A longtime Rhode Island football coach’s tenure was brought to an abrupt end Tuesday night after he was removed from his position following the findings of an investigation into a suicide which implicated his influence.
As reported by the Providence Journal and Newport Daily News, longtime Portsmouth football coach Ryan Moniz was voted out of his role after the findings from the investigation into the suicide of 15-year-old Nathan Bruno were read to the Portsmouth School Committee. The findings were put to the committee, and drew a direct line between Moniz and Bruno’s suicide, as outlaid by the Journal:
Bruno, a sophomore, died on Feb. 7 after Moniz applied pressure to the student, who had admitted sending prank text messages and making crank phone calls to the coach, the report said. Bruno, according his father, Rick Bruno, offered to apologize, but Moniz said he would not accept the apology unless Nathan Bruno “ratted out” two friends who also were involved, the report said.
Moniz, 39, held a team meeting on Feb. 6 in which he told his players about the situation. He threatened to resign unless the players got involved, the report said.
While a number of people spoke on Moniz’s behalf, some on the committee with direct connections to the coach still voted in favor of his removal. That group included committee member John Wojichowski, who has two sons who played under Moniz, but still called his decisions of, “poor judgment” because he places responsibility for the welfare of their peer at, “the feet of his players.”
“There are no winners or losers,” Terri Cortvriend, the chairwoman of the School Committee, told the Daily News. “There is just sadness on both sides.”