FCS head coach placed on leave following DWI arrest
A head football coach at the FCS level has been placed on leave, following an arrest for driving while intoxicated.
Northwestern State’s Brad Laird was arrested and charged with driving while intoxicated on Saturday night. He has been placed on administrative leave and will not be paid while he’s on leave. He’s been the head coach since November 2017.
A statement was released from Northwestern State Director of Athletics Greg Burke following the incident.
“Brad Laird informed me on February 16 that he had been charged with a DWI the previous evening,” the statement read. “The university takes misconduct by any employee seriously and especially one with the level of responsibility of a head coach. The university immediately investigated and confirmed this incident. I met with Coach Laird on the morning of February 17 and informed him that he would be suspended for one week without pay. He was also issued a letter of reprimand informing him of consequences that could result from any future misconduct that would violate the conditions of his contract with the university. The letter also outlined additional measures to address this incident.
“Having known Coach Laird for many years, I respect and was not surprised that he expressed regret about his lack of judgment in this incident and stated that it is his desire to learn from this matter and move forward as a better leader for the young men in the NSU football program.”
Laird also released a statement following the arrest.
“On Saturday night, February 15, I made a poor decision to get behind the wheel of a vehicle after drinking alcohol. It was a poor and selfish decision, and I apologize to everyone who was unknowingly put at risk. I am extremely disappointed in this decision as this is not the type of behavior I instill in my players and staff. This was a lapse in judgment, and I take 100 percent responsibility for my actions. There are so many that are affected by my selfish decision.
“I would like to apologize to my family, Dr. Jim Henderson and the University Louisiana System, Dr. Chris Maggio and Northwestern State University, Mr. Greg Burke and the Northwestern State Athletic Department, and to the Northwestern State football players and coaches – past and present. As a role model for this great University and the players and coaches, I am disappointed as my actions were not in the best interest of my family, University, players and coaches. I completely understand there are consequences for all actions, and I accept the disciplinary terms that come with the decision I made Saturday night.”
Laird has coached for two seasons, and is 8-15 as the leader at Northwestern State. Last season, the team finished 3-6. Laird was also a quarterback for the Demons from 1991-95.