BUFFALO, N.Y. — Suspended Canisius coach Brian Cavanaugh is still waiting for word on his fate. Sources say a press conference will be held this week to announce whether Cavanaugh, the program’s coach of 20 years, will be cleared of wrongdoing or fired, but no official announcement has yet come from the school.
Cavanaugh was suspended indefinitely by the school after allegedly hitting freshman defenseman Matt Coulter on the head with a hockey stick during practice last Wednesday.
According to the Buffalo News, Cavanaugh was removed from Thursday’s practice and the college is conducting an investigation into the matter.
“Brian Cavanaugh has done a awful lot for this program and this community,” said athletic director Timothy Dillon to the News. “We’re trying to work through a personnel situation fairly. We all make mistakes, and it’s just something to deal with and work through.”
Cavanaugh told ESPN.com that he only tapped Coulter on the head with a stick to get him to pay attention. According to Cavanaugh, Coulter proceeded to participate in a full scrimmage for 45 minutes following the incident.
But Coulter did not practice Thursday, nor did he play in either of Canisius’ two games this past weekend. Coulter has been advised not to discuss the incident.
Dillon, however, hinted that Coulter being scratched had to do with medical reasons.
“Medical records are between the student-athlete, myself, the coach and the trainer,” said Dillon to the Buffalo News when asked why Coulter didn’t play. “Medically, I can’t talk about it because there’s a federal law that keeps that confidential.”
Assistant coach Troy MacCormick was named the acting head coach in Cavanaugh’s absence.
The team has some time now to sort things out; they don’t play again until Dec. 29.
Cavanaugh is in his 20th season as head coach of the Ice Griffs. He has a 283-238-38 career record, all at Canisius, including 3-5-2 this year (2-4-2 MAAC).