LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - A former track and field assistant coach is suing the University of Louisville Athletics Association and Director of Athletics Tom Jurich. A jury trial was supposed to start this month, but has since been continued to September in hopes of reaching a settlement first.
The alleged issues started three years ago and the lawsuit has been in the system for two. Mary Banker says she faced gender discrimination and the athletics program breached her contract.
According to her bio still up on uoflsport's.com, Banker had several coaching jobs before UofL, including at Wisconsin-Oshkosh where the women's track and field team won the NCAA Division III title.
According to court records, Banker was hired at Louisville as the only female track and field coach in September 2007 and says over the next year she was given extra duties like baking cookies and setting up party tables. She claims she was told to "bat" her "eyes" and "flip" her "hair," and that fellow coaches said offensive things about women. Banker says she complained to Human Resources and several weeks later found out her contract was not being renewed.
According to the Defendants' Trial Memorandum, the athletics department's response to the firing was:
"While head track coach Ron Mann had high hopes for Banker, her coaching and recruiting performance fell far short. Banker grew defensive about her difficulties, and blamed her shortcomings on others."
The plaintiff's attorney declined to comment and the defendants' attorney was out of the office. The University of Louisville's Athletics Association spokesperson would not comment on pending litigation. Judge Charles Cunningham has ordered the parties to try and come up with a settlement before suit goes to trial.
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