College wrestler, 20, died from heatstroke after practice because his coaches REFUSED desperate requests for water due to his ‘poor performance’
A college wrestler died from a heat stroke after coaches denied the 20-year-old’s repeated pleas for water as a disciplinary measure, during a particular intensive school practice, a police report has revealed.
The wrestler, University of Cumberland sophomore Grant Brace, died in August 2020, during a practice at the Kentucky school that saw coaches force students to engage in repeated sprints up a 200-foot ‘Punishment Hill.’
During the exercise, coaches reportedly told the athletes to ‘throw their water bottles on the fence and not touch them.’
Eventually, during the hot summer day, Brace began to fall behind his comrades, and begged coaching staff for water – a request cops say they denied due to the student’s ‘poor performance.’
Two hours after the practice, Brace was found by students and staff on the ground near the school, collapsed, clutching the grass near a pool of his own vomit.
He died of exertional heatstroke, cops said – a particularly preventable condition that does not occur without warning signs.
The staffers who denied Brace the water, first year-coach Jordan Countryman and second-year assistant coach Jake Sinkovics, have since been sued by the deceased’s family, who allege gross negligence on their part led to their son’s death.
University of Cumberland sophomore Grant Brace died in August 2020 during a practice at the Kentucky school that saw coaches force students to engage in repeated sprints up a 200-foot ‘Punishment Hill,’ a recently released police report has revealed
Brace, seen here at left in this undated photo, told staff that he couldn’t see or stand before his death, which has been mired in mystery for the past two years
‘Guys, I need water. Get me some water,’ Brace reportedly urged his teammates during an outdoor portion of the practice August 31 – the first day of wrestling conditioning for the students.
Brace’s requests would eventually become frantic, cops from the Williamsburg Police Department wrote – but were still denied, even as he began speaking gibberish and convulsing, witnesses who spoke to the department said.
Brace – whom teammates said had dreams of being a champion – also told staff that he couldn’t see or stand before his death, which has been mired in mystery for the past two years.
Brace’s family filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the school in August, as well as school officials and those related to the wrestling program.
The team’s head wrestling coach at the time, Jordan Countryman, was one of several staffers named as a defendant in the suit.
He resigned as the school’s head wrestling coach in April 2021, just over six months after the incident. He is currently a high school wrestling coach at Saraland City Schools in Mobile County, Alabama.
Countryman was named Mid-South Conference Coach of the Year in 2020. He has yet to publicly comment on the lawsuit.
A cause of death was not provided in the lawsuit, filed by father Kyle Brace and mother Jacqueline Brace. The case is currently ongoing.
‘Guys, I need water. Get me some water,’ Brace reportedly urged his teammates during an outdoor portion of the practice August 31 – the first day of wrestling conditioning for the students. Here Brace is pictured with father Kyle Brace and mother Jacqueline Brace in 2019. They filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the school and its wrestling program in August
However, for the past seven months, local outlet WKRC-TV has dug through city records and interviewed witnesses present during the practice to find out exactly why Grant collapsed.
Days ago, the outlet managed to obtain a police report into the incident – which coupled with witness accounts, shed new light on the circumstances of his death.
According to the report, the afternoon practice began indoors, with students engaging in more than an hour of weight-lifting and hand-fighting drills.
Then, coaches moved the practice outside at around 3 pm, when temperatures in the small Southern city peaked at roughly 84 degrees, to the track surrounding the university’s football stadium.
More than 40 of Brace’s teammates interviewed by the station told cops they were allowed to take a water bottle out to the track, but that coaching staff soon told them to ‘throw their water bottles on the fence and not touch them.’