Deputies investigating claim coach punched rival player

Trinity Prep head coach: Foundation Academy Football assistant coach punched player in face


WINTER PARK, Fla. – Deputies are investigating after a coach claims a rival coach punched a player during a fight that happened after a Friday night football game.

The Orange County Sheriff's Office confirms to Local 6 that a parent filed a police report and that deputies are investigating the incident as a battery.

Foundation Academy Football mother Samantha Phillips said a celebration of her son's win over Trinity Prep turned the football field into more like a boxing ring.

"All the sudden their team leaves the stands their coaches and everything. Parents and everybody ran at our kids," said Phillips. "Almost as quickly as it started it was over."

But Trinity head coach Michael Kruczek told Local 6 the fight was instigated by a Foundation assistant coach -- a coach Kruczek said he witnessed punch one of Trinity's players in the face.

Phillips said she only saw a big crowd and heard gasps. She said a photo snapped by a student from the sidelines shows the aftermath of an all-out brawl that deputies had to help break up.

"I know that I saw an entire bench on their side clear and run at our children, and our coaches ran over to stop it, said Phillips.

[WATCH: Deputies investigate football brawl after game]

Kruczek admits a few of his players were involved in an scuffle with some Foundation players who ripped down a Trinity sign after their win, but he said coaches broke it up and it was minor.

That's when Kruczek said the Foundation assistant coach took a swing at a Trinity player.

"I don't think any child should be injured, you know, but we've talked to moms on our side that said their children were hit by adults on the other side," said Kruczek. "No child should ever, whether it be our children or their children. That's just not necessary."

The mom of the player allegedly punched by the coach said she's filed a police report and deputies are investigating. Local 6 asked for the report, but a spokeswoman for the Sheriff's Office said she didn't have access to reports over the weekend and to check back Monday.

Kruczek said administrators held an emergency meeting Saturday morning and decided Trinity will never play Foundation again in any sport.

He also said the coach accused of hitting the player has been fired by head coach Brad Lord.

Attempts to reach Lord or Foundation Academy administrators directly were unsuccessful. However, Foundation Academy released a statement Sunday afternoon to Local 6.

"There have been allegations made that a coach from each team struck a player from the opposing team during the incident," Foundation Academy said in the release. "The law officers took statements and are investigating the matter. Foundation Academy is fully cooperating in the investigation."

Foundation Academy went on to say the accused assistant coach from Foundation was suspended from further team activities pending the outcome of the investigation.

In a new statement released Monday, Trinity Prep writes, "...both teams were shouting, shoving and pushing each other."

The school says it's conducting its own investigation and reiterating sportsmanship with its athletes and coaches.

A spokesman for the Florida High School Athletic Association, which governs athletics in the state, says it is also investigating the fight.

[READ: Foundation Academy statement]

No one has been arrested as deputies investigate.