First-year Caro High School varsity football coach Mike Muron has not been on the sideline the past two games as school district officials investigate a possible physical interaction with a student.
According to a Caro Police Department incident report, officers responded to Caro High School on Tuesday, Sept. 25 just after 5 p.m. to investigate a possible assault and battery. Upon arrival, the officers discovered a possible physical confrontation had taken place between Muron and a member of Caro’s cross country team.
“A couple of students, cross country runners, were hanging around near the edge of the (football) practice field, throwing a football around,” said Caro Police Chief Brian Newcomb. “Apparently, (Muron) took exception to that and confronted them in an angry way and it got (allegedly) physical at some point and he physically escorted one of the students away from the area.” Newcomb added that “Based on witness testimony, it seemed like (Muron’s) anger was over the top on what seemed like a minor issue.” The incident report has been forwarded to the Tuscola County Prosecutor’s Office, which will decide whether or not to pursue assault charges against Muron.
When questioned the day of the incident, the cross country runner directly involved in the incident told Caro police that he and four other members of the cross country team were playing catch with a football near, but not on, the Caro football practice field. He told police that Muron walked over to them and yelled at them to leave, and that Muron got into his face, bumped him with his chest and grabbed his arm, pulling him away from the practice field.
According to the police report, Muron told the investigating officer that he put his hand on the student’s shoulder, and directed him to the gate. Muron said he did not chest-bump the student, and it was the student that got into Muron’s face, not the other way around. Muron told police that the student was being “mouthy” toward him, a fact that was corroborated by other witnesses.
Assistant football coach Dallas Nichols told Caro police that he did not see a physical interaction between Muron and the student, but admitted that he was watching football practice while some of the incident was happening. He did, however, tell police that the student was being disrespectful toward Muron and laughed at him. Nichols added that he heard Muron swearing.
Two other cross country runners told Caro police that they witnessed Muron grab their teammate and attempt to “drag” him away from the practice field area.
Caro schools officials are presently investigating the matter. Athletic Director Dave Bitzer, who coached football at Unionville-Sebewaing Area schools, has acted as interim head coach since the incident.
“We’ll probably wrap up the investigation next week,” Caro Superintendent Peter Newman said. “Nothing’s changed (since the incident came to light), Dave Bitzer is interim head coach and he’ll coach (Friday night) against Cass City.”
Newman said school officials need to talk to Muron before determining their next course of action.
“We’re still trying to get a meeting with the coach, because that’s a very important part of the due process here,” Newman said, adding that Muron has retained an attorney in connection with the matter. “There’s certain rules. I can’t meet with him and his attorney unless I have an attorney with me. We want to finalize the investigation by next week, but we can’t do that without talking to coach.”
Muron came to the Caro football team, along with then new coach Mark Brimmer, prior to the 2017 football season. Muron, a longtime Brimmer assistant, was hired as Caro defensive coordinator and then took over head coaching duties when Brimmer stepped down in the offseason.