Toni Varacchi is back where she belongs: On a soccer sideline.
Varacchi is a longtime boys and girls soccer coach who has built the Fike girls and boys soccer teams. In April she was placed on leave as the district investigated hazing allegations and her potential role in them.
Here’s how the allegations against Varacchi were described by North Carolina CBS affiliate WNCN.
The girl said Varacchi encouraged another player to repeatedly pick her up and slam her to the ground as part of a goalkeeper training drill.
The parents contacted the school board, who in turn suspended Varacchi while investigating the matter.
As soon as Varacchi was forced off the sidelines, the coach began receiving support from both current and former players. As reported by WNCN and the Wilson Times, a crowd supporting Varacchi showed up unannounced at the Wilson County Board of Education meeting. Numerous athletes and parents wrote letters to the board supporting Varacchi.
Somehow the Wilson team captured all three road games and two home contests during Varacchi’s suspension before the coach was confirmed as reinstated by a Fike school spokesperson on Tuesday. The reinstatement came just in time for Varacchi to coach in her squad’s final two regular season games: A face off with Northern Nash and against Hunt on Thursday.
If she wins both, Varacchi’s team will enter into the playoffs with an undefeated conference slate, a remarkable run in any conditions, let alone when compiled without a team’s coach for much of the season.