US Soccer revokes Ohio coaching license after sexual misconduct allegations
US Soccer has suspended the coaching license of Brad Evans, a former Toledo head coach who currently works for a number of big organizations in Ohio, after a Guardian report laid out a litany of allegations of sexual misconduct, according to The Athletic’s Meg Linehan.
Evans resigned as Toledo head coach in 2015, reportedly after a former player, Candice Fabry, told a sports department official that Evans had sexually assaulted her after he hired her as a volunteer assistant coach. No reason was publicly given by the university, and Evans only alluded to “interactions” with colleagues who displayed “poor judgment.”
Since then, Evans has reportedly found work as head of coach education for the Ohio Soccer Association, as head coach for Ohio’s US Youth Soccer’s Olympic Development Program, and as a coach education teacher for US Soccer.
The Athletic reports that not only was Evans immediately suspended from coaching, but access to US Soccer’s Learning Center was suspended and removed from all study groups and classes. The federation has also reportedly notified SafeSport and the Ohio Soccer Association.
The allegations against ex-Toledo boss Brad Evans
The Guardian’s report includes first-hand accounts from six former Toledo staff, some of them former players under Evans.
One such player was Fabry, who told the Guardian that she met Evans, his wife and another staff member at a bar in 2007 to let them know she was accepting an invitation to return to the program as an unpaid volunteer. Fabry said she left the bathroom table after Evans left. There she said he grabbed her and started attacking her.
From the Guardian:
“The next thing I remember is a tug on my arm and [Evans] pull me,” recalls Fabry, who says Evans pulled her into an alcove at the restaurant.
“I remember my back against the wall. I remember his tongue in my mouth. I remember feeling him pressed against my body. I remember his tongue. I remember his hands in my pants and underwear. And there I leave my body.”
Fabry said she found an unread message on her phone the next day asking her to come to the bathroom.
The bar staff confirmed to the Guardian that Fabry had told her Evans had given her an advance but advised her to keep it quiet.
Other staff recalled Evans making unwanted physical advances towards the Guardian, and some said they gave in to him for fear of losing their job and tired of having to keep saying no. Many also described a team culture poisoned by alcohol abuse and overly sexual comments.
From the Guardian:
If a player didn’t put on their best performance, Preston said Evans would suggest, “Your friend needs to step up.” One player was singled out by Evans. “Look at her tits bouncing,” Preston recalls Evans saying. “Always over her breasts,” says Preston.
Another former University of Toledo assistant coach, who spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of consequences, said: “He made disgusting comments when players ran. He once made an observation in front of me and [Cailin]… “Look at the girl’s breasts when she runs. Like OK, why [do you want me] look at that?”
A third former assistant coach added: “Comments on players. her breasts. The size of her butt. Players who gained weight and how they might have done it.”
Fabry reportedly said she informed Toledo Administrator Kelly Andrews in 2015 about what happened between her and Evans at the bar eight years ago. She said she received an acknowledgment email and a phone call from an employee at the university’s human resources department, mainly asking about her time as a player.
Nine days later, Evans resigned.
Toledo, Brad Evans respond to Guardian report
In a statement to the Guardian, Adrienne King, Toledo’s vice-president for marking and communications, said Evans was not disciplined because he resigned from his post at the end of the school’s investigation:
UToledo conducted an investigation following a report by a sports student in January 2015 of verbal harassment by Brad Evans, who was the head coach of the women’s soccer team at the time. The investigation found that Mr. Evans’ conduct towards student-athletes may have violated the university’s policy of conduct. However, the case was not referred for possible disciplinary action as Mr Evans did so after the conclusion of the investigation in March 2015 and has already resigned as of 02/23/2015.
Evans also responded to the Guardian, apologizing for his behavior but not acknowledging any wrongdoing beyond improper relationships:
In 2015 I was asked to answer questions about my relationships with some former colleagues. It was clear that my interactions with these colleagues showed poor judgment on my part and went against university policy, and that resignation was best for all involved.
Through the counseling I learned a lot about the causes of my behavior. I consider myself very fortunate to have the support of my wife in this process. Together I continue to learn to become a better person.
I’m very sorry to have disappointed so many people, but I keep working to create a positive future.
Thank you for the opportunity to present my perspective.
The Guardian reports it has not responded to questions about the six women who have accused him of sexual assault and harassment.