Handrahan resigns as Ohio State women’s coach after reportedly violating university conduct policies

Ohio State women’s coach Nate Handrahan resigned on Monday in the wake of being found in violation of university policies on sexual harassment, inappropriate conduct and retaliation.

The Columbus Dispatch reported that Ohio State began investigating Handrahan after the university received an anonymous complaint of sexual harassment involving Handrahan back on Nov. 24, 2014, stating a player had shared that Handrahan made sexually explicit comments to “many” players on the team.

That complaint came a day after an incident at an airport on the way back from a series at North Dakota where witnesses revealed that Handrahan and Buckeyes’ assistant coach Carson Duggan were “intoxicated and unprofessional” and arrived at the airport reportedly smelling of alcohol after missing the team bus to the airport.

The Dispatch report also states that Handrahan received a written reprimand by the university on Dec. 1 and apologized to his team about his and other staff members’ actions.

The situation that allegedly led to Handrahan stepping down was a report Ohio State presented to athletic director Gene Smith and human resources director for athletics Kim Heaton where it was said Handrahan made sexual comments or innuendos about female players and their relationships with their boyfriends and that he routinely used sexually explicit or vulgar language during practices and in games.

Witnesses said that he occasionally implored his players to “get horny for the puck” during practice, a term that players found inappropriate, and also said Handrahan regularly spoke to players in a belittling or condescending tone. Several described him as a “bully.”

According to the report, Handrahan, Duggan and fellow assistant Keith Maurice met with OSU officials on Jan. 20. Duggan and Maurice referred to Handrahan as “direct,” “intense” and “committed,” but added that he did not threaten or intimidate players. Handrahan described his coaching style as “demanding but not demeaning” and also denied making sexually inappropriate comments.

Ohio State’s report stated that Handrahan “engaged in a pattern of verbal conduct of a sexual nature that unreasonably interfered with the athletic experience of many students” on the team and found “sufficient evidence” of a violation of the university’s policies on sexual harassment, inappropriate conduct and retaliation.

Maurice was also found to be in violation of the university’s whistleblower policy and is no longer included on the team’s roster.

Handrahan led OSU to a 67-64-15 record over four years at the helm.

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