University of Utah head swim coach Greg Winslow has been suspended indefinitely following allegations of sexual abuse of a 15-year-old girl while he was a coach of a swimming club in Arizona.
The Maricopa County (Ariz.) Attorney’s Office is reviewing the allegations and charges have not yet been filed, but “we decided it was in the best interest of everybody to have a suspension of the coach right now as the university and other folks look fully into it,” U. of U. athletic director Chris Hill said Thursday.
Hill said he told Winslow of the suspension Thursday morning and ordered him to return to Salt Lake City. The Utes are competing this week in the Pac-12 Women’s Swimming Championships in Federal Way, Wash.
Diving coach Richard Marschner, in his third year at Utah, has been named the interim swimming and diving coach.
Winslow, in his sixth season as Utah coach, previously was assistant men’s swimming coach at Arizona State University from 2003-2007. He also was head coach of the Sun Devil Aquatics club in Arizona beginning in 2005.
According to a statement from Maricopa County based on an ASU police investigative report, Winslow is accused of kissing and fondling a female swimmer who was 15 in 2007 when the alleged incidents occurred.
The statement said the girl was a member of the club Winslow coached, which is not affiliated with ASU. However, the alleged incidents occurred at an ASU swimming facility rented by Sun Devil Aquatics.
“The victim in the case ... was not, and has never been, a student at the university,” according to the statement.
Winslow could not immediately be reached for comment Thursday. But in a statement to Irvin Muchnick of the swimming blog Concussion Inc., which first wrote of the allegations, he said: “These are extremely serious allegations, and if I am accused, I will certainly respond.”
Hill didn’t say whether Winslow is being paid during his suspension.
Even if the ASU investigation doesn’t lead to criminal charges “it’s just standard to look at some situations and put everything in [perspective] to decide what’s best for the student athletes in the program,” he said.
Winslow has been accused of sexual misconduct before.
The U. of U. investigated allegations after receiving a letter from the parent of a former swimmer who complained of the coach’s behavior, though the initial complaint was not of a sexual nature, spokesman Keith Sterling said.
“Allegations were denied by the folks that we interviewed. That’s important to point out,” he said. “Moving forward now, we at the university are going to be bringing in an outside entity to conduct an investigation.”