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Kathryn Brenny

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To read Kathryn Brenny's statement on her suit against the university, go to: www.startribune.com/sports/gophers

Woman alleges she lost U golf job because she's lesbian

  • Star Tribune
  • January 12, 2011 - 5:48 AM

Former Gophers associate women's golf coach Kathryn Brenny served a lawsuit Tuesday on the University of Minnesota, alleging that athletic department officials took away her coaching duties after the golf director learned she is a lesbian.

The 16-page complaint, which Brenny's attorney said would be filed in court on Wednesday, alleges that the university and golf director John Harris violated her rights as a member of a protected class under the state Human Rights Act.

The complaint said Harris "did not want to hire a homosexual to coach the women's golf team."

University general counsel Mark Rotenberg has said the university does not agree with Brenny's claims and didn't discriminate against her on the basis of sexual orientation. Rotenberg could not be reached on Tuesday.

Brenny, 30, is represented by Donald Chance Mark Jr., who won a $1.25 million jury verdict for  former assistant Gophers men's basketball coach Jimmy Williams, who sued the school after it rescinded an offer by Tubby Smith to hire him.

Brenny signed a contract on Aug. 30 to serve as associate women's golf coach for $44,000 a year. The complaint alleges that:

On Sept. 1, Harris told Brenny she wouldn't travel with the team and gave her tasks such as typing schedules. On Oct. 12, Brenny met with Athletic Director Joel Maturi and he told her to "quit or comply" with what Harris wanted, the complaint said.

Brenny agreed to a severance package, then rejected it after she heard that an athletic department employee told at least one player that "Harris discovered she was a homosexual and did not want her on the road with the team."

 

ROCHELLE OLSON

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