Lincoln High School football player Vybert Green wanted his coach, Tom Mihalovich, to escort him on to the field for homecoming, an honor generally reserved for parents.
The problem is, four weeks ago Mihalovich was suspended indefinitely, reportedly accused of embarrassing a player during practice by making him run laps. Mihalovich isn’t allowed on school property, but the district made an exception Friday night; A surprise for Green.
“It’s a good feeling, you know? Coach I always look up to him so.. It’s a big deal to me.” Said Green.
The crowd cheered when the coach’s name was read. But what was supposed to be the happiest day the coach has seen in weeks, quickly turned. As we were getting ready to interview the coach, the principal kicked him off the property, a parking lot, saying he was only supposed to be there for halftime.
The coach was forced to walk away from his team during the biggest game of the year.
Mihalovich’s wife, Lori said, “To see him walk off like that.. what does that do to you? It breaks my heart because I thought tonight was maybe the end of all this.”
Lincoln principal, Paul Williamson said, “If it’s district property it’s district property. Those aren’t my rules.”
Coach Mihalovich didn’t want to discuss the incident. He says this night is about Green, not him.
He said, “It put a lump in your throat. A young man to think enough about my wife and I to go out there and represent him. It’s a great feeling. I’m humbled by it to be honest with you.”
“I can’t really even say anything about it. I’m just really happy,” said Green. “Coach is always there by my side and he always has my back so I’m glad he came to support me.”