Garrett coach arrested, faces battery charges

Coffing’s police booking photo

By Sue Carpenter

scarpenter@kpcmedia.com

GARRETT — Garrett High School’s boys varsity basketball coach has been suspended from coaching after his arrest on four misdemeanor charges in Indianapolis last weekend, according to school officials and court records.

Seth Coffing, 37, faces charges of battery resulting in bodily injury, a Class A misdemeanor, and battery, disorderly conduct and public intoxication, all Class B misdemeanors, stemming from an alleged incident early Sunday morning, according to Marion County court documents. The court records list Coffing’s address as Quincy, Michigan.

Coffing “has been placed on administrative suspension for an issue that is contrary to the policies of the Garrett-Keyser-Butler CSD (Community School District),” said a statement released Friday by school district Superintendent Tonya Weaver. It added, “The issue is not directly related to the education process of our students.”

Matt DeWitt has been named the interim boys basketball coach, Weaver added. He had been serving as assistant coach.

The school cannot elaborate on Coffing’s situation because it is a personnel issue, Weaver said.

Garrett High School’s basketball team played a game against Central Noble Saturday afternoon, Jan. 7, at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.

Coffing was arrested early Sunday morning, Jan. 8, at a bar in downtown Indianapolis, according to an Indianapolis Metropolitan Police report of the incident.

The report says police were called Jan. 8 at 1:15 a.m. to Tiki Bob’s Cantina at 231 S. Meridian St.

The report’s brief summary of the incident says: “Intoxicated male attempted to fight bouncers inside the bar while being escorted out for hitting a bouncer.” The report says Coffing used his hands and feet in the incident. It lists one person as a victim, a 30-year-old white male who suffered an “apparent minor injury.”

Coffing coached his team in its game Saturday afternoon, Jan. 7. The Railroaders lost, 57-45, to Central Noble.

A closed, executive session of the Garrett-Keyser-Butler school board is scheduled for Monday at 6 p.m. The agenda includes discussion of personnel, but does not specify that the discussion will involve Coffing.

Court records show Coffing had his initial court hearing Tuesday in Indianapolis. A pretrial conference in his case is scheduled for Feb. 14.

According to Michigan court records, Coffing was sentenced to four months in jail for a second offense of operating while intoxicated, impaired or with a controlled substance following an arrest on June 18, 2012, in Alcona County, Michigan. He was sentenced Oct. 7, 2013, and discharged from custody Feb. 19, 2014.

The Garrett-Keyser-Butler school board hired Coffing as head boys basketball coach in June 2015. He previously served as a college assistant coach at Schoolcraft College and Henry Ford Community College in Michigan. Prior to that, he was the head coach at Alcona High School from 2008-2012. Coffing also has been a head baseball and softball coach and assistant football coach during his career.

He earned his bachelor’s degree from Spring Arbor University and master’s degree from Grand Valley State University, both in Michigan.

Coffing is also a teacher in Garrett schools. The district’s website lists him as a social studies teacher at Garrett High School.

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