AUSTIN, Texas (KMID/KPEJ) – Following an incident at a McCamey softball game in which the McCamey catcher hit opposing batters in the head with throws, the UIL decided to put both McCamey ISD and the head softball coach, football coach and Athletic Director Michael Woodard on a two-year probation. UIL will also publicly reprimand Woodard and the district.
The decision came after approximately 45 minutes of questioning of Woodard by the State Executive Committee. During that testimony, Woodard confirmed that his catcher had done this in four total games this season. According to Woodard, the team had earned five batter interference calls resulting in outs prior to the Cisco incidents that went viral on social media.
The committee strongly emphasized the lack of action and concern shown by Woodard. Committee chairwoman Johanna Denson told Woodard that lack of concern made him appear to have condoned the behavior.
Woodard reiterated throughout the meeting that he did not condone the behavior and that what he saw after the game in the viral video is “not how he remembers it” happening. Woodard told the committee that after the second batter was hit and the Cisco crowd errupted, Woodard defended his catcher to protect her, but said he regretted not taking her out of the game.
However, Woodard told the committee after watching the video in hindsight, he believes his catcher intentionally hit the batters. He also admitted that he never reached out to Cisco to find out the condition of the batter that was hit in the face.
McCamey ISD Superintendent Michael Valencia announced to the committee that Woodard would not return to coaching softball at McCamey High, but that it was predetermined before this incident. Valencia said that Woodard served as the softball coach this year because of a staffing shortage.
Woodard will continue his service as the head football coach and Athletic Director of McCamey ISD during his probation. According to UIL, if anything similar to this incident happens at a McCamey ISD athletic event during this two-year probation, the punishment will be more severe.
KMID has reached out to Valencia and Woodard for comment and is awaiting a response.