Your Kid’s Not Going Pro

A Youth Sports Blog

Coach of bullies says he's being bullied

with 2 comments

Todd Fox is no longer wrestling coach at Willard High School in Ohio because three of his team members pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct for hazing a freshman teammate, a polite way of describing an incident in which that wrestler’s pants were pulled down, his testicles fondled, his rectum the recipient of a finger, and all of it photographed. Even though he resigned last year, Fox remains a teacher, and he remains convinced that, gosh darn it, no one ever told him what was really going on, and gosh darn it, he had better sue the parents of the victim because they’re being assholes about it.

If Fox’s Nov. 30, 2009, lawsuit against the parents for allegedly harassing him and defaming him so he can’t get another coaching job wasn’t enough, Fox decided recently to send a prepared statement to the Norwalk (Ohio) Reflector to let the world know: he’s a victim of bullying.

[youtubevid id=”1uYWYWPc9HU”]

“Karma police, arrest this coach.”

From the Reflector:

“It is unfortunate that it has come to this, but I could not sit back and allow a continued attack on my character. I put my heart in soul into the students and community of Willard. I have put students, athletes and the school before my own family many times. I do not deserve to be bullied. I just want to do what I do best and that is trying to make a positive difference in the lives of students and student-athletes.”

Later in the story, the Reflector quoted Fox’s attorney saying that the coach had a “rift” with the freshman wrestler’s father, who had served as a volunteer coach at Willard before apparently putting, in Fox’s view, his figurative finger up the coach’s figurative rectum.

It may well be that the freshman wrestler’s father is a jerk. But the unfortunate facts for Fox is that a) he was coach when such a heinous “hazing” activity occurred, and b) no matter if the father was Wrestling Hitler, his son did not deserve what happened to him. Also, exactly why is Fox sending this email before his trial even begins? Don’t most lawyers advise you not to do stuff like that?

By the way, Fox isn’t the only ex-Willard athletic official involved in litigation. Former athletic director Michael Lillo, now the school district’s transportation, building and grounds director, is accused in a lawsuit of “baiting a certain black basketball player from Fostoria High School” after a Jan. 30, 2009, Willard-Fostoria game, and making abusive comments toward Fostoria players during it. Lillo vociferously denied the charges in an interview with the Reflector. The lawsuit filed by Fostoria coach Rick Renz is not against Lillo, but against Willard police and city for allegedly injuring him while restraining him and forcing him to the gym floor. Must have been one hell of a game.

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Written by rkcookjr

February 14, 2010 at 11:00 pm

2 Responses

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  1. Awful, but not unheard of. Several years ago I reported on a similar incident at Flower Mound High School in Denton County, Texas. Team members called the more gruesome bits “knifing” and the whole community got all puffy over anyone daring to hold the coach accountable. He was eventually reinstated, but only after a lengthy suspension. The kid and his family simply picked up and moved away, if memory serves.

    Truly disgusting all around.

    Stephen C. Webster

    February 15, 2010 at 5:12 am

  2. Usually it seems that when there is hazing going on, it has tacit approval of the coach — although, to be fair, sometimes the coach doesn’t imagine how far the players will take it.

    Bob Cook

    February 15, 2010 at 11:44 pm


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