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N.C. State Diving Coach Resigns After Conviction Uncovered

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RALEIGH, N.C. — Former North Carolina State diving coach John Candler said he is tired of the trouble his past has caused him. So he will resign from his job and focus with his family on the future.

"It is endless," Candler told WRAL of the stress he has endured in recent weeks. "I guess sometimes you might ask why do I need to be around at all? It's a horrible thing to ask of oneself. I couldn't have made it without . . . my family."

N.C. State Athletics Director Lee Fowler announced Wednesday that Candler will resign after 36 years as the school's diving coach. Candler will remain with the department in an administrative capacity until he officially retires March 31, 2004.

"We sincerely appreciate the contributions that John Candler has made to our diving program," Fowler said. "He has been an outstanding coach and will be missed."

Candler had been on administrative leave for the past few weeks as NCSU investigated allegations of misconduct 37 years ago. The investigation was triggered by an e-mail message sent last month to the chancellor's office by 53-year-old Jane Schneider, of East Lansing, Michigan.

Schneider's e-mail claimed Candler was convicted of molestation charges in Michigan in 1966, when he coached a youth swim team. Candler has acknowledged that conviction.

In 1985, Candler pleaded guilty to similar charges in Wake County.

"Why do we have the term everyone's got ghosts in the closet?" Cander told WRAL following Wednesday's announcement. "I have two ghosts. They're fully exposed."

With his wife and attorney present, Candler said he regrets his past mistakes. He said he resigned because he does not want his family to suffer anymore.

"It's a very close call between the love for diving and the love for my family," he said. "They're both very strong.

"I would prefer not to resign. But the discomfort that's been caused to my wife and my family, my children and grandchildren . . . I don't think it's fair."

Candler said N.C. State knew about his past when he was hired back in the late 60's. He also said both sides worked through the Wake County incident 18 years ago.

During his time as Wolfpack coach, Candler produced 16 All-Americas, 52 ACC champions and one Olympian. He coached more ACC champions than any other league diving coach in the 1990s, with 14 champions on the one- and three-meter boards.

In 1997, he unanimously was selected as the ACC's diving coach of the year at the men's and women's ACC Championships.

Head swimming and diving coach Brooks Teal will oversee the Wolfpack divers through this season but will begin a national search for a replacement immediately.

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