Penn Coach Resigns After Scandal-Shortened Season | Athletic Business

Penn Coach Resigns After Scandal-Shortened Season

University of Pennsylvania women’s volleyball coach Iain Braddak resigned his post last week after two controversial seasons in Philadelphia.

"I am very grateful to Dr. Grace Calhoun and the entire DRIA team for the opportunity to work alongside some of the best coaches in the country over the last two years," Braddak said in the university’s release.

"I want to thank Iain for his service over the past two years, and wish him the best in the next chapter of his coaching career," Athletics Director M. Grace Calhoun added.

Braddak was hired in April 2018, taking over for Katie Schumacher-Cawley, who coached the Quakers for one year before taking an assistant job at Penn State. Braddak’s hiring didn’t slow the turmoil in the program.

The 2018 season ended with a 6-19 record and Penn players alleging mistreatment by Braddak, filing eight grievances that were detailed in The Daily Pennsylvanian. A number of players quit the team in the offseason, including captain Caroline Furrer.

“We realized along the way that it shouldn’t be like this,” Furrer told The Daily Pennsylvanian at the time. “A student-athlete’s experience should not be mentally abusive and emotionally manipulative, and that’s what it was for a lot of us.

“I had to take a stand for what I believe in. So, I didn't quit the team, I quit Penn Athletics and the coaching staff because of a lack of action and support. When eight out of 20 young women file grievances against a coach, there should be action and support — we got neither.”

“I can literally see the pieces of our team and of our program on the floor of Penn Athletics’ administration office,” added Carmina Raquel, who stayed on the team for her sophomore season in 2019. “We are kicking, screaming, and crying out from rock bottom for help — for action. And no one is listening.”

The 2019 season was cut short, with the school announcing in November that the final two regular-season matches were cancelled. The Quakers finished with an 11-10 record, leaving Braddak as the only coach in school history to finish his tenure with a losing record.

“The decision to cancel the remainder of the season was made following the discovery of vulgar, offensive, and disrespectful posters in the women's volleyball locker room earlier this week,” the November release said. “These actions were in violation of team and Divisional policy and this matter has been referred to University administration for further review in accordance with University policy.”

Related content: Penn Volleyball Season Nixed Over Locker Room Posters

The Daily Pennsylvanian reported that multiple sources have said that the posters were inappropriate and hung as part of team-bonding pranks.

"The behavior exhibited by our women's volleyball student-athletes is simply unacceptable and will not be tolerated," Calhoun said at the time. "We expect our student-athletes to represent the University of Pennsylvania in a first-class and respectful manner at all times, and in this case, our women's volleyball student-athletes did not meet that standard.”

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