PITTSBURGH (KDKA/AP) – One day after his arrest on a domestic violence charge, the University of Pittsburgh has dismissed their newly-named head football coach.
Michael Haywood was released from St. Joseph County Jail Saturday on $1,000 cash bond, said an officer at the jail who declined to give her name. The charge he is facing has also been upgraded from a misdemeanor to felony domestic battery in the presence of a minor.
Pitt hired Haywood away from Miami of Ohio on Dec. 16 to replace Dave Wannstedt.
Haywood was arrested around 3 p.m. Friday after a custody issue developed with a woman with whom Haywood has a 21-month-old child, police said.
According to St. Joseph County Police, the woman had marks on her arms, neck and back. He allegedly grabbed her by the arm and neck and pushed her as she tried to leave the house, which is owned by Haywood.
Haywood led Miami (Ohio) to a 9-4 record and the Mid-American Conference title in his second season with the RedHawks. Previously, he worked as an assistant at Notre Dame, his alma mater, under Charlie Weis.
The 46-year-old Haywood is considered an exemplary offensive coach and tutored several players who went on to NFL careers, including former Doak Walker Award winner Cedric Benson at Texas and Kevin Faulk at LSU.
Besides the Longhorns and Tigers, Haywood has also been an assistant coach at Army, Ohio and Ball State.
Following the news of Haywood’s dismissal, University of Pittsburgh Chancellor Mark A. Nordenberg released a statement.
It reads in part: “To be clear, the University’s decision is not tied to any expectation with respect to the terms on which the legal proceeding now pending in Indiana might ultimately be concluded. Instead, it reflects a strong belief that moving forward with Mr. Haywood as our head coach is not possible under the existing circumstances. This is a matter of real regret for the many people at Pitt who had looked forward to working with him. However, head coaches are among the University’s most visible representatives and are expected to maintain high standards of personal conduct and to avoid situations that might reflect negatively on the University.”
The statement goes on to say that Pitt is reopening their search for a head football coach. Click here to read the full statement.
Meanwhile, reaction continues to pour in, especially as Pitt fans worry over the recruiting process.
“You can’t have a guy who is a leader of men go into recruits’ homes as your face, as the role model of your kids,” said Paul Zeise, the Pitt beat writer for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “There’s no way you can do that with even a shadow of a doubt about this guy’s character.”
Stay with KDKA for the latest on this developing story.