High school soccer coach quits after calling former player 'clown' on team’s Twitter site
MEDINA, Ohio — After publicly shaming a former Medina soccer player on a school social media account, the coach of the Medina High School girls’ soccer team resigned this week.
Brad Wojnarowsky initially said he was stepping aside for health reasons. But Wojnarowsky admitted in an email to players and their families that he sent out an inappropriate tweet through the high school soccer team’s Twitter account.
In an email Saturday to cleveland.com and The Plain Dealer, Wojnarowsky said, “I tried to resign before the school had a meeting and was told to hold off then they asked me to resign the following morning.”
The uproar began Wednesday afternoon when Wojnarowsky posted a tweet on the Medina girls soccer Twitter account, @mgsladybees.
“So this is why that clown never played for us,” Wojnarowsky said in the tweet.
Wojnarowsky was tweeting about former Medina soccer club player Ali Martin, now a senior soccer player for Cleveland State University, a Division I school. Video in his tweet from a CSU game against Northern Kentucky showed a Northern Kentucky player got past Martin and scored.
Martin saw the tweet and called him out in a reply posted Thursday.
“@medinaathletics @Cleveland_FC @mgsladybees this is the person YOU employ. Brad Wojnarowski should not be working with young women, or any athlete for that matter. These are the comments he makes about former players 6 YEARS later.”
Martin did not respond to a message seeking comment.
Martin’s mother, Becky Martin, also responded in a statement on Facebook.
“I have never been more proud of my daughter Ali than I am right now!” she wrote. “She is “the clown” being referenced in the tweet below... by a former soccer coach who is now the head coach for the Medina high school women’s soccer team!! She had the courage to walk away from the toxicity of the program under this coaches leadership 6 years ago. She has gone on to play for 2 D1 colleges, is serving as captain and starting every game this year and will be graduating in May with honors with almost a 4.0 GPA. At 22 years old she has more heart, class and courage than this man ever will. ... takes a real big person to talk s**t about kids!”
In his email to the team and parents, Wojnarowsky said he had been up for 24 hours spending the day working on camp flyers, meetings, and fundraisers. He said he meant to send the video and message about Martin to former Medina coach Doug Coreno.
Instead, it posted as a public reply to a tweet from Northern Kentucky women’s soccer, which had posted the original video.
“What I thought was a comment to him was actually posted on twitter. Totally my fault and I would never do that intentionally to any player medina or otherwise,” he wrote to players and families. “I was an absolute wreck after that. I apologized to both the player and the parents who still choose to go to the school.”
As of Saturday, the Twitter account for the girls’ soccer team had been deleted from social media platform.
Martin played for Medina’s junior varsity and club soccer. She was recruited to Ball State University and later transferred to Cleveland State University.
In an article Thursday, The Medina Gazette lauded Wojnarowsky for having “bled green and white” for years. The coach told the paper that stress had affected his health, which is why he resigned.
“I really haven’t been feeling well since December, and I think a lot of it has to do with the stress of this job. It’s time to walk away and take care of myself and my kids,” Wojnarowsky told the newspaper:
In his email to players and their families, Wojnarowsky said posting the Tweet was a mistake.
“I apologized to both the player and the parents who still choose to go to the school,” he wrote.
“To those left a little confused and angry, I get it and I’m sorry. I will still be at some games and you guys know my door is always open, don’t hesitate to contact me if you need anything,” he wrote in the email to the team and parents.
Medina City Schools Superintendent Aaron Sable and Assistant Superintendent Kris Quallich did not respond to requests for comment.