Teri McKeever, a longtime women’s swim coach at Cal who guided the Golden Bears to four NCAA championships and coached the women’s swim team at the 2012 Olympics, was fired Tuesday following an investigation into alleged harassment, bullying and verbally abusive conduct, the school said.
Cal athletic director Jim Knowlton announced the change in a letter to the team and the athletic department after a 482-page report substantiated many allegations of unacceptable behavior.
According to the school, Knowlton wrote that «after carefully reviewing an extensive investigative report recently completed by an independent law firm, I firmly believe this is in the best interests of our student-athletes, our swimming program, and Cal Athletics as a whole.» .»
CLICK HERE FOR MORE SPORTS COVERAGE ON FOXNEWS.COM
He added that the extensive report «details numerous violations of university policies that prohibit discrimination based on race, national origin and disability. The report also details verbally abusive conduct that is antithetical to our most important values.»
The allegations against McKeever came to light in a 2022 Orange County Register report. The report listed at least nine swimmers who detailed disturbing allegations against McKeever. At least five others accused McKeever of using a racial slur. At least 19 current and former members of the women’s swim team spoke out, according to Swim I swim.
In addition, the report says that McKeever «allegedly verbally and emotionally abused, insulted and threatened swimmers on an almost daily basis, pressured athletes to compete or train while injured or dealing with chronic illnesses or eating disorders.»
McKeever denied the allegations in a statement after his firing.
UCLA AUTHORIZATION TO MAKE A BIG MOVE, PAY ‘BERKELEY TAX’
«Over a 30-year career, there are always those who disagree with my coaching style and with me personally. I am a woman who has what is traditionally a man’s job and double standards come with the territory. I also know for those who struggled with me as a coach, there were many more whose lives were positively changed by her experience. I greatly value the bonds I made with hundreds of young women and look forward to continuing to witness their successes,» she wrote in a statement.
«I unequivocally deny and reject all findings that I abused or harassed any athlete and I deny any suggestion that I discriminated against any athlete based on race, disability or sexual orientation. There were and should be consequences for violating team rules, not showing up to scheduled appointments, misuse of resources, failure to give honest effort, and behavior that was not consistent with their individual goals or our team’s goals, but those consequences didn’t apply because of who someone was, but because of what they did or didn’t do that It hurt the team and the culture that we were working hard to maintain.»
McKeever wrote that she was the only coach to be subjected to an investigation for «every mistake made for 30 years.»
His lawyer, Thomas Newkirk, said his client would file a lawsuit over the issue. He added that the complaints against McKeever «were largely the result of gender differences in how she was judged as a woman, but were also based on the gender assessments of female athletes,» according to Swim Swam.
CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP
Dave Durden will be Cal’s interim director of Swimming and Diving, the school said.
Associated Press contributed to this report.