Western: Inappropriate, insensitive comments sparked decision to fire track coach Lycan

Kelly Lycan.jpg
Former Western Michigan University track coach Kelly Lycan was fired from the university Feb. 28, 2019. (WWMT/Contributed)

Western Michigan University officials said former track coach Kelly Lycan used inappropriate, insensitive language while interacting with student athletes.

Such conduct caused substantial embarrassment to the university, and violates the conditions of Lycan's employment contract, Athletic Director Kathy Beauregard said in a letter sent to Lycan and dated Feb. 28.

When contacted by Newschannel 3, Lycan declined to comment. According to the letter from Beauregard, Lycan admitted to her that he had spoken inappropriately.

Obtained by Newschannel 3, the letter informs Lycan of the reasons for his firing, including that his conduct was "seriously prejudicial to the best interests of the university," a direct violation of his employment contract.

In the letter, Beauregard said a university review revealed an "unhealthy culture" in the track program.

"Your continued presence with the team would create a volatile environment," Beauregard said. "Therefore, we cannot move forward with you as the head coach of our women's track & field and cross country programs. Your current employment agreement with the university is terminated effective March 10, 2019."

The letter also states that Lycan was relieved of all coaching and administrative duties as of Thursday, Feb. 28, 2019.

Lycan was suspended and placed on administrative leave just prior to the track team's appearance at the MAC championship meeting Feb. 22-23, at Kent State University in Kent, Ohio.

On Thursday, the university released a statement saying that Lycan had "been dismissed from his position for violating the terms of his contract."

According to the termination letter, Lycan will receive his salary and medical coverage until March 31, 2019, based on the terms of his contract. However, both will cease the moment he becomes employed elsewhere.

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