KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Football coaches who lead their teams to important victories are sometimes rewarded with an ice bath.
Moments after St. Thomas Aquinas defeated Wichita Northwest in the Kansas 5A Football State Championship game on Saturday, Nov. 24, Aquinas players quickly grabbed a cooler and quickly located head coach Randy Dreiling.
The splash of the icy water is a surprise to any coach, but for Dreiling, it was also not appreciated.
Video from 810 Varsity’s live stream of the game shows Dreiling try to avoid the ice bath and then goes to push one of the players who dumped the cooler.
A school spokesperson described the coach's actions as an "over-reaction."
Dreiling told the Wichita Eagle after the game that he wasn’t a fan “of the ice bath.”
The father of the student pushed by Dreiling told 41 Action News Tuesday afternoon that coach Dreiling clearly over-reacted but was satisfied with how the school was handling the incident.
The father is hopeful that once the uproar dies down, his son's participation in the game will be remembered more for his 50-yard return of an onside kick:
I witnessed the exchange between Coach Dreiling and my son immediately following their championship win on Saturday. I celebrated with my son down on the field immediately following the game where he was fully stoked about the win without any concern for the exchange that he just had with coach. It wasn’t until later that I saw the images on Twitter that I realized there may have been more to the split-second reaction I witnessed in real time. It was clearly an over-reaction, and I am sure coach Dreiling would agree. I wouldn’t accept anyone putting their paws on my boy, but I see a football coach grabbing a player by the pads, which is common for a coach to do in order to get a players attention and make sure they're being heard through the earhole. We have been in contact with school administration and are comfortable with the way it's being handled.
Since these boys are destined to win many more championships, maybe we need to get Salvy involved to get coach Dreiling broken of his ice-bath affliction?
I have full faith in coach Dreiling with zero concerns of him harming my son or any other boy that he coaches. My son maintains full confidence as well. He would rather everyone be talking about the onside kickoff that he returned 50 yards for a touchdown.