Todd Woodcroft, brother of Edmonton Oilers head coach, fired from University of Vermont Men’s hockey team following ‘inappropriate’ text messages with student
By Zach Laing2 months ago
The University of Vermont has fired its men’s hockey team head coach after conduct involving “inappropriate text messages with a UVM student on multiple occasions,” the school said Tuesday.
The University’s director of athletics, Jeff Schulman, said in a statement that Todd Woodcroft, 50, who has been the head coach of the program for the last three seasons, was dismissed after an investigation into the conduct was completed this week. Woodcroft is the older brother of Edmonton Oilers head coach Jay Woodcroft.
“The University of Vermont Athletic Department has high expectations for the conduct of our coaches and all involved with our department,” Schulman said in a 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.”
Two Edmonton Oilers prospects — 2021 3rd-round pick Luca Munzenberger and 2022 7th-round pick Joel Maatta — play for the UVM Men’s hockey team.
According to The Athletic’s Katie Strang, the investigation into Todd Woodcroft had been going on “for quite some time.” Strang added that on July 10th, a UVM spokesperson declined to comment when asked if Woodcroft had been placed on leave.
In a statement provided to Strang, Woodcroft’s attorney, Andrew Miltenberg, said the investigation “lacked fundamental fairness and due process” and was “contrary to the facts and the law.”
“We vehemently disagree with the process and the findings of a proceeding that lacked fundamental fairness and due process,” Miltenberg said in the statement. “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.”
Todd Woodcroft has coached in multiple roles in professional, junior and collegiate hockey since 2000 when he was hired as a video coach of the Minnesota Wild — a role he held for five years. Between 2005 and 2014, Woodcroft worked for the Washington Capitals as a video coach and amateur scout, the Minnesota Wild as a pro scout, the LA Kings as a European Scout. He also had stints with the KHL’s Dynamo Minsk as an assistant general manager and worked with Canada and Belarus’ world cup teams.
In 2013, he was hired by the Calgary Flames as their director of scouting, a role he held for three seasons until the Winnipeg Jets hired him as their assistant coach. Woodcroft remained there until he accepted the head coaching role at Vermont in 2020. That same year, he worked with the Swedish World Junior team as a special assignment coach, and was the team’s assistant coach last year.
Zach Laing is the Nation Network’s news director and senior columnist. He can be followed on Twitter at @zjlaing, or reached by email at email@example.com.
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