University of Vermont Hockey Coach Fired Amid Inappropriate Text Message Investigation
Burlington, VT— After a four-month investigation into inappropriate text messages with a UVM student, former UVM men’s hockey coach Todd Woodcroft was fired without pay. After an athletic department employee alerted the university, the Office of Affirmative Action and Equal Opportunity (AAEO) began the investigation on March 16.
At UVM’s athletic director Jeff Schulman’s Wednesday news conference, it was revealed that Woodcroft’s complaint was solely about the alleged inappropriate text messages. Schulman stressed the university’s seriousness and transparency in such matters.
The AAEO, an independent body that investigates university discrimination and harassment complaints, meticulously investigated the complaint before the end of March. After extensive investigation, the findings concluded that the only issue was inappropriate text messages.
Schulman stated that the investigation focused on communication with one student, but he did not reveal the student’s identity or the text messages due to privacy concerns. These investigations often involve other students or witnesses. The university prioritizes privacy and well-being.
Todd Woodcroft, a 50-year-old coach who signed a five-year contract with UVM in April 2020, was fired, hurting the hockey program. He led the team to success, but recent allegations required swift and decisive action. University records show Woodcroft’s 2022-2023 base pay was $286,855.
Woodcroft was not placed on administrative leave but instructed to work from home to avoid campus distractions during the investigation. Woodcroft’s hockey contributions were recognized despite his departure.
Jeff Schulman backed interim head coach Steve Wiedler, who will lead the Catamounts in 2023-2024. The university will support student-athletes and the hockey program through this unexpected disruption.
Woodcroft’s attorney, Andrew Miltenberg, strongly disputed the investigation’s findings. “We vehemently disagree with the process and the findings of a proceeding that lacked fundamental fairness and due process,” Miltenberg said of the university’s decision.
The UVM men’s hockey team’s coach’s firing had major repercussions. This incident reminds the university community of the importance of respect, accountability, and ethics among coaches, players, and staff.
UVM will continue to support its hockey program and student well-being. The administration is vigilant in addressing issues and promoting integrity and respect in the athletic community.
The UVM men’s hockey team’s new chapter is the focus after Woodcroft’s firing. With a seasoned interim coach, the Catamounts are ready to unite and face the season’s challenges.