Theodore High School head football coach and athletics director Eric Collier Sr. has been placed on administrative leave following charges leveled against him and three others on third-degree misdemeanor assault charges following a meleé at the Bay La Batre city dock May8.
The announcement of Collier’s current status with the Mobile County Public School System was made by MCPSS Director of Communications Rena Phillips in an email response to Lagniappe on Wednesday, one day after Collier Sr. and the others were cited concerning the incident.
A press release from the Bayou La Batre Police Department sent out Tuesday afternoon named Wayne Eric Collier Sr., Wayne Eric Collier Jr., Shawn Jerome Collier and Hayden Aaron Collier as the persons charged in what was described in the report as a “premeditated attack.” Police have issued arrest warrants for the four.
The Tuesday press release from Bayou La Batre police regarding the incident reads as follows:
“An incident occurred on the west end beach area of Dauphin Island. As a result of that incident multiple messages with threats of violence were sent to multiple individuals still on the island.
“Over the next couple of hours, multiple other messages were sent by an individual stating he expected the group to return to the Bayou La Batre City Docks where he and others were waiting. That individual even sent photographs of the victim’s vehicles, and the docks area to ensure he was indeed waiting.
“At approximately 18:50, the group began to pull into the Bayou La Batre City Docks area. The vessel occupied by the victims was then attacked by multiple assailants before the vessel even reached land. Multiple victims were dragged off the vessel, assaulted with hands and feet and even held under the water causing the victims to fear for their life. Injuries to the multiple victims ranged from contusions about the head, face, and body to fractured bones of the face. One victim received 10 stitches as a result of this premeditated attack.”
According to the press release, the four Colliers were identified as the “primary aggressors” in the incident.
Efforts by Lagniappe to reach Collier Sr., who has been Theodore’s head football coach for the past eight seasons, were unsuccessful.
The release noted investigators contacted the Mobile County District Attorney’s Office in hopes of attaining felony charges against the Colliers, but the DA’s office instead tabbed the incident as a misdemeanor offense, and it was referred back to the municipal court of Bayou La Batre.
Collier has produced a record of 48-38 in his time leading the Theodore program, including a 10-2 record last season that included an 8-0 mark in Class 7A, Region 1 play. Theodore was 8-3 in 2018 and 2019 and 6-5 in 2017, giving it four consecutive winning seasons. He was also head coach at Alma Bryant High School for four seasons (2004-07) where he produced a record of 10-30.
Wayne Eric Collier Jr., was one of several people named in a felony mail fraud case in November of 2013 in which those charged were required to repay more than $225,000 to the Gulf Coast Claims Facility after signing a plea agreement admitting their guilt on Nov. 22, 2013.
According to the agreement, the fraud involved a scheme in which the defendants forged documents indicating they worked on a Bayou La Batre shrimp boat while its productivity was limited by the BP oil spill in 2010. None of those charged were employed by the shrimp boat at the time.
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