MANCHESTER — Longtime youth wrestling coach Jason Cumming was found dead in his West Side home on Thursday, after police launched an unspecified investigation involving him, police said on Friday.
Cumming had been coach at Manchester High School Central for about a decade, according to previous newspaper articles. He was also the founder of the Manchester Police Athletic League (MPAL) Gryphons.
Grief counselors were on hand at the MPAL building on Friday, said former Police Chief David Mara, the vice chairman of the MPAL board.
“We are heartbroken to announce the sudden and unexpected passing of our longtime wrestling coach, Jason Cumming,” Mara said. “Jason founded the Manchester Police Athletic League Gryphons and was the cornerstone of our many years. His loss will be felt throughout the community.”
Mara said Cumming had recently resigned from MPAL.
Police spokesman Capt. Brian O’Keefe termed Cumming’s death an unattended death.
“Prior to his death, we received information regarding allegations against Mr. Cumming, so we are in fact investigating the matter at this time,” O’Keefe said in an email.
O’Keefe said Cumming was found about 3 p.m. at his home on Reed Street.
MPAL is staffed by Manchester police and volunteers and offers programs to disadvantaged Manchester children. Programs include help with homework, an ambassador program, robotics, boxing and wrestling.
Cumming had been coach at Central High for about 10 years. Principal John Vaccarezza referred a reporter to the Central High office. Spokesman Sara Jacobs took several questions from a reporter but never replied.
The chairman of the school board’s Athletic Committee, Pat Long, said school board members received a notice that Cumming had died. Grief counselors were made available at the high school, he said.
Cumming had a wife and child. The MPAL Facebook page mourned the loss and relayed several telephone numbers, including the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.
A posting on MPAL’s Facebook post announcing Cumming’s death attracted 100 comments in the first five hours. Victoria Jones posted that Cumming “was a great coach and a mentor to all the kids he helped.”