The North Attleboro High School girls’ soccer team is left in the hands of interim coach Bill Wallace, current softball coach for the Attleboro Rocketeers, after three coaches and a coaching assistant resigned from their posts last Wednesday.
A member of the team told the Sun Chronicle that parents were angered by the training methods used at a special conditioning session, seeing them as humiliating and inappropriate. After hearing from the concerned parents, the school investigated the events of the conditioning session and sided with parents, issuing a reprimand to the coaches.
In a press release following the exodus, superintendent Suzan Cullen identified a practice drill used by varsity coach Glen Pasquel as the cause of the uproar. The drill in question is called the “bear crawl,” a core-strengthening exercise in which the player made to walk on hands and feet like a bear. Pasquel intensified the exercise by having players perform it while blindfolded. One parent of a player told reporters that the exercise is used as a motivational tool, and was never meant to bully the players.
In a statement emailed to NBC 10 News, Pasquel wrote, “While, in my view, I have done nothing illegal or immoral, I certainly don’t want to be a distraction to the players or the soccer program at the High School. Unfortunately, my good intentions of using a motivational exercise that I saw have been misinterpreted by some.”
Pasquel apologized to both parents and team at an assembly that was held at the school Tuesday, saying that he recognized that the drill was a mistake. However, his apology was not enough to counter the call for his resignation, which he turned in the next day. The rest of the girls’ soccer coaching staff seems to have followed him out in a show of solidarity. The school board is now left trying to fill all four coaching positions mid-season.