CHARLESTON, S.C. — Former College of Charleston baseball coach Matt Heath has sued the school, its president Glenn McConnell and athletic director Matt Roberts over his firing last month after two seasons.
The lawsuit was filed Friday in the United States’ District Court. It asks for unspecified damages and a judgment that the college and its leaders violated Heath’s rights of due process by not giving him a hearing before he was let go.
Heath was let go after an investigation, according to the lawsuit, into potential misconduct that included physical and verbal abuse of players — something Heath denied.
Heath served two years on a five-year contract that pays him $150,000 a year.
College spokesman Mike Robertson said the school would not have any comments due to pending litigation.
It’s the second time in three seasons the College of Charleston has dismissed a coach for his conduct. The school let go of former men’s basketball coach Doug Wojcik in 2014 after a 50-page report found he verbally abused players and staffers. Wojcik sued the school and the case was later settled.
Heath was the Cougars pitching coach who took over the program after head coach Monte Lee moved on to Clemson. The lawsuit said the school’s investigation cited several instances of misconduct, including that he grabbed a struggling pitcher up by the neck and yelled at him. The college also said, according to the suit, that Heath used abusive and profane language and had created “a toxic program that players did not want to be a part of.”
Heath’s suit said the witnesses in the school’s report were not identified and their statements were not taken under oath. Furthermore, Heath said he continues to receive statements and messages of support telling him that the allegations against him are not true.
The lawsuit said the school’s investigation had just one purpose — to end Heath’s tenure in “bad faith” and not determine if the allegations were true.
Heath’s suit said that because of the college’s actions, there’s a stigma on him as coach and as a person that will make it difficult to find work as a coach going forward.