Idaho Wrestling Coach’s Lifetime Ban Sparks Outrage After Violence Against Student


A tumultuous incident during a high school wrestling match has led to severe consequences for a coach from Rocky Mountain High in Idaho. 

Russell Brunson, an assistant coach, has been handed a lifetime ban from coaching Idaho high school sports after striking a wrestler from an opposing school during a match.

The altercation, captured on video and shared with the Idaho Statesman, shows Brunson entering the ring and striking a freshman wrestler from Nyssa, Oregon, multiple times. 

Officials were forced to intervene and halt the match to remove Brunson from the mat. While he was not ejected from the tournament, the repercussions swiftly followed. 

In a letter to the District Three Board of Control, Brunson stated that he thought an alleged illegal choke hold was going to do major harm to his son. Brunson acknowledged that his actions were excessive, but he attributed his response to his paternal instincts.

Following the incident, Brunson resigned from his coaching position, but the Board of Control imposed a comprehensive ban on his involvement in any IHSAA sport or activity for life. This ban also extends to attending any IHSAA sporting events for the remainder of the current school year and the following year.

Idaho School Districts Investigate Incident

A tumultuous incident during a high school wrestling match has led to severe consequences for a coach from Rocky Mountain High in Idaho.

Board President Craig Woods placed significant emphasis on the seriousness of Brunson’s actions, asserting that such behavior falls outside the bounds of acceptability within the context of high school athletics.

While Brunson expressed remorse for his actions and extended apologies to the affected parties, including the Nyssa wrestler’s family, the Nyssa School District has not ruled out pursuing criminal charges.

The Nyssa and West Ada School Districts in Idaho are still investigating the event, highlighting the seriousness of the circumstance and the district’s dedication to guaranteeing the safety and wellbeing of all the pupils concerned.

Brunson’s letter to the board expressed regret for his impulsive actions and acknowledged the irreversible consequences of his split-second decision. Despite his apologies, the incident serves as a sobering reminder of the importance of maintaining composure and sportsmanship in high school athletics.

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