Caught on Video: HS Basketball Coach Shoves Heckling Spectator

Tabatha Wethal Headshot

Officials are investigating an incident caught on video that took place at a high school girls' basketball game in Virginia and involved a coach and a spectator. 

Tom Rife, the head coach of the Richlands High School girls' basketball team, got into a heated interaction with a person in the stands last week, Fox Sports reported Monday. 

Rife is reportedly seen on video during Friday's game jumping over his team's bench to confront the spectator, grabbing his shirt and pushing him, according to reports. Bystanders intervened, pulling Rife away from the spectator and standing between the two to separate them. 

"We are aware of the incident at the RHS basketball game and while we do not condone any misconduct from our coaches or spectators at this time we are still investigating the actions of all parties involved," the Tazewell County Board of Education superintendent Dr. Chris Stacy said in a statement on Friday, as reported by Fox Sports. 

Deputy superintendent Diedra Hill, RHS principal Rickie Vencill and the district athletic director Frank Daughtery will investigate the incident. 

Rife has been a coach with Richlands High for decades, serving first as head coach of the Lady Blue Tornadoes from the 1970s until 2005, Fo Sports reported. He was also the boys' basketball coach. 

Rife returned to the program when Aaron Lowe was dismissed after seven seasons.

Rife's team went 22-2 on the season, but lost, 54-51, in this Region 2D girls basketball tournament game to Wise Central High School. 


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