UPEI Panthers women’s basketball team assistant coach Kathy Murray will not be returning to the team’s bench this fall and she’s not alone.
The decision comes following head coach Greg Gould’s resignation on Wednesday. Murray is one of five volunteer assistant coaches who worked with Gould and the Panthers.
“I’m not returning because I want to support Greg Gould. He has integrity and honesty and is there for all the right reasons. He is there for the (players),” Murray told The Guardian on Sunday. “The fact that he’s not returning because of issues with high-level administration, I’m not going to return either.”
Gould has only said he resigned for professional reasons, but people close to the situation have said there are issues within the athletic department.
Gould’s resignation is “a canary in a mine shaft,” said assistant coach Bob Gray. “It’s a real warning that something’s terribly wrong.”
He has been involved with the program for years in a variety of roles.
“This is the worst its ever been in terms of the support for the teams,” he said.
Gray said he will stay on as academic advisor but the coaching side depends on what happens moving forward.
“It’s not as simple as just replace the coach,” he said. “You bring in John Calipari and you’d still have problems.”
Jay Mingrone joined the staff in 2013 and doesn’t expect to be back next season.
Carolyn Huggan, who has been with the program for two years, said she was “disappointed” with what has happened.
“I plan on staying away from the program in support of my head coach,” she said. “I truly believe in his actions.”
Bob Maks was unable to be reached for comment on Sunday.
Murray, who has been with the team for two years, said it’s too bad for the program, coming off its most successful season in years.
“I think the program was turning around (and heading) in a great direction. In the end it’s the young women that get hurt in the end, which is sad,” she said.
UPEI has committed to a third-party review of the department to look at some issues that have been going on for more than five years.
It includes the funding model, communication and transparency.
“I think there’s misinformation out there,” said Jackie Podger, UPEI vice-president administration and finance. “We just want to ensure that we are transparent with what we are doing and that’s the intent behind this.”
UPEI vice-president of administration and finance Jackie Podger met with the men’s and women’s hockey coaches and the men’s basketball coach on Thursday. She said they raised issues with the budget. Incorrect information appeared in Saturday’s edition of The Guardian.
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