Report: Fired New Hampshire women’s coach McCloskey seeking reinstatement

According to a story published in Foster’s Daily Democrat on Wednesday, fired New Hampshire women’s coach Brian McCloskey wants to be reinstated by the university.

McCloskey was terminated by UNH in early December for what the school called “inappropriate physical contact” with a player on the bench during a game Nov. 30 against Ohio State.

“I have a great relationship with the players,” McCloskey said to Foster’s. “They’re the unfortunate collateral damage out of all this.”

Also in the report, McCloskey said he believes that the wording of the school’s announcement may suggest his conduct could have been sexual in nature and wants the school to apologize and publicly state that wasn’t the case.

“The ensuing humiliation and embarrassment that my family and I experienced … is difficult to express,” McCloskey wrote in an email to his coaching colleagues just after his firing.

“The defamation was ridiculous, but I can survive that,” he told Foster’s. “The mishandling of it was unconscionable.”

According to McCloskey, the unnamed player in the incident responded to his constructive criticism by “shouting profanity-laced excuses” and turning her back on him on the bench. McCloskey then reportedly reached forward with his left hand and pulled on the shoulder of her jersey so that she would be seated on the bench.

“The ‘inappropriate physical contact’ that the University found objectionable was my pulling on the jersey of a female hockey player to ensure I had her full attention, a player who had turned her back to me and abandoned all signs of discipline and respect,” read McCloskey’s email. “I reprimanded her and left no doubt that her behavior was unacceptable.”

McCloskey and his attorney, Laura Studen, are claiming defamation, breach of contract and wrongful termination.

“I never sought legal counsel,” McCloskey added. “They came to me. They were outraged. This isn’t about money. It’s about doing the right thing.”

Also on Wednesday, UNH announced that Jamie Wood and Stephanie Jones will serve as interim co-head coaches of the women’s team for the remainder of the 2013-14 season.

“We have complete confidence in both Jamie and Stephanie,” New Hampshire director of athletics Marty Scarano said in a statement. “They each bring considerable talents to this difficult situation. I believe the student-athletes will be best served by utilizing both coaches’ skills and experiences.”