It’s been five weeks since Lincoln High School’s head football coach was suspended from the team. He could learn if the suspension becomes permanent at Wednesday night’s school board meeting. It follows an internal investigation into how players are treated.
The investigation found tom Mihalovich retaliated against a player who had criticized the Lincoln football program online. The player has since transferred out of Lincoln High School.
“At the time, it was a teachable moment, I just think for me to be here 5 weeks later in this, I think everybody would have to look at a different angle,” said Coach Tom Mihalovich.
Mihalovich and his attorneys say there are several misrepresentations and misstatements in that report.
“I was stunned by some of the things we were reading in there. And I know the truth. I’ve got coaches and documentation that we’re going to bring out tonight that will show that some of these things are not accurate at all,” said Mihalovich.
His attorney points out several instances in which the investigator’s findings do not match the actual statements from the interviews. He also says the investigator omitted parts of the school districts policy on punishment. Since day one, Mihalovich has had numerous supporters, many showing up to rally at past meetings, events, and just keep the issue in the spotlight. Mihalovich says that show of support has really helped him through.
“Being the outside in now, that I don’t usually get to be during the seasons, it’s very touching. Players I coached 30 years ago are calling me, and it really touches the heart. It does,” said Mihalovich.
Right now Mihalovich is on paid administrative leave, but that could change- the school board could choose to reinstate him or terminate him.
We tried to contact the Des Moines school district several times before the board meeting Wednesday afternoon, but none of our phone calls were returned.