In a tumultuous day for the Navy football coaching staff, offensive assistant Billy Ray Stutzmann says he was fired for not complying with the program’s requirement that all staff members receive a COVID-19 vaccine.

According to Yahoo News, Stutzmann made the announcement on social media Monday, writing that he is “unable to follow the requirements of the Naval Academy’s COVID-19 policy.” He wrote that he applied for a religious exemption to the requirement that wasn’t granted. “After applying for a religious exemption and attempting to further negotiate alternative working arrangements, I was ultimately relieved of my duties here at Navy,” Sutzmann wrote.

“I continue to stand firm in my conviction of faith, but I understand and respect that each individual and institution as a choice on how they wish to manage these issues.” Stutzmann declined to clarify what about his faith prohibits him from taking a vaccine that is proven safe and effective at thwarting the transmission and personal and public health impacts of COVID-19.


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Fox News stated: “The Naval Academy Athletic Association policy regarding COVID-19 requires all coaches and staff to be vaccinated against this virus. 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 had changed these last few months,” his statement read.

Head coach Ken Niumatalolo said shortly after that Stutzmann’s departure was a big loss for the team but he did not comment on his refusal to get vaccinated.

“He’s added a lot to our program,” he said. “Wish him the best of luck, he and his wife Shanelle. Wonderful young man. Got a bright, bright future in this profession.” After a big loss against Air Force over the weekend, longtime offensive coordinator Ivin Jasper was let go but on Monday – following news of Stutzmann’s firing – Niumatalolo announced that Jasper will stay on as the quarterbacks coach.

Ricky Scaparo is the pastor and founder of the international ministry End Time Headlines. A ministry that provides resources to equip believers and to inform the discerning of the signs and seasons in which we live. His mission is to inform his readers and viewers of prophetic events and how they are unfolding before our very eyes through news and headlines presented from a prophetic perspective in light of the Holy Bible.