Former NFL quarterback Trent Dilfer, who now serves as the head coach at Lipscomb Academy in Nashville, Tennessee, apologized in a statement after he was seen shoving and yelling at a player during a game against Independence on Friday:
“I want to address the incident on our sideline during Friday night’s game vs. Independence that has drawn a lot of attention. First and foremost, I take full responsibility as the head coach and leader of our team for not deescalating an emotional situation with one of our players, Beau Dawson. Beau is one of our finest student-athletes and embodies all the characteristics we are looking for in our Mustang players. Beau plays the game with the right kind of passion and is an inspiration to our other players.
"During a moment of frustration in an attempt to get our team to play with more discipline, I unfairly singled Beau out. Somehow Beau Dawson has been portrayed publicly as the culprit in this situation, when in reality I should have been a better leader and shown greater wisdom and discernment in how I handled this incident. Overall, I could not be more proud of Beau and the rest of our team for how they handle the emotional nature of each game they compete in.”
Video of Dilfer grabbing Dawson by the jersey and shoving him backward while screaming in his face went viral over the weekend. It's unclear what happened in the lead-up to the outburst, which was widely criticized as being an inappropriate interaction.
Dawson is the son of former NFL kicker Phil Dawson.
Lipscomb beat Independence 62-7 in its second game of the 2021 season.