Former student calls Hastert 'a role model, a second father'

YORKVILLE, Ill. (WLS) -- A former student of Dennis Hastert, the former speaker of the U.S. House who is facing facing federal charges, said he is shocked by the news of wrongdoing.

Hastert, who worked at Yorkville High School from 1965 to 1981, was a history teacher and a wrestling coach.

Gary Matlock was on Hastert's wrestling team from 1969-73 and said Hastert was well-liked by many students, mentoring him years after he left school.

"Role model, a second father so-to-speak," Matlock said. "Really, a second father. My father worked two-and-a-half jobs to raise six kids. Blue collar. When dad wasn't there, Denny was there. As a teacher, as a coach, as a friend."

Hastert is charged with lying to the FBI and intentionally withdrawing money in small increments to avoid the federal reporting requirements.

An indictment alleges that Hastert was withdrawing large amounts of cash because he agreed to pay three and a half million dollars to an unnamed person, to conceal his prior misconduct.

Sources tell ABC News learned that alleged misconduct may involve inappropriate sexual behavior with a male individual, dating back to Hastert's time as a high school coach and teacher.

Matlock was shocked by the news.

"I was surprised to hear his name come across the airwaves yesterday in a negative fashion," Matlock said.

In a statement, Yorkville Community Unit School District No. 115 said the district had
"no knowledge of Mr. Hastert's alleged misconduct, nor has any individual contacted the District to report any such misconduct."

Hastert, who was also a board member at Wheaton College, turned in his resignation.

College officials said they are "saddened to learn of these charges."
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