Editors’ note: This story contains accounts of sexual assault. If you or someone you know is a survivor of sexual assault, contact the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-4673 or at https://www.rainn.org.
U.S. Soccer announced a series of immediate disciplinary steps against former Toledo coach Brad Evans on Wednesday following a report from Matthew Hall of The Guardian that detailed an account of sexual misconduct.
Evans had his coaching license suspended and has been blocked from the organization’s learning center, per Meg Linehan of The Athletic. He has also been removed from all instructional courses.
In the report from The Guardian, Candice Fabry, a former Toledo soccer player who played for Evans, detailed an incident in 2007 when Evans forced himself onto her at a restaurant after she had accepted a position as an unpaid assistant on his staff. She recalled that Evans reached down her pants while kissing her, and that she was able to get away by pushing him and shouting “No! No! No!”
Evans is a member of the Ohio Soccer Association and is the head coach of Ohio’s Olympic Development Program.
Another former player, Molly Cornwell, shared a similar incident a that occurred a few years later. Cornwell also joined Evans’s staff as an assistant following her playing career, and alleged that Evans tried to corner her in a bathroom at an after party in his hotel suite following a team banquet in December 2010.
“His arm was across the bathroom doorway so I couldn’t get out,” Cornwell says. “He was telling me he wanted me and knew that I did too. I said no. He pushed onto me, touched my face, I pushed and pushed until I got him away and ducked under him and ran out the door and to the street. I thought, wow. Then I thought [how] lucky [I was]. Then I thought, ‘How many other people had this happen to them?’”
In a statement provided to The Guardian, Toledo said that an internal investigation was launched in January 2015 after a player reported verbal harassment, but by the time it had been finished, Evans had already resigned. Evans provided a statement along with his resignation.
“A few weeks back I was asked to answer questions about my relationships about some past co-workers,” the statement read. “It was clear that my interactions with those co-workers demonstrated poor judgment on my part, and were against university policy, and resigning was best for all involved.”