The San Francisco Chronicle reported that Cal men’s basketball assistant coach Yann Hufnagel was fired Monday following an investigation into allegations of sexual harassment.
Hufnagel served as an assistant coach at Harvard under Tommy Amaker from 2009-10 through 2012-13, and graduated from Cornell in 2006 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial and Labor Relations.
University investigators concluded after a months-long probe that Hufnagel had reportedly violated UC Berkeley’s anti-sexual harassment policy, the Chronicle said, noting a release that stated, ““effective immediately, Hufnagel has been relieved of his duties pending the outcome of the termination process and will not be traveling with the team during its NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament run.”
Cal Athletics spokesman Wes Mallette told the Chronicle that the investigation into Hufnagel began last August and concluded Monday, adding that the accuser detailed a series of interactions with Hufnagel that occurred between November 2014 and May 2015, as part of professional communications, that violated the university’s anti-sexual harassment policy.
Hufnagel tweeted this soon after the allegations were made public:
Right now, the only focus should be on our basketball team! My time to exonerate myself of a fruitless claim by a reporter will come.
— Yann Hufnagel (@yhufnagel) March 14, 2016
Hufnagel told ESPN that no sexual harassment occurred.
“I’m crushed,” Hufnagel said to ESPN. “I can’t believe it. I’m blindsided. I never imagined this would be the outcome.
“Cal has been incredibly slow-moving in the process. I’m in the process of hiring a legal team to exonerate my name.”
According to a source, the allegations came from a female reporter, ESPN further reported.
Last week, UC Berkeley Law School Dean Sujit Choudhry resigned in the wake of a sexual harassment lawsuit that claims he hugged, kissed and touched his assistant repeatedly during 2014 and 2015. Choudhry will continue receiving full faculty pay and may even still teach, the Chronicle reported Monday, noting several other sexual harassment allegations related to school faculty.
Hufnagel was known as a successful recruiter at Harvard, Vanderbilt and Cal and considered a rising name in the Division I coaching profession.