The University of Vermont fired men’s hockey coach Todd Woodcroft after he allegedly sent multiple “inappropriate text messages” to a student, UVM Athletics announced in a statement.
Multiple allegedly “inappropriate text messages” with a UVM student that “failed to maintain professional boundaries” led to an investigation, Athletic Director Jeff Schulman said in the statement. Following the investigation conducted by the University’s Office of Affirmative Action and Equal Opportunity, Woodcroft was let go.
“I’m not going to get into giving real specific details about the messages. The way we’ve characterized it publicly I hope paints the picture that they were inappropriate, that they didn’t maintain the level of professional boundaries that are expected of employees in their interactions with students. And, obviously, it was sufficiently serious to warrant termination,” Schulman said when asked about the nature of the messages, WCAX reported.
A complaint about the alleged messages was initially filed in March and Woodcroft was asked not to contact any individuals during the probe, The Athletic’s Katie Strang said in a tweet.
New information about the Todd Woodcroft situation at UVM:
-Report w/ concerns of inappropriate text messages was filed on Mar. 16
-Woodcroft was not placed on leave during investigation. He was asked to have no contact w/ individuals who filed report/participated in probe
— Katie Strang (@KatieJStrang) July 19, 2023
Woodcroft, who previously spent time assistant coaching the NHL’s Winnipeg Jets, strongly denied wrongdoing.
“We vehemently disagree with the process and the findings of a proceeding that lacked fundamental fairness and due process,” Woodcroft’s lawyer told the Burlington Free Press. “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.”
Schulman introduced assistant coach Steve Wiedler to the team as the Interim Head Coach for 2023-2024 on Tuesday.
“He has played a major role in the recruitment and development of our current players and will step into this important role with the full support of our team and his Athletic Department colleagues,” Schulman said in the statement.