SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) — Pittsburgh fired new football coach Mike Haywood on Saturday, a day after he was arrested at his home on a domestic violence charge.
Haywood was released Saturday from St. Joseph County Jail on $1,000 cash bond, said an officer at the at the jail who declined to give her name, after the charge was upgraded from a misdemeanor to felony domestic battery in the presence of a minor.
Within hours of his release, Pittsburgh put out a statement from Chancellor Mark A. Nordenberg saying Haywood had been dismissed, “effective immediately.”
Pittsburgh hired Haywood away from Miami (Ohio) on Dec. 16 to replace Dave Wannstedt, who resigned under pressure. Before his firing was announced, Haywood told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, “It isn’t fair. The truth will eventually come out.”
Haywood was arrested about 3 p.m. Friday after a custody issue developed with a woman with whom Haywood has a child, police said. The unidentified woman told police that Haywood grabbed her by the arm and neck and pushed her as she tried to leave.
Assistant St. Joseph County Police Chief Bill Redman said the woman had marks on her neck, arms and back.
The 46-year-old Haywood is considered an exemplary offensive coach and tutored several players who went on to NFL careers, including former Doak Walker winner Cedric Benson at Texas and Kevin Faulk at LSU. Besides the Longhorns and Tigers, Haywood has also been an assistant coach at Army, Ohio and Ball State.
He led Miami (Ohio) to a 9-4 record and the Mid-American Conference title in his second season with the RedHawks, turning around a program that had struggled before his arrival.
Pittsburgh athletic director Steve Pederson praised Haywood’s character when he was hired last month, calling his values “in line with the values of this great university.”
“His history at outstanding programs with outstanding coaches gave him a rare combination of experiences and background,” Pederson said at the time. “Most importantly, Michael is a man of character and integrity and will be an inspirational leader for our football team.”