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The attorney for Fike High girls soccer coach Toni Varacchi issued a statement on her behalf Wednesday afternoon, regarding her recent suspension with pay and subsequent reinstatement following the complaint of the parents of one of her players that their daughter was mistreated during a Lady Demons practice March 26.
Varacchi was reinstated Tuesday by Wilson County Schools as physical education teacher, athletic director and girls soccer coach at Fike after her suspension on April 9 while WCS conducted an internal investigation.
Varacchi, who has been the girls soccer coach for all her 23 years at Fike, missed five games. Assistant coach Chris Mizelle guided the Lady Demons to five wins during that stretch. Fike is currently 8-0 and in first place in the 3-A Big East Conference going into Wednesday’s home match against Northern Nash. The Lady Demons will host Hunt on Thursday in a match that could decide the Big East regular-season title, which would be her 18th, either shared or outright, as Lady Demons head coach.
The full statement from Varacchi’s attorney Ernie Murray of Etheridge, Hamlett and Murray Attorneys at Law of Nashville is below.
“For most of the past month, Coach Varacchi has been silent while the press, TV outlets, social media and the rumor mill have extensively reported on unproven allegations that she participated in hazing and incitement to brutality against one of her players. These totally untrue allegations were disturbing in that they questioned her fitness both as a coach and as a human being. Such allegations, had they been true, would have required her employer, Wilson County Schools, to take severe disciplinary action against her up to and including termination of her employment at Fike High School, a place that she dearly loves and the only school at which she has worked and coached during her 23 year career. She wanted desperately to respond to these false claims; however, WCS indicated that the purpose of the suspension was to perform a full factual investigation of the allegations. WCS asked that she not talk with anyone about the matter while the investigation was pending. As her legal counsel, I fully agreed that she should defer her response until the investigation could be concluded and the true facts had been established. Unfortunately, the parents leveling the claims against Coach V chose not to await the outcome of the investigation, but to attempt to influence public opinion (and perhaps the investigation as well) by approaching numerous media outlets offering their version of what happened at a practice at which they were not present. This prompted friends and supporters to speak out for Coach V and a war of words was waged around her in which Coach did not participate because the investigation was still in process.
“The factual investigation is now completed, and the School System’s action speaks louder than any response Coach V could have issued. Based upon the outcome of a thorough factual investigation, WCS has fully reinstated Coach Varacchi in her duties at Fike High School without admonishment, reprimand or discipline of any kind. In light of this outcome, no further response is required.
“Coach Varacchi is excited to get back to work at Fike and more than pleased to have been completely exonerated after a full factual investigation of all allegations. She believes the best course going forward is for her to concentrate on her teaching and coaching duties, and especially, on her students and players, many of whom have been hurt and distracted by this prolonged affair. Throughout this ordeal, Coach V has been extremely proud of the character, maturity and restraint her players have shown in dealing with this awkward and unfortunate situation. She is excited to be rejoining her team and will ask them to join her in putting this distasteful episode behind them so that Fike Women’s Soccer can move forward.
“She asks that everyone respect her request that this matter be put to rest and that attention no longer be focused on this sideshow, but instead where it should be — on Fike Women’s Soccer.”