The University of Michigan hockey program announced Friday that the school has decided to move on from head coach Mel Pearson after multiple third-party allegations of mistreatment surfaced against the coach, as reported on by The Athletic’s Katie Strang.
University of Michigan athletic director Warde Manuel gave the following statement on the coaching change:
It has been determined that Mel Pearson will not return as our ice hockey coach. This decision has been weighed heavily and for some time. We welcomed an independent third-party review into the climate and culture of our program before furthering our assessment in lockstep with campus leadership. Our student-athletes having a positive and meaningful experience is of paramount importance, and a clear expectation within our department is that all employees and staff are valued and supported. I deeply appreciate and value the many individuals who came forward throughout this review. Today’s announcement reflects the seriousness with what we’ve heard and the values we hold dear at Michigan.
Per Strang, Pearson faced multiple allegations, such as forcing a former team captain out of the program, directing players to lie on COVID-19 tracing forms, and overseeing a program that included mistreatment of female staff members, among other allegations.
Pearson had served as the school’s head coach since the 2017-18 season and served as an assistant and associate coach from 1988 to 2011.
Michigan, who won the Big Ten conference tournament last season and advanced to the 2022 Frozen Four, will have a new head coach next season to oversee the development of players such as New Jersey Devils defense prospect Luke Hughes and top 2023-eligible draft prospect Adam Fantilli.