The two rival high school coaches skipped the post-game handshakes for a knockdown fistfight after a close game in Jaspar, Alabama. The midfield slugfest went on as police, players and other coaches struggled to separate the two men.
The fight followed a hard-fought game between Cullman and Walker high schools. Video of the rumble shows Cullman assistant Matt Hopper jaw briefly with Walker coach John Holladay as other coaches try to herd players off the field. Holladay cracks Hopper with a big right hand, and the fight is on.
Both men tumbled to the turf as cops, players and coaches rushed in.
Hopper came out bloodied, with his shirt ripped and an ugly purple knot swelling below his left eye.
He continued to shout after the coaches were separated, and police officers had to take him down a second time when he suddenly lunged forward.
Cullman had just beaten Walker, 13-10, on a 6-yard run with 18 seconds left in the game, the Daily Mountain Eagle reported.
The game, marred by 20 penalties, was an especially bitter defeat for Walker after an official’s mix-up cost the team possession of the ball late in the second half.
Hopper took the worst of the fight that followed, but he might end up better off than his opponent. His bosses in the school district told the Cullman Times he wouldn’t face any disciplinary action.
School board President Suzanne Harbin said, "I understand there is no need to reprimand our coaches and players, that they acted with class and dignity during the situation."
"Our duty at this point is to document the facts surrounding this incident," Jasper police Chief Connie Rowe said. "We will be taking statements and reviewing video and photographs that may have captured the incident."
The Alabama High School Athletic Association has launched its own investigation.
Great way to set an example for the kids.