The University of Vermont athletic department has relieved men’s ice hockey head coach Todd Woodcroft of his duties following an investigation into inappropriate text messages he allegedly sent to a student at the school.
Woodcroft, 50, had been head coach of the Vermont Catamounts since the 2020-21 season. He is the older brother of current Edmonton Oilers head coach Jay Woodcroft.
In a statement on Tuesday, the University of Vermont athletic department announced that Steve Wiedler will serve as interim head coach of the men’s ice hockey team for the 2023-24 season.
UVM Athletic Director Jeff Schulman also released a statement Tuesday afternoon:
“The University of Vermont Athletics Department has high expectations for the conduct of our coaches and everyone involved in our department. After reviewing the findings of an investigation by UVM’s Office of Affirmative Action and Equal Opportunity which concluded this week, it is clear that Coach Woodcroft has failed to meet those expectations,” Schulman said. « The specific conduct leading to the investigation involved inappropriate text messages with a UVM student on multiple occasions that failed to maintain professional boundaries.
“Earlier today, I met with the men’s hockey team to inform them of my decision and introduce them to Steve Wiedler as interim head coach for the 2023-2024 season. The team and I have tremendous confidence in Coach Wiedler’s ability to lead our program successfully. He has played a major role in the recruitment and development of our current players and will take on this important role with the full support of our team and his colleagues in the athletic department.
During his tenure at UVM, Woodcroft worked for the Swedish national team as a coach at two World Junior Championships, winning bronze as an assistant coach at the 2022 tournament. Prior to joining the Catamounts in 2020, Woodcroft spent two decades in the NHL in various roles with the Minnesota Wild, Washington Capitals, Los Angeles Kings, Calgary Flames and Winnipeg Jets.
Woodcroft’s attorney, Andrew Miltenberg, shared a statement with Athleticismfrom Katie Strang on Tuesday afternoon:
« We vehemently disagree with the process and conclusions of a proceeding that lacked fundamental fairness and due process, » Miltenberg said.. “We strongly believe that the University’s decision was contrary to the facts and the law. We intend to seek justice for Mr. Woodcroft, who was an outstanding coach and community advocate for over two decades.
The Catamounts finished the 2022–23 season, Woodcroft’s last as head coach, with a record 11 wins, 20 losses, and five draws in 36 games.