Ravenwood High School head football coach Matt Daniels will miss Thursday night’s matchup at Christ Presbyterian Academy as the final game of a two-game suspension over allowing an assistant coach to suit up in practice drills.
The incident resulted in an injury to a team player, according to an email from Williamson County Schools Director of Communications Carol Birdsong.
Ryan Fowler, the assistant coach in question, remains suspended as the investigation continues.
Birdsong's email contained only a pair of quotes, including one from Daniels, who in only his third year as the school’s head coach and is considered a rising young star in the profession.
“I try to hold myself to the highest of standards in everything that I do," Daniels' quote read. "As the leader of the football program, I failed to uphold those standards. I want to take this opportunity to apologize to everyone involved. I take pride in doing things the right way and will learn from this and grow as a teacher, coach and mentor. I love being with our boys and our staff and I can’t wait to rejoin the team.”
Questioned Wednesday evening how the WCS Human Resources Department could be investigating a non-faculty coach not employed by WCS, Birdsong indicated she would have to check with HR, noting the entire system is on fall break.
Both coaches were suspended last week after PaulKuharsky.com broke the story that a Ravenwood player suffered a concussion two weeks prior after a collision with Fowler, who was in “light pads” and a helmet.
“While other entities may not view coaches actively participating in football practice in a helmet and pads as a violation, that practice is not one that is within our professional expectations in WCS,” according to a quote attributed to Birdsong. “Our district athletic director will be working with our coaches and school athletic directors to establish protocols for appropriate participation by our coaches during athletic practices.
“Based on our Human Resources Department’s investigation … Coach Fowler will remain suspended as the investigation continues.”
Ravenwood Athletic Director and assistant coach Andrew Elrod took over the head coaching position last week as the Raptors went on the road and beat Region 6-6A opponent Dickson County 70-6.