WHS Boys' Hockey Coach Resigns After Slapping Player

Watertown High School boys' hockey coach John Campbell reported the incident and resigned after an investigation.

Watertown boys' hockey coach John Campbell resigned after he "slapped" a player, Interim Superintendent Jean Fitzgerald announced in a press release Friday.

"Earlier this week, the boys’ hockey coach self-reported to the athletic director that he “slapped” a player. There was no injury," Fitzgerald said in the release. "We commenced an immediate investigation and interviewed the coaches and student athletes who were present. At the conclusion of our investigation, the
coach involved in the incident resigned."

Neither Campbell nor the student involved in the incident were named, "because of state law and regulations regarding employee and student privacy," Fitzgerald said.

The Boston Herald reports that a source told them that assistant coach Mike Hayes will take over as interim head coach.

Fitzgerald said the Watertown Schools does not tolerate any such activities.

"It is the position of the Watertown Public Schools that under no circumstances is it appropriate for an adult to become physical with any student or student athlete," she wrote.

Bethany January 13, 2012 at 10:19 PM
I hope the parents press charges. It's time to send the message that the good old boy network of Watertown will not be tolerated.
Erin January 14, 2012 at 01:35 AM
Erin January 14, 2012 at 01:36 AM
If you think that's bad you should see the emotional abuse the Catholic Memorial coach Hanson inflicts on his players. I commend this coach for admitting he was wrong and resigning. I only wish these schools would learn that these coaches are not untouchable, there is always another younger more energetic coach behind them to take their place.
MeAgain January 14, 2012 at 03:19 PM
We as parents really need to stay on top of these things and take into consideration who is teaching/mentoring our kids. Just because they can pass a CORI or have a degree is not a reason to automatically trust your child in their hands. There would be really HUGE problems for this man if that was my son!!
Harry January 15, 2012 at 03:11 PM
Walk into WHS. The administration has no idea what is going on. This is not the first incident with the hockey program this year. The AD is asleep at the wheel!! He lets one group of parents, the same group who gets thrown out of kids games, puppet him and lets everything else crumble. There are kids skipping school+smoking then playing in games
Harry January 15, 2012 at 03:19 PM
High School Heroes/Lifetime Zeros. Watertown is littered with them. They give pay raises to coaches and cannot afford supplies for the students. Victory field gets redone and the classrooms are a mess. It is a small percentage of students who even care about the sports and go to the games. Have you gone to a basketball game lately? (Crickets...)
Patient January 15, 2012 at 04:09 PM
I agree with Harry. Walk into WHS (it won't be hard to get in, there is no sense of security) - and see kids swearing, fighting, using sexually explicit language. See admins just walk on by doing their "important work" that seemingly has nothing to do with the kids. Hiring and keeping a loser coach and then not addressing it with the faculty or parents, only the tip of the iceberg.
H2O girl January 15, 2012 at 04:38 PM
This is so funny. I am a senior at WHS. I stopped playing this year and can't wait to get out of the school.
H2O girl January 15, 2012 at 04:40 PM
Btw..how about the basketball "captain" swearing the other night
WallSmart January 16, 2012 at 01:47 PM
If the athletic program is is in such a shambles you should bring it to the attention of the new School Committee. Get the Watertown Residents for Strong Schools involved, all they talk about now is lunch menus. http://www.facebook.com/groups/watertownresidents/
susan roberts January 17, 2012 at 12:39 AM
why would they hire a hockey coach with an armed robbery on his criminal record among other things?
greatgamere January 17, 2012 at 08:14 PM
what is susan talking about???????????
Sasha Maria January 17, 2012 at 10:21 PM
Wow ... As an anonymous outsider, I am sad to see this story. The man reported himself, admitted his faults ... He is a great guy, and bleeds hockey! I hate to see him have to give up his passion because of an honest mistake. I wish him my best, and hope to see him go and turn another school into a success like he did at Watertown!!!
Sasha Maria January 18, 2012 at 12:15 AM
And I agree greatgamere ... Susan why don't u elaborate?!?
billk January 21, 2012 at 01:37 AM
i know this is an honest hardworking coach who loves hockey and really cares about the kids.he has always been an honorable person.kids can get under your skin and obviously the coach was the very first to admit how wrong he was.A strong reaction to this event was warranted.The coach already handled it by turning himself in and resigning without even trying to defend his actions. Some of the critics are going over the top and I think they loading up on this eventwith other issues they have with the school.
Tony V January 21, 2012 at 02:20 PM
How about a story on the fall of the basketball program and the rise of the coaching salary? Where are all the Bball stories? HMNN
Watertown Mom January 26, 2012 at 09:48 PM
The "man" did NOT report himself. He was turned in by another teacher/coach and then confessed - BIG DIFFERENCE! Sasha - I would love to see one of your kids get open hand slapped straight across the face and see if you then still agree with your comment that he made an "honest mistake" - ridiculous statement! Also he might bleed hockey but he was never a good coach. Look at their record. You can't win games when you are constantly playing favorites because of who you are, date or know! Glad to see him go! On a different note, I believe what Susan was talking about was something that happened many many years ago and I will stick up for him regarding that because somebody stole his identity and then committed a crime and when the person got arrested they said they were him. He is innocent of that for sure. But still a coward and poor example of a role model, coach or even mature rational adult for slapping someone he should've been mentoring! Loser!
smart parent January 29, 2012 at 08:21 PM
Yes he did something wrong. No queston. We live in a different world now, you can not make any kind of coach/player contact at all. He made a bad bad mistake. The "spin" that this is taking is a bit over the top. I would like to hear from the team and most of the parents on what their thoughts are. There will ALWAYS be a few parents that never like the "Coach" that will never change. They will find a way to boot a Coach out, because of possibley their child is not playing.... Coaching is not an easy thing to do. Again I am not justifying what the Coach did at all. Is he a horrible person? No. He did dedicate a great deal of time and hard work into this program and did a good job through the years. It's unfortunate that it had to end like this for him. He has alot of talent and knowledge of hockey to offer. A lesson learned.
smart parent January 30, 2012 at 03:44 AM
Wow, sounds like you may have more issues!
jsmith123 February 09, 2012 at 05:12 PM
Fall of the basketball program? I guess you are referring to the Boys' program because the Girls are off to a great start and perhaps, the best start in several years. Which raises the question, where is the coverage on the Girls' program? The last article on them was from December.
PatchFan February 09, 2012 at 08:57 PM
I am sure that the patch will cover the second win over mighty Innovation Academy...can't wait to fork over six bucks again for that one!
terra February 08, 2013 at 02:22 AM
Obviously none of you have played hockey. I have known John and played with him for many years. He's a great man and has a great hockey mind. We had coaches that would break a stick over our heads. If pressed charges against every coach that hit me, there would have been none left. Its part of the game, parents need to stop wiping there kids asses.
wat46 June 01, 2013 at 11:45 PM
just want to comment here that there is no excuse for being physically inappropriate with students/others (happen to have known all of the folks mentioned here from school in Watertown growing up- NOT new behavior for JC- goes way back).
LT November 05, 2013 at 08:41 PM
I had two family members play for this coach and he was a terrible coach, and worse man. He was never out of line with my gang, but we know him from way back and he was lousy with the team as a whole and with other kids. I know people that complained to the AD about him many times, and no steps were taken to reign him in. Good riddance to the town and the school. Watertownmom is exactly right - he was caught in the act - he is a complete coward who bullies kids, and has been a bully his entire miserable life.


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