Yann Hufnagel, an assistant coach for the Cal men’s basketball team, was fired following investigation into allegations of sexual harassment, according to Connor Letourneau of the San Francisco Chronicle.
Hufnagel has been a member of the coaching staff since Cuonzo Martin’s arrival two years ago. He previously served as an assistant at Vanderbilt and Harvard.
Details of the allegations have not been disclosed yet. The school released a statement on Monday that “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.”
Hufnagel posted a message on Twitter on Tuesday that the focus should be on the team, calling the report a “a fruitless claim.” He continued to stand by his innocence on Wednesday.
“These last two days have been gut-wrenching,” he wrote on Twitter. “Being ripped away from a team that I love deeply has been, in a word, unbearable. I take these allegations incredibly seriously, but the report is wrong. The outpouring of support has been unwavering and heartfelt. I have hired legal counsel to fight Cal's plan to terminate me.”
Cal continues to face criticism from its faculty for its handling of sexual harassment cases.
Hufnagel’s firing comes just one week after UC Berkeley Law School dean Sujit Choudhry resigned after a sex harassment lawsuit alleged that he hugged, kissed and touched his assistant repeatedly during 2014 and 2015. Choudhry will continue to be paid by the university and may still teach. Earlier in the year, the school also warned astronomer Geoff Marcy about sexually harassing female students before he resigned.
Last year, former Cal vice chancellor Graham Fleming was forced from his job following a sex harassment scandal.
No. 4 seed Cal is set to take on No. 13 seed Hawaii in the first round of the NCAA tournament on Friday.