Damascus High School’s varsity head football coach is resigning after 12 years, he announced Friday.
Eric Wallich wrote in a letter to the football team Friday that he is resigning because he has “come to a crossroad” and needed to “make a change for myself and my family.”
“I have been thinking about this decision for a long time and this is one of the hardest decisions I’ve ever had to make,” he wrote.
Wallich did not address the controversy that engulfed school’s athletic program. Attempts to reach him by phone and email Friday afternoon were not successful.
On Oct. 31, 2018, according to Montgomery County police, four junior varsity football players raped multiple teammates in an assault that included a broomstick. Each student has said in court that they were involved in the attack, but it isn’t known what the charges or the penalties are because hearings have been closed to the press, The Washington Post reported.
Others connected to the athletic program were either suspended or left their job. Toward the end of the 2018-19 school year, Vincent Colbert and Athletic Director Joe Doody were placed on administrative leave. Principal Casey Crouse resigned in April and was transferred to another position within the school system’s central office staff.
In addition to the staff turnover, the football program was placed on probation in May.
The Post reported last year that Wallich wrote to Crouse in a text message the night of the alleged rapes that “Everyone will Be out of the program immediately.” Crouse replied by asking if the players could be ‘suspended’ at the beginning of the next season.
“I’m thinking removed from the program for good,” Wallich replied.
Wallich wrote on Friday that he “identifies as a husband and father first” and hopes to spend more time with his twin son and daughter, who are in eighth grade.
“Being the Head Coach and putting in the time and energy it takes to run a top program would require too much of me and make this impossible,” he wrote.
Wallich wrote that he will continue to work at Damascus High, where he is a teacher.
Dan Schere can be reached at Daniel.email@example.com