Ann Arbor, Michigan ( Associated Press) — The University of Michigan has broken up with hockey coach Mel Pearson.
The school announced its decision on Friday. Pearson’s contract expired after the previous season and he was on staff pending a review of the schedule.
An investigation obtained by MLive, which was given to the school in May, revealed that Pearson pressured student-athletes to lie about COVID-19 contact tracing during the 2020-21 season and to raise concerns. Volunteer coach Steve Shields was fired.
Athletic director Varde Manuel said in a statement released by the school, “This decision has been weighed heavily and for some time. We conducted an independent third-party review into the climate and culture of our program before proceeding with our assessment in lockstep. Welcome to Campus Leadership.
“It is most important to have a positive and meaningful experience for our student-athletes, and there is a clear expectation within our department that all staff and staff are valued and supported. I deeply appreciate the many individuals who came up with this review And I value them. Today’s announcement reflects the seriousness of what we have heard in Michigan and the values we hold dear.”
The Wolverines did not play in the 2021 NCAA Tournament due to COVID-19 protocols. With the team leading the NHL first round draft, they were 31–10–1 the previous season and lost to Denver in Frozen Four.
Pearson was 99-64-16 in Michigan. He previously coached at Michigan Tech.
More Associated Press Sports: https://apnews.com/hub/sports and https://twitter.com/ Associated Press_Sports
Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.