ROCKVILLE – The head football coach for the Bullis School was arrested and charged with second-degree assault following a domestic violence incident with his wife.
According to charging documents, Patrick Cilento, 41, got into a heated argument on June 2 with his wife, Jacqueline Bitanga-Cilento, in their Potomac home. As she attempted to console their three-year-old daughter, a “shoulder/elbow” knocked Jacqueline down concrete stairs. The fall caused several injuries, including soreness on her rib cage, a scrape on her right elbow and a bruise on her left knee.
The child began asking if her mother was okay, stating, “Daddy hurt mommy.” After the incident, Cilento left their home and took their six-year-old son with him.
His wife filed a complaint with Montgomery County District Court on June 3, and a warrant for his arrest was quickly issued. Cilento voluntarily met with police and was charged in the incident. Bail was set at $3,500, and he was released after posting a 10% bond, according to court records.
Judge Rand Lewis Gelber also granted a temporary restraining order against Cilento, which lasted until June 11. A trial date is set for July 19.
Court documents also accuse Cilento of committing several questionable actions against his wife, who he has lived with for nine years, and their three children. According to the petition for a protective order, Cilento is accused of several angry outbursts toward his wife daily.
It is detailed that during the winter, Cilento threw his wife’s belongings outside the house in an attempt to kick her out of the house. According to the petition, the incident took place in front of their children, with Cilento telling them, “Your mother is an a**hole.”
Cilento is also accused of dangerous “roughhousing” behavior toward his six-year-old son. The court documents detail an incident that occurred on May 31, when the football coach kicked his son with a medical boot on, as his other children watched, and refused to apologize about the incident.
Following his arrest, Bullis announced that Cilento would be placed on administrative leave. There was no further comment on who would take charge of the team going forward.
“Bullis is committed to the safety and well-being of our community. This week we were made aware of a situation involving a staff member,” the school said in a statement. “We took immediate action in accordance with our human resource policies and the staff member is currently on administrative leave.”
Cilento was hired as the head varsity football coach and an academic advisor in 2010. In 2015, he also became the school’s baseball coach. Under his tenure, the Bulldogs have won four Interstate Athletic Conference Championships (IAC). Before the Bullis job, Cilento was the football coach for Springbrook High School for one season.
Cilento is a native of the county and played quarterback at Sherwood High School. He led them to a Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association (MPSSAA) 4A state championship in 1995.
Dwayne Haskins, Jr., a Bullis 2016 graduate and a former player of Cilento, was recently drafted to play for the Washington Redskins, bringing extra attention for the program. During his three years with Cilento, Haskins passed for 5,308 yards, scored 54 touchdowns and won three championships.
If convicted, Cilento could face a maximum penalty of 10 years in jail and a fine of $2,500, according to county law records.
Attorney Rene Sandler, who will represent Cilento, said they have no comment on his employment status at this time. However, Sandler said that she is prepared to prove her client’s innocence in open court.
“We are taking the allegations very seriously, and they will be very delicately discussed in court. We look forward to clearing his name.” Sandler said. “He denies any act of assault and any act of domestic violence.”