A Waterville native and well-known former Maine basketball coach is under fire after a recording was posted online of the man apparently laying into a player with a profanity-laced tirade.
The recording has drawn condemnation from Maine athletes who were familiar with him when he was a successful club coach here, as well as former professional basketball player Rex Chapman, among others.
Warning: This audio clip contains graphic language.
Mike Woodbury, who now runs the Nation Christian Academy in Florida, released a statement apologizing “for the vulgar language that was used.”
“I have had this particular student for a year,” he wrote in a statement posted to Twitter. “He is like family, and sometimes family arguments get blown out of proportion.”
In the recording, Woodbury can apparently be heard calling an academy student athlete “retarded,” “stupid ass” and other expletive-laden insults, as well as threatening to send him “back to Haiti.”
“I control transcripts. I control where you go next,” his voice is heard saying. “I’m the one thing you don’t wanna cross, cause I’m the dirtiest, baddest (expletive) on this earth.”
Woodbury said in his statement the recording was an excerpt of a much longer conversation, which took place on Oct. 17, in which he is confronting the player about “multiple conduct issues when this student was attending my school and living in my home with my wife and son.” Woodbury said in his statement he is not the academy’s basketball coach.
Isaiah Harris of Lewiston, now an NCAA champion in track who is sponsored by athletic apparel giant Nike, said on Twitter that he played for Woodbury’s AAU team when he was in high school.
“Everyone always knew he was insane,” Harris wrote, in part. “This is how you run your ‘Christian Academy?’”
Woodbury’s AAU club basketball team from Maine won the Division I 12th grade national championship in Orlando in 2011, according to the Portland Press Herald. At the time, Woodbury also ran a year-round basketball training facility in Saco, the newspaper reported.