Niwot High School football coach gets deferred sentence in student groin-kneeing case

BOULDER COUNTY, Colo. – The football coach at Niwot High School accused of choking and kneeing a student in the groin received a 1-year deferred sentence last week after taking a plea deal.

Dylan Hollingsworth, 44, pleaded guilty last Thursday to criminal mischief, a first-degree misdemeanor, and harassment, a third-degree misdemeanor. He had originally faced second- and third-degree assault charges, the first of which was a felony charge.

The alleged assault happened on Thursday, Oct. 27. The coach was arrested Nov. 4.

Hollingsworth had allegedly taken issue with a 17-year-old student’s use of profanity in a weightlifting class, and warned his students that the next person who cursed would face punishment and “might possible be hit or kicked,” according to the sheriff’s office.

At some point shortly after the warning, according to the sheriff’s office, the 17-year-old student cursed while singing a song, to which Hollingsworth allegedly responded by applying “pressure to the student’s larynx, causing the student to struggle to breathe.”

Hollingsworth then allegedly kneed to the student in the groin. At some point, a school resource officer found out about the alleged assault and reported it.

Hollingsworth received a 12-month deferred sentence and supervised probation under the plea deal, according to Boulder County District Attorney’s Office spokeswoman Catherine Olguin.

Calls to Niwot High School and its athletic director Wednesday to confirm Hollingsworth’s employment status with the school went unreturned, as the district is on spring break until April 2. 

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