LINCOLN, Neb. — Mickey Joseph, Nebraska’s interim soccer coach for nine games this season, allegedly put his arm around a woman’s neck, pulled her hair and punched her before being taken into custody, according to a affidavit. The police affidavit was filed on Thursday.
Joseph, 54, was arrested Wednesday on suspicion of third-degree strangulation and domestic assault. Joseph denied to police that he assaulted the woman. Nebraska placed Joseph on administrative leave.
Joseph made his first appearance on video from the Lancaster County Jail on Thursday. He did not enter a plea. His bond was set at $20,000 and he was ordered not to contact the woman. His next trial is set for January 30. His attorney, Sean Brennan, did not respond to messages seeking comment.
Police visited Lincoln’s home Wednesday afternoon after receiving a report of a domestic disturbance.
The woman said she and Joseph were arguing when Joseph pushed her, causing her to fall onto a bench. She said Joseph climbed on top of her and put his hand around her neck.
“He pushed me on the couch and strangled me,” she said, according to the affidavit. She said her breathing was obstructed and she couldn’t breathe until she pushed him away.
When she went into the kitchen, Joseph grabbed her by the hair from behind and pulled her backwards, causing her to fall to the floor. During the fall, she said, Joseph hit her in the left temple with a fist.
Police said she could see redness and swelling around her left eye, which looked like she had been beaten, and she was observed to have some hair clinging to the upper leg of her pants. She said that hairs had been pulled from her when Joseph grabbed her.
The Associated Press often does not identify people who say they have been severely abused. The woman in Joseph’s case has not made her identity public.
The woman also said Joseph took her phone and tried to flush it down the toilet. Police said they found the phone inside a rice bin on the kitchen counter.
A relative of the woman was also present at the residence, and he told police he saw Joseph’s hand around the woman’s neck and Joseph pushed her onto the couch after he I shouted at him. Joseph left the house and was located by police at a different location.
Joseph was arrested two days after Matt Rhule was introduced as Cornhusker’s new head coach. Rhule said Monday that he plans to meet with Joseph to discuss the possibility that Joseph remains on staff. Rhule declined to comment through a spokesman for the sports department.
Joseph has a contract through December 31, 2023 and his annual salary is listed as $600,000. Under the terms of his contract, he could be fired if convicted of a misdemeanor or felony that impairs his ability to perform his duties on behalf of the university. If the reasoned dismissal is upheld, the university will not have to pay the amount owed in the contract.
Joseph was a quarterback for the Cornhusker team from 1988 to 1991 and clashed with police during his playing days. He returned to Nebraska last December as a recording coach and was named interim head coach on September 11 after athletic director Trev Alberts fired Scott Frost. Husker was led 3-6 by Joseph and finished the season 4-8.