Penn Athletics has announced that volleyball coach Iain Braddak has resigned from his post after two seasons on the job.
Braddak oversaw a turbulent year and a half as coach of the program since his controversial hiring in April 2018 as the team's third head coach in as many years. His first season ended with widespread accounts of mistreatment from his players and formal grievances filed against him. The 2019 season was marked by the cancellation of two games due to a disciplinary action against the team.
After Braddak’s first season in 2018, some players complained of emotional manipulation and mistreatment that led to an unhealthy team environment. Three athletes quit the team during that season, and eight – over a third of the roster – filed formal grievances against Braddak. While several players questioned Penn Athletics’ handling of the grievance process, by the following season, the team simply wanted to put the controversy behind them and get back to playing volleyball.
Year two of Braddak’s tenure got off to a much better start. The Quakers ran through their non-conference schedule with a record of 7-2 – already more wins than 2018’s record worst total of six. The team didn’t fare as well in the Ivy League portion of the season, but still held a winning record entering the final two-game weekend. Those two games never got played after "offensive" posters were found in the team's locker room.
In the immediate aftermath of the cancellation of the final two games of Penn volleyball’s 2019 season, many observers speculated that the content of the posters was related to the previous semester’s grievances against Braddak. Penn Athletics quickly issued a statement to the Philadelphia Inquirer saying that the two incidents were “in no way connected.” The Daily Pennsylvanian has been unable to reach players on the team to confirm this.
Braddak's final record of 17-29 (7-19 Ivy) is the worst coaching record in program history. Braddak is the only coach to finish their tenure with a losing record.
"I want to thank Iain for his service over the past two years, and wish him the best in the next chapter of his coaching career," Athletics Director M. Grace Calhoun wrote in a joint statement.
"I am very grateful to Dr. Grace Calhoun and the entire [Penn Athletics] team for the opportunity to work alongside some of the best coaches in the country over the last two years," Braddak wrote.
The press release indicates that the search for a new coach will begin immediately.
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