A Virginia girls basketball coach has been charged with misdemeanor assault and battery connected to a disturbing incident during a time out of one of his team's games.
As reported by the Washington Post and InsideNova.com, Woodbridge (Va.) Gar-Field High girls basketball coach Donnie Gallitz was charged with assault and battery after one of his own player's swore out an assault warrant against him.
The charges are related to an in-game incident during a timeout when Gallitz reportedly grabbed the player's bottom jaw and shook it for upwards of 15 seconds in an apparent disagreement over her performance in the game.
"[He was] saying what I needed to do, [and] then let go," the victim, whose name was not released because she is a minor, stated in the criminal complaint.
While the charges are outstanding, Gallitz has been placed on administrative leave, which began on January 17. The first-year Gar-Field head coach has a trial scheduled for March 4, at which point his attorney told the Post, "He looks forward to getting this put behind him."
If the allegations are true, Gallitz's reaction would represent a troubling case of a coach going far over the line. While in-game conversations during timeouts can certainly become heated, it's never justifiable for a coach to grab a player anywhere, let alone on the face.
Though Gallitz has yet to comment publicly, the most recent Tweet he has issued cites the poem Invictus by William Ernest Henley, providing a sense that regardless of what comes of the charges, Gallitz will return to what he loves to do.
It matters not how strait the gate, How charged with punishments the scroll. I am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul -WEH