Cal women's swimming and diving coach Teri McKeever was fired Tuesday following an investigation into alleged verbal abuse conduct, the school announced this week. McKeever coached the Golden Bears women's swimming and diving teams for 29 years, winning four national championships (2009, 2011, 2012, 2015).
"After carefully reviewing an extensive investigative report that was recently completed by an independent law firm, I strongly believe this is in the best interests of our student-athletes, our swimming program and Cal Athletics as a whole," wrote Director of Athletics Jim Knowlton.
Last May, McKeever was placed on paid leave following reports of bullying and verbal abuse.
She led the Golden Bears to six Pac-12 swim championships and four NCAA championships through her time at Cal. She was also the first woman to serve as a U.S. Olympic swimming head coach. However, she did not have a good reputation with everyone she coached. More than 40 women claimed they had been bullied by McKeever.
The reports of abuse were not a recent development. According to Southern California News Group, in 2010, Cal chancellor Robert Joseph Birgeneau was made aware of allegations against McKeever that dated back to 2001. Per report, at least a handful of athletes to considered suicide.
As reported by The Mercury News, attorneys hired by the university interviewed 147 people and reviewed 1700 documents that "by a preponderance of the evidence that Coach McKeever discriminated against certain student-athletes, in certain instances, on the basis of race, national origin and disability." The report ended up being nearly 500 pages long, with some parts being redacted.
The report says the coach created a hostile environment for her student athletes in multiple ways. This includes calling swimmers "a piece of s--t," "worthless" and a "waste of a scholarship." She also bullied swimmers with legitimate injuries.
"I was disturbed by what I learned in the course of reading through the report's 482 pages that substantiate far too many allegations of unacceptable behavior," wrote Knowlton. "I want to apologize, on behalf of Cal Athletics, to every student-athlete who was subject to this conduct in the past, and I want to thank everyone who had the courage to come forward and share their story with the investigators."