Navy Football Coach Fired For Refusing School’s Mandate To Take Shot, Religious Exemption Ignored
On Monday, Navy football offensive assistant Billy Ray Stutzmann dropped big news that he was fired from his position due to the school’s COVID-19 vaccination policy.
The policy requires all coaches and staff to be vaccinated against the virus. Stutzmann says he failed to receive a religious exemption that would have allowed him to stay unvaccinated.
It was announced back in August that members of the United States military will be required to get the COVID-19 vaccine.
“Based on my religious convictions, and after much thought and prayer, I am unable to follow the requirements of the Naval Academy’s COVID-19 policy, as it has changed these last few months,” he wrote on his Twitter account. “After applying for a religious exemption and attempting to further negotiate alternative working arrangements, I was ultimately relieved of my duties here at Navy. I continue to stand firm in my conviction of faith, but I understand and respect that each individual and institution has a choice on how they wish to manage these issues. I wish Navy football nothing by the best in the future.”
Head coach Ken Niumatalolo didn’t address the specifics of Stutzmann’s departure with reporters.
“He’s added a lot to our program,” Niumatalolo said Monday, per the Associated Press. “Wish him the best of luck, he and his wife Shanelle. Wonderful young man. Got a bright, bright future in this profession.”
Stutzmann played wide receiver at Hawaii from 2009-13, totaling 148 catches for 1,845 yards and nine touchdowns with the Rainbow Warriors.
He was in his third season on the Navy staff.