University of Lethbridge parts ways with women’s hockey coach after players stage walkout
Published Tuesday, January 22, 2019 4:08PM MST
Last Updated Tuesday, January 22, 2019 6:47PM MST
The University of Lethbridge Pronghorns women’s hockey program is without a head coach after the school cut ties with Michelle Janus Tuesday afternoon.
Janus’ departure was announced Tuesday in a brief statement released by Pronghorn Athletics and Recreation that did not disclose the reason for the move. The following is the statement in its entirety.
“Effective immediately, Michelle Janus is no longer the head coach of the Pronghorns women’s hockey program.”
“The women’s hockey players have been made aware of this change and Pronghorn Athletics will announce an interim coach in the near future.”
“As this is a human resources matter, the University will not make any further comment. “
On Tuesday, members of the team staged a walkout ahead of their skate scheduled for 3:00 p.m. to demonstrate their frustrations with the current state of the team. The boycott was expected to remain in place until Janus was fired.
Nicholas Sheran rink is empty after the @UofLPronghorns announce Michelle Janus is no longer the head coach of the women’s hockey team. I was told this morning that players were planning to boycott practice until she was fired. They were scheduled to skate at 3pm. #yql pic.twitter.com/D6rsj0m7Rx— Kaella Carr (@KaellaCarrTV) January 22, 2019
In the fall of 2018, the University ordered Janus to undergo counselling and training after the school found the coach to be in violation of its harassment policy.
Several players had come forward with allegations that they had been harassed, bullied, threatened and intimidated by Janus and claimed the coach’s actions caused physical, psychological and emotional harm.
Members of the team called for Janus’ dismissal and, when their requests were not honoured, a million dollar lawsuit was filed by four of the players against the U of L, its athletic director and Janus.
The allegations against Janus have not been proven in court.
With files from CTV's Kaella Carr