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Firing of San Jose State Coach leads to wrongful termination suit

A track and cross country coach for San Jose State has recently filed a wrongful termination lawsuit against the school, alleging retaliation and discrimination.

The $2.25 million lawsuit was filed on Friday, June 28, in Santa Clara County Superior Court. The coach, 72, who is a member of the school's sports hall of fame, claims that the school terminated his contract after one year due to his race.

In addition to his firing, the coach claims that the athletic director headed a campaign to get rid of him, leading to severe emotional problems and subsequent heart tests.

A statement made available by the school stated that "this is a personnel matter that we cannot discuss publicly other than to say the university has strict policies against discrimination and retaliation, and the university denies in the strongest terms any allegations that it discriminated or retaliated ... in any way and for any reason. The terms of the coach's contract were honored and fulfilled. His one-year appointment expired and was not renewed."

As a member of the school's sports hall of fame, the coach was hired in an attempt to bring back the past glory of the program. During this past season, the team finished in last place at the Western Athletic Conference championships. Dating back to 1997 the men's track team has never enjoyed a finish higher than fifth place.

At this time, the school is in the process of hiring a new coach. Should you find yourself fired for no good reason, you may be in position to file a wrongful termination lawsuit against your former employer. An attorney experienced in this area of the law can help you navigate the challenges associated with this type of lawsuit.

Source:, "San Jose State coach files wrongful termination suit" Elliott Almond, Jun. 28, 2013

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