First year head coach Nick D’Angelo along with his entire coaching staff at Coginchaug Regional High School in Connecticut quit earlier this week, with two games remaining on the team’s schedule.
According to FootballScoop, there are differing versions of the events that led to the staff walkout, but D’Angelo cited “a hostile environment and false accusations” by parents and players as his reason for resigning.
One version of events reported by the Middletown Press says that D’Angelo reprimanded a player after one of the team’s games, and that decision led to a group of senior players quitting the team. As a reaction, parents showed up to the athletic director’s office with complaints about how the program was being run.
A slightly different version from local TV station Fox61 says that a parent was shouting at D’Angelo from the sidelines. A nearby parent asked that the yelling parent refrain from using harsh language in front of his kids, and that led to a fight that wound up involving a player. That player was suspended for two games, and led to the chain of events reported by the Middletown Press.
The school had informed D’Angelo that he would be suspended while an investigation into the complaints was carried out, but D’Angelo told the administration that he’d rather resign. His whole staff followed suit.
Without any coaches, the team was forced to forfeit their next game.
The superintendent, athletic director and school administration scrambled and assembled a staff that would allow the student athletes a chance to play in their last game.
“The priority in moving forward is to have the athletes complete their season safely with a skilled coaching staff,” superintendent Kathryn Veronesi said in a statement.
A number of area coaches offered their help so that the players could play.
Interim head coach David DeRita, a former youth football coach, will lead the team in their final game.