Two days ago, reports came out of UNC-Wilimington baseball firing pitching coach Matt Williams, and details were sparse.
All the school had to say was a statement from athletic director Jimmy Bass, who said “The university has decided to go in a new direction with the pitching coach for our baseball program. We wish Matt the very best.”
Well, some clarity came Friday in the form of an in-depth report from Wilmington’s Star-News and they are truly bonkers. The “new direction” the school has opted to take is reportedly one away from using trainers who advocates for a motivational tool called the Dick of Death.
Per the Star-News’ report, Williams fell into hot water after the university learned of the team’s hiring of trainer Brian Cain, whose YouTube channel shows him using eating fire and breaking boards with one’s forehead as motivation tools. Cain’s website claims experience with plenty of power programs, like UNC, Notre Dame and Texas A&M, as well as the Washington Nationals organization. However, what set UNCW’s experience apart was one Skype session set up by Williams that got inappropriate pretty fast.
During the presentation, players say, Cain brandished a dildo, calling it the Dick of Death. The metaphor was that the pitchers should think of themselves as the bigger men on the field, capable of overpowering the batter they were facing. Cain encouraged the pitchers to create their own Dick of Death to serve as a reminder and motivational tool. Without the knowledge of the coaching staff, a group of players did just that.
At some point, the prop made its way from the Fisher Field House to the dugout at Brooks Field. A photo of the Dick of Death being held by a player during the 2017 CAA Tournament game against William & Mary was available on the school’s website as of Friday.
That was reportedly Cain’s final motivational session with the team, but the damage was clearly done. According to the report, the university began an investigation into the incident in late 2017 and rumors soon spread that Williams’ job was in jeopardy. The UNCW players nearly revolted by voting to refuse to play in uniform durinig a game against NC State, but a talk with head coach Mark Scalf reportedly convinced them to play without incident.
Williams’ offseason firing was met with shock from the UNCW community if Twitter replies to the news are any judge, and you’d imagine the reaction was even more visceral among the players. Multiple former players of Williams’ spoke out when the news broke.
— Clark Cota (@clarkcota10) June 13, 2018
What a joke! Good luck to whoever tries to fill those shoes https://t.co/aYDRiRBEe5
— Jordan Ramsey (@JRamsey_11) June 13, 2018
This man took a chance on me when I was just a kid that showed up to the walk-on tryouts my sophomore year and gave me an opportunity to be on his pitching staff. I’ll always be grateful for everything he did for me and my teammates. This is disappointing. https://t.co/p8CpsWr4t7
— Matt Maready (@matt_maready25) June 14, 2018