Football brawl: Huron AD says 'Coach Gildersleeve did not push Coach Test backwards'
Daniel Brenner | AnnArbor.com
In a response to the MHSAA’s official referee report from the Oct. 12 game —which states that Gildersleeve did push Test — Davis gives her account of the melee and specifically details points in the referees' report that she finds to be false or misleading, including a claim that an official tried to intervene and separate the coaches.
Davis’ response to the report reads:
“Coach Gildersleeve did not push Coach Test backwards. Both were engaged and shouting at one another. I was also at midfield and heard the entire conversation. The conversation had just ended and all of a sudden, a Pioneer assistant coach jumped the back of Coach Gildersleeve. No official tried to break this conversation up.”
(Click here to download a PDF file of the part of the referee's report in question and Davis' response. Includes potentially offensive language.)
The referee’s report was included in Ann Arbor Public Schools’ investigation into the incident. AnnArbor.com obtained the report through a Freedom of Information Act request and published an article about it Monday. Davis' response was not included in the district's original response to the FOIA request, but the district released it Tuesday.
The response from Davis is consistent with her statement made in the district’s incident report in which she said, “neither coach touched one another and there was no physical altercation between the head coaches.”
Davis declined to comment on the incident per a directive from district officials when reached on Monday.
The night of the on-field brawl, Test claimed Gildersleeve was “pushing” him during the postgame handshake, an assertion that's also in the referee’s report. The referee’s report also said an official intervened and attempted to separate the coaches prior to Pioneer assistant coach Vince Wortmann striking Gildersleeve, which set off a brawl that involved many players and coaches. Wortmann has since been fired.
Gildersleeve has adamantly denied pushing Test and in several emails to district officials following the brawl requested that the district make a statement on his behalf so that his “name be cleared as soon as possible.”
Gildersleeve resigned from his head coaching position on Nov. 8 and remains a physical education teacher at Huron.
- (Click here to download a PDF file of the part of the referee's report in question and Davis' response. Includes potentially offensive language.)