The University of Michigan on Friday severed ties with men’s hockey coach Mel Pearson following an investigation into his conduct at the school’s request.
The Detroit News reported that the 63-year-old Vancouver native’s five-year contract expired just weeks after leading one of the nation’s top programs to Frozen Four this spring.
“It has been decided that Mel Pearson will not be returning as an ice hockey coach,” said Ward Manuel, director of Michigan Athletics. “This decision has weighed heavily on us for some time. We welcomed an independent, third-party review of the climate and culture of our programs before proceeding with the assessment in step with campus leadership.”
“It is paramount that our student-athletes have a positive and meaningful experience, and a clear expectation within our department is that all employees and staff are valued and supported. This review I am deeply grateful and appreciative to the many people who came forward through this.”
“Today’s announcement reflects what we’ve heard and how serious we are about the values we hold in Michigan.”
An investigation conducted by a Washington law firm found that Pearson retaliated against one of the players for lying to investigators, discriminating against female staff members, and raising issues with the program.
Pearson also told players to lie on a COVID-19 tracking form ahead of the 2021 NCAA Tournament, according to reports.
Former goalie Strauss Mann reportedly expressed concerns about the program before the coach forced him to leave the Wolverines.
Three of Pearson’s Michigan players were selected in the top five of the 2021 NHL Draft. Owen Power was named No. 1 overall by the Buffalo Sabers, the Matty Veneers were named No. 2 by the Seattle Kraken, and Kent Johnson was named No. 5 by the Columbus Blue He Jackets.
Prior to his top job at the University of Michigan, Pearson spent six seasons as head coach at Michigan Tech.
Pearson served as an assistant or associate coach under Red Berenson at the University of Michigan from 1988-2011.
Michigan cut ties with men’s hockey coach Mel Pearson after investigation
Source link Michigan cut ties with men’s hockey coach Mel Pearson after investigation