Shoreham-Wading River High School varsity football coach Aden Smith, who was removed from his position amid an investigation into an incident during a scrimmage against Islip on Aug. 30, has been reinstated, the school district announced Wednesday.
"The district has decided to reinstate the varsity football team’s head coach, effective September 23, 2019," Superintendent Gerard Poole and athletic director Mark Passamonte said in a letter to players and parents. "We are proud of our team which is off to a great start this year. We thank the assistant coaches who stepped up to lead the team until now, and we look forward to a continued great season."
A district spokeswoman confirmed the reinstatement but declined to comment further.
Smith was removed from the head coaching position on Sept. 6 when the school announced it was conducting an investigation. Reached by phone Wednesday night, he confirmed he had been reinstated and declined to comment further.
The parents of an Islip High School football player told Newsday on Sept. 6 that Smith “grabbed” their son “in the neck area and started shaking him back and forth” during a skirmish when the two teams scrimmaged on Aug. 30.
Richard and Adele Valenzuela said their son, Richie, a senior who plays guard and defensive end, told them after the scrimmage that there was a scuffle among players when Smith suddenly grabbed him.
"Out of nowhere he said the coach came running toward him, grabbed him in the neck area and started shaking him back and forth, back and forth. My son said he was in shock," the father said. "Total shock."
"Then while the coach was holding him … [a Shoreham-Wading River] player came and knocked him to the ground."
The Valenzuelas, speaking on behalf of their 17-year-old son, said Richie was not injured in the incident. The parents said they reported it to a school official, who told them the matter was being addressed.
Messages left for the Valenzuelas on Wednesday were not immediately returned.