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University of Vermont fires hockey coach after investigation into ‘inappropriate text messages’ with a student

<i>DenisTangneyJr/iStockphoto/Getty Images</i><br/>The University of Vermont fired its men’s hockey head coach
DenisTangneyJr/iStockphoto/Getty Images
The University of Vermont fired its men’s hockey head coach

By Kevin Dotson, CNN

(CNN) — The University of Vermont fired its men’s hockey head coach, Todd Woodcroft, on Tuesday after the university conducted an internal investigation of “inappropriate text messages with a UVM student on multiple occasions that failed to maintain professional boundaries,” according to a statement released by Vermont Director of Athletics Jeff Schulman.

Schulman appointed assistant coach Steve Wiedler as interim head coach.

“The University of Vermont Athletic Department has high expectations for the conduct of our coaches and all involved with our department,” Schulman said in the statement. “After reviewing the findings of an investigation conducted by UVM’s Office of Affirmative Action and Equal Opportunity that was completed this week, it is clear that Coach Woodcroft failed to meet those expectations.

“The specific conduct leading to the investigation involved inappropriate text messages with a UVM student on multiple occasions that failed to maintain professional boundaries,” Schulman’s statement continued. “Earlier today, I met with the Men’s Hockey team to inform them of my decision and to introduce Steve Wiedler as interim head coach for the 2023-2024 season. The team and I have tremendous confidence in Coach Wiedler’s ability to successfully lead our program.”

Woodcroft’s attorney Andrew Miltenberg issued a statement Tuesday criticizing the school’s decision.

“We vehemently disagree with the process and the findings of a proceeding that lacked fundamental fairness and due process,” Miltenberg said. “We strongly believe the University’s decision was contrary to the facts and the law. We intend to pursue justice for Mr. Woodcroft, who has been an outstanding coach and community advocate for over two decades.”

Woodcroft was hired by the university in April of 2020 and led the Catamounts to 20-55-9 record over three seasons as head coach.

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