Woodmore assistant football coach Todd Bringman, accused by parents of abusing players, has resigned.
Parents of a 16-year-old say their son suffered a concussion and may have nerve damage after the team practiced in excessive heat on Sept. 10.
They describe a drill allegedly conducted by the coach in which the sophomore was told to stand with his hands behind his back while teammates were instructed to hit him, but the coach’s supporters say those parents may have the facts incorrect.
The school board announced Bringman’s resignation during a special meeting Wednesday.
“We had a meeting afterwards in executive session and talked about where we are going to move on from here and what we need to get done,” school board member Steve Huss said. “We talked to some parents afterwards last night. That investigation, I’m afraid, is still going to be ongoing because there are other factions involved now, and I don’t know what is going to happen. Hopefully, we can get this to rest sooner than later.”
At the conclusion of the executive session, Huss read the following statement issued by the board —
“The district is continuing its review of the events surrounding the varsity football practice on September 10, 2013 with a view to implementing any needed changes and/or adopting any new and improved policies and practices.
“The board has instructed the high school principal and the athletic director with the responsibility to engage the football coaching staff to undertake a comprehensive review of any such modifications or improved practices. The board remains committed to the district’s over-arching objective that all student-athletes can participate in athletics that are safe, enjoyable and fulfilling, and promote the ideals of good sportsmanship and teamwork that will assist our students in developing into responsible young adults.
“For those of you that have a sense of satisfaction or those who have called other area coaches, you need to refocus your energy towards positive support of this district and its students. These are the types of things that continue to hold us back as a community and a school system.”
The school district is keeping details of the alleged incident confidential until its investigation is complete. The investigation includes interviews with student-athletes who were at the practice field.
The boys’ parents and a close friend told The Press that after practicing in the record 97 degree heat, the sophomore was unresponsive and showing signs of paralysis when he arrived home and on the way to the hospital. The parents were told that their son took a hard hit in practice and received the attention of a trainer. A senior football player drove the 16-year-old, who has his temporary license, home from practice.
The parents drove their son to St. Charles Mercy Hospital in Oregon and then he was transported by ambulance to St. Vincent’s Mercy Medical Center in Toledo. They were told that their son can never play contact sports again.
The parents asked The Press to keep their name and their son’s name confidential until the school’s investigation and their son’s medical testing has been completed.
After the resignation was announced, the father told The Press, “I’m just going to follow what I’ve been doing. I’m not going to make a comment at this point, trying to let the process take its course and let them finish their investigation.”
Since the story in last week’s edition of The Press, several parents, faculty members, and family members have responded in support of Bringman.
Bringman’s mother, Rebecca Migliori, told The Press, “I know exactly who he is and he is a very dedicated young man. He’s being accused falsely.
“These people have been after Todd during baseball, and now its football season and they can’t stand it that he is a good kid. But, you can tell them that Rebecca Migliori is after their heads because I am not going to tolerate this.
“If I had felt for one minute that Todd did something wrong, I would be the first to say, ‘Todd, this is not right.’ He is not this kind of kid. It’s not just because I’m his mother. I know this young man,” Migliori continued.
“He built a pole barn with a batting cage in it for the high school ballplayers. He’s no riff-raff. I’m telling you it’s a witch-hunt — that is exactly what it is. If they gave 15 minutes of their time, but they are not— they are not giving anything to the school except a bunch of lip service. I’m not going to tolerate it and I’m not going to let it go. He won’t ever go back to coaching again.”
The Wildcats started the season 3-1, outscoring their first three non-league opponents Port Clinton, Cardinal Stritch Catholic, and Tiffin Calvert by a combined score of 159-27. The Wildcats opened Northern Buckeye Conference action losing to Eastwood, 40-12, before facing off against Lake last Friday night.