Shocking moment high school girls’ basketball coach jumps into stand to fight a spectator
- Coach Tom Rife was seen attacking a man in the bleachers on Thursday
- Rife climbed over sideline chairs before launching at the man
- It’s unclear what the man said before, but Rife can be seen calling for security
A Virginia basketball coach lost his temper at a Thursday game when he jumped into the bleachers to fight a spectator.
Richlands High School’s coach of the year Tom Rife was caught jumping over chairs and launching toward a man who appeared to be yelling at him seconds before his team lost 54 to 51.
The confrontation was caught by another spectator as aggressive Rife was seen grabbing the man by the collar as several people rushed to intervene.
An investigation has been launched to determine what caused the outburst at the Lady Blue Tornado’s basketball tournament.
‘We are aware of the incident at the RHS girls basketball game and while we do not condone any misconduct from our coaches or spectators at this time we are still investigating the actions of all parties involved,’ Dr. Christopher Stacy, Superintendent of Tazewell County Public Schools, wrote in a statement.
Richlands High School’s coach Tom Rife was caught jumping over chairs and launching toward a man who appeared to be yelling at him seconds before his team lost 54 to 51. Pictured: Rifle in blue
Rife was named coach of the year after returning to replace the former coach of seven years. Pictured: Rife and Richlands Lady Blues Basketball team
Footage of the altercation at Richlands Middle School gym showed Rife grab onto the man and as he aggressively pointing at others in the distance.
The man didn’t move from Rife’s grasp and appeared to be stunned as several females peeled the coach away from him.
A security guard then approached the two and separated them. It’s unclear if Rife was forced to leave after the incident, but he was seen being taken away across the gym.
The controversial coach has an extensive coaching history running from the 1970s to 2005, according to the New York Post.
It’s unclear why Rife stopped coaching at the school in the early 2000s, but he returned following the dismissal of the former coach last year.
The altercation broke out at Richlands Middle School gym at the Lady Blue Tornado’s basketball tournament
Parents were shocked as they watched the incident unfold and called for Rife to be fired.
‘Good ole boy network fired coach who was amazing & had the emotional intelligence to control themselves to the bare minimum we expect of our student athletes, & replaced him with this,’ one person wrote on Twitter. ‘Our girls deserve better. I expect the immediate termination of head coach.’
‘Coach was completely in the wrong here but parents are ruining high school sports,’ another added. ‘Too many bleacher coaches, just enjoy watching the game. It’s just high school sports.’
Others applauded Rife’s actions for taking action against the man in the bleachers.
‘The guy in the white t shirt definitely deserved it. Good job coach,’ one person wrote.
‘Would be interesting to know the back story though. I’m sure some would be more understanding if the coach was defending or protecting the girls on his team if that fan was disrespectful or inappropriate, another chimed in.’