WILLIMANTIC, Conn. (AP) — Longtime Eastern Connecticut State baseball coach Bill Holowaty has been suspended with pay for the rest of the season for throwing a helmet into the bleachers during a game and failing to comply with school directives and policies, university officials said.
School officials said they also are investigating allegations that Holowaty cursed in public and used abusive language, according to a letter the university sent to Holowaty on Monday telling him he was suspended. The letter was first obtained by The Hartford Courant.
"An undisclosed number of parents and students have come forward to articulate a pattern of alleged abuses over a series of incidents," the letter said.
Holowaty has been Eastern's coach for the past 45 seasons and has led the Warriors to four NCAA Division III national championships. He also has been named national coach of the year four times. The school's website touts him as the winningest coach in the history of New England intercollegiate athletics with more than 1,400 victories.
Holowaty told The Associated Press on Wednesday that he didn't want to say much about the suspension.
"This has been very unfortunate," he said in a phone interview. "It's too bad the press hasn't seen the hundreds of thousands of things I've done well."
Assistant coach Michael Grant will be acting head coach the rest of the season.
University officials said they substantiated four charges against Holowaty: failure to comply with directives from his supervisor in a timely manner; failure to follow financial procedures; failure to comply with a Feb. 7, 2013, settlement agreement; and allegedly throwing a helmet into the bleachers during a game.
The suspension runs through May 13.
Holowaty also has been disciplined for his behavior in the past, including a one-game suspension last year for cursing at an umpire during a game, the Courant reported.