UL Softball Coach Michael Lotief Fired
UL Lafayette terminated Softball Head Coach Michael Lotief after multiple complaints about harassment. The university released the following statement announcing the termination less than a month after he was put on administrative leave:
Following complaints of students and a staff member of the Louisiana Athletics department, the University of Louisiana at Lafayette has terminated head softball coach Michael Lotief, effective immediately.Lotief violated University and UL System policies by subjecting student-athletes and coworkers to violent, vulgar language and verbal and physical assault, creating a hostile learning and working environment.“Behavior of this nature will not be tolerated,” University President Dr. Joseph Savoie said. “I want to commend the students for coming forward. They exemplified great courage in sharing their stories.”A national search for a new head softball coach will begin immediately, according to director of Louisiana Athletics Dr. Bryan Maggard.
Lotief took the reins as Louisiana softball head coach in 2013. From 2003 through 2012 he shared the head coaching duties with his wife--former head coach Stefni Lotief.
During his 15-year tenure in coaching, the softball team earned 13 Sunbelt Conference Championship titles and made appearances in:
- 3 NCAA World Series
- 7 NCAA Super Regionals
- 15 NCAA Regionals
According to the Ragin' Cajuns Athletic Foundation Web site, Lotief is a 2016 ASA/USA Louisiana Softball Hall of Fame inductee and was chosen by his peers in the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) to receive the 2016 Donna Newberry "Perseverance" Award.
He made headlines for serious medical issues stemming from a diagnosis of carcinoma of the naso-pharnyx in 1983. The illness affected his speech during his medical battle, but he coached from the bench throughout.
Lotief's wife announced that he would have a press conference this afternoon at 4:30p.
We'll have more information as this story develops.