July 13, 2024

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Vermont fires men’s hockey coach after investigating “inappropriate” contacts with student

Vermont fires men’s hockey coach after investigating “inappropriate” contacts with student

The University of Vermont fired men’s hockey coach Todd Woodcroft on Tuesday after an investigation into “inappropriate” communications with a student at the school. According to UVM Director of Athletics Jeff Schulman, the conduct under investigation included “inappropriate text messages with a UVM student on multiple occasions who failed to maintain professional boundaries.”

“The University of Vermont Athletic Department has high expectations for the conduct of our coaches and everyone involved in our administration,” Schulman said in a statement. “After reviewing the results of an investigation by UVM’s Affirmative Action and Equal Opportunities Office that was completed this week, it is clear that Coach Woodcroft has failed to live up to these expectations.”

It was not immediately clear when the investigation ended. the athlete Woodcroft asked on July 7 if he was under investigation.

He replied, “No, it’s not accurate.”

the athlete He sent an email to the UVM the same day asking if Woodcroft had been placed on leave. On 10 July, in response to this e-mail, a UVM spokesperson declined to comment, citing “the enduring practice of not commenting on personnel matters”.

Later on Tuesday, Woodcroft’s attorney, Andrew Miltenberg, issued a statement.

“We strongly disagree with the process and outcome of the lawsuit lacking fundamental fairness and due process,” Miltenberg said. the athlete. We strongly believe that the university’s decision was contrary to the facts and the law. We intend to seek justice for Mr. Woodcroft, who has been an outstanding coach and community advocate for more than two decades.”

Woodcroft became Vermont’s head coach on April 15, 2020. Prior to Vermont, Woodcroft was an assistant coach for four seasons with the Winnipeg Jets. He also spent three seasons as a scout and professional scout with the Calgary Flames.

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Steve Fiedler will be Vermont’s interim head coach for the 2023-24 season.

“The team and I have great confidence in Coach Fiedler’s ability to successfully lead our program,” said Schulman. “He has played a key role in the recruitment and development of our existing players and will step into this important role with the full support of our team and colleagues in the sporting department.”

(Photo: Charles Krupa/AP)