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Amid abuse alegations, ECSU’s baseball coach Holowaty retires after 45 years

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Legendary Eastern Connecticut State baseball coach Bill Holowaty has retired, a source told Hearst Connecticut Friday afternoon.

A 45 year veteran and the architect of Eastern’s nationally-acclaimed Division III baseball program, Holowaty was suspended earlier this week for throwing a helmet into the stands, alleged cursing, abusive language and failing to comply with school policies.

He informed his team of his retirement Friday, closing the book on a career that includes over 1,400 victories, four national championships and four national coach of the year awards.

The initial suspension, a source said, stemmed from four confirmed charges of misconduct and a fifth charge — allegations of abusive language — that was under investigation.

“I don’t know whether it’s because (the athletic department) wants someone new to come in or they want to change mentality of the program, but the AD has been kind of down our throats looking for something to be wrong,” the source said.

A complaint to the athletic director from an unnamed player was the “icing on the cake,” according to the source.

Following his suspension, there was an outcry of support from former players who insisted that Holowaty, 68, had done nothing but positive for his kids.

“I can’t stress enough how poorly I think the institution is handling it,” said former Eastern pitcher Sam Iverson. “As far as a man, obviously we didn’t always see eye-to-eye, but no one ever does with their coach. But when I walked away from (Eastern), everything he taught me, he was 100 percent correct. And I’ll use it for the rest of my life.”

Added former shortstop Tom Koch: “I didn’t suspect any wrongdoing at all by coach. Then I saw the suspension and I was shocked. I couldn’t believe that it was happening, that he was being suspended for all those allegations, because I did not witness anything like that.”

Holowaty was reportedly suspended in 1994 and 1997. Both incidences involved alleged physical contact with players. Former players contacted for this story — all of whom played in the 2000s — did not recall any physical abuse.

When asked if Holowaty’s behavior was comparable to Mike Rice, the Rutgers coach who was recently fired for his physical and verbal abuse, Koch said it’s, “not even close…. not even the same conversation.”

Categories: General, Other Colleges

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6 Responses

  1. alex cardona says:

    josh coleman is an abomination to the human competitive race.. its people like him that brought these ridiculous allegations up. kids that never got burn or have no idea how to take constructive oldschool hard core criticism. its pathetic. … but what can i say.. theres always those 5 kids on the squad that are just weak human beings that suck at life and sports… man up and grow a sack kid… burry ur head in the sand cuz obviously thats all ur good at… god i hate kids like him.. blame everyone else for being weak.. its really sad.. get a life bud.

  2. Karl B says:

    I have spent my life watching ECSU baseball. I had a son and a relative play for coach Holowaty and I know for a fact that they rate there playing days at Eastern as large experiences in there adult life’s. Nether were “golden boys’s” in the program and one was even cut his sophomore season. In reference to an above comment, if Joshua Coleman was the player I remember playing at eastern and then transferring to western ct. The last memory i have of him playing was at western ct st university, being thrown out of a game and tearing his uniform top off and throwing it in the stands at eastern’s stadium. Do you also blame that on Coach Holowaty? Ive never seen a player or Coach Holowaty’s do that. Maybe you should have listened to some of his lessons.

  3. Basetard says:

    It’s about Imelda they got rid of that loser! I attended ECSU during the mid-80s, and was subject to Holowaty’s lack of professionalism. If you didn’t play baseball, you were sub-human. He should have been canned years ago. The baseball players at ECSU were among the dumbest humans that I have ever met, yet for some reason, that didn’t seem to matter when it came to grades. Go figure.

  4. joshua coleman says:

    are you kidding me? finally someone is putting an end to this guys madness.. how can any of you honestly lie to the reporters about this clown? Bill Holowaty is one of the most manipulative, aggressive and hateful people i have ever met. I have never seen any one ride kids so hard, treat them so terrible and down right, you said it abuse them the way he does. This man was a monster to alot of kids, sure there were his golden boys, who received the preferential treatment, but if you were one of the 40 other kids who weren’t god save you. Sure his record shows success, but no one really realized how many players he wrecked to get there. ECSU baseball was like a sweat shop. I can honestly rate playing for him as the worst experience of my life. The guy flat out killed my love of the game and probably my whole college career. If anyone wants glimpse of him forwhat he really is, interview me, i have plenty to share. all the way up until i transferred to WCSU after he threw a fungo bat at me and tried to force me to pick it up and walk it back to him. when i refused i was made to run laps around the field for about 2 hrs straight. good riddance.

  5. Billy Ranger says:

    If he can’t control his anger at age 68, then it’s time for him to hit the rocking chair on his porch !!!

  6. joe d says:

    absolutley ridiculous..coaches have to be hard on their players. clearly his mentality worked as far as winning games and shaping men go. ive got friends on the team who think this whole thing is ridiculous. maybe the AD should go..