Super Bowl-winning quarterback turned broadcaster Trent Dilfer is in hot water after video showed the now-high school coach pushing and shouting at one of his players.
The incident occurred Friday night in Lipscomb Academy’s 62-7 win. Dilfer has been head coach at Lipscomb since 2019, when he left ESPN as an analyst to turn to coaching. This video marks the first recorded incident with a player, and oddly enough, Beau Dawson, the player shown, was the son of another former NFL pro, kicker Phil Dawson.
Lipscomb wasted no time trying to get ahead of the video, posting an apology from Dilfer.
“I want to address the incident on the sideline during Friday night’s game versus Independence that has drawn a lot of attention. First and foremost, I take all responsibility as the head coach and leader of our team for not deescalating an emotional situation with one of our players, Beau Dawson. Beau is one of our finest players and embodies all the characteristics we are looking for in our Mustang players. Beau plays the game with the right kind of passion and is an inspiration to our other players. During a moment of frustration and in an attempt to get our team to play with more discipline, I unfairly singled Beau out. Somehow Beau Dawson has been portrayed publicly as the culprit in this situation, when in reality, I should have been a better leader and shown greater wisdom and discernment in how I handled this incident. Overall, I could not be more proud of Beau and the rest of our team for how they handle the emotional nature of each game they compete in.”
The apology from Dilfer isn’t wholly focused on his own mea culpa, but also squashing a ludicrous line of thinking that came about from some who saw the video, immediately assuming the player somehow “deserved it.” Which, to be clear, is absolutely ridiculous. There is zero excuse for a coach to ever put their hands on a player, especially when the player is a teenager. Furthermore, anyone who says this is just what youth sports are like is lying. I played basketball and rugby though high school, and never once encountered or witnessed an occasion where a coach got into a physical altercation with a player.
Dilfer’s apology came quickly, it happened before the video went national, and deflected any idea that Dawson “deserved” being shoved on the sideline and yelled at. Ultimately he handled it the best way possible, and hopefully he learned something from this and it never, ever happens again.