press files)

The eight men, all former football players — seven at Churchill High School and one at Vincent Massey Collegiate — were teenagers when the offences allegedly occurred, between 2004 and 2011.

McKay, 51, taught physical education and coached football at Churchill and then Vincent Massey. He’s been involved in coaching for more than three decades.

He was placed on unpaid leave from Vincent Massey April 13, the day after his arrest on the initial charges involving accusations from five of the former students; Pembina Trails School Division barred him from the property.

When police announced those charges, they said most of the offences occurred at McKay’s home. The exploitation lasted years, in some cases, court records obtained by the Free Press earlier this month show.

McKay is well-known throughout the provincial football community, having coached teams from both Churchill and Vincent Massey to championships.

WPS spokeswoman Const. Dani McKinnon said McKay “groomed” players and went “beyond” what is expected of a coach-player relationship, breaching boundaries.

The head coach of the Winnipeg Rifles junior football club is calling on the government to protect youths who participate in sports programs.

Kelsey McKay (Phil Hossack / Winnipeg Free Press files)

Geordie Wilson, the Rifles’ head coach, who is also a retired teacher, told the Free Press he wants to see legislation to prevent students and players from being allowed into the homes of teachers and coaches, as well as trauma counselling for players, and cash to increase awareness of Sport Manitoba’s support line for players who have been abused, harassed, bullied or hazed.

He met with provincial Education Minister Wayne Ewasko and Sport Minister Andrew Smith and their deputy ministers on Thursday to discuss the changes he wants to see.

“Their intentions are to keep moving the ball forward,” he said. “It felt positive, the meeting, but did I get the sense this was urgent? No.”

The meeting came after Wilson met with the NDP, which plans to bring forward a private member’s bill on the matter in May, he said.

Wilson said he plans to continue his effort to better protect youths.

“This is something we have to do better as a society, to take better care of young people and we have to take better care of victims, no matter how old they are… and we have to try to reduce opportunities for these predators,” he said.

McKay’s career as a football coach began in 1990 as an assistant with the Churchill Bulldogs and, in 2003, he was named head coach of the team. In 2009, McKay began working at Vincent Massey, where he started the football program.

Wilson was among the leaders in Winnipeg’s youth football community who were stunned by the troubling allegations made against McKay.

“When I found out about the first charges, my phone was going crazy. At about 7 o’clock that night, I cried — and I’m not a crier… it’s close to home. Football’s a game I’ve been involved with since Grade 5, as a player (and) coach,” he said.

“My heart was breaking for the victims… those people that came forward, that’s years after it happened. You think about how they’ve had to live their lives… I look at those (victims) as heroes. Really, what they’ve done is prevented other kids from being violated by coming forward.”

McKay’s next administrative court date is July 12, followed by another Aug. 2, court records show.

According to his first release order, obtained by the Free Press earlier this month, he can’t coach football in any capacity or be in a position of authority over a youth. He’s also barred from contact with anyone under the age of 18 (including communication by any means) except in unavoidable public encounters. He’s not allowed to be where youths under 18 could be present, including schools, daycares, playgrounds or community centres.

He has no past criminal convictions in Manitoba.

Anyone who wants to speak to investigators can call 204-986-6350. WPS Victim Services is available at 204-986-6350. The Klinic Sexual Assault Crisis Line is 204-786-8631.

erik.pindera@freepress.mb.ca

Twitter: @erik_pindera

Erik Pindera

Erik Pindera
Reporter

Erik Pindera reports for the city desk, with a particular focus on crime and justice.

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