Utah Royals FC announced on Monday that the NWSL club has terminated the contract of head coach Craig Harrington. Amy LePeilbet will continue as Royals interim coach after being named to that position at the start of the National Women's Soccer League 2020 Fall Series.
"Utah Royals FC is proud to represent the state of Utah nationally and across the globe. Utah Royals FC takes this responsibility seriously, and have committed to keeping the community and its fans apprised of team developments," the Royals said via a club statement. After careful review and consideration, the club has decided to part ways with head coach Craig Harrington."
The entire Utah organization has been dealing with perceptions of a toxic work environment since August when it was reported there was an ongoing investigation into racist and sexist comments by then-owner Dell Loy Hansen and executive Andy Carroll.
Monday's decision comes after Harrington and assistant coach Louis Lancaster were initially placed on administrative leave before the Royals' opening match in the NWSL Fall Series. The club initially did not reveal the reason for the leave, but referred to it as a separate incident unrelated to investigations around Utah ownership and administration. Lancaster was reinstated in his role as an assistant on Monday.
LePeilbet has been with Utah's organization since 2018, when she was named second assistant coach in the club's inaugural year. She was was named the head coach of the Utah Royals FC Reserves, a semi-professional team that competes in the WPSL in 2019, before being placed as interim head coach this September.
"Amy LePeilbet will continue as Interim Head Coach until further notice," the team said. "As Coach LePeilbet has already demonstrated, she is well-positioned to serve in this interim role and embodies the Club's dedication to the highest standards of conduct, civility, and professionalism."
The league will host an expansion draft on Thursday as Racing Louisville FC becomes the newest club set to play in NWSL starting in 2021. All clubs have submitted both protected and unprotected player lists ahead of the draft and it will be the first league event LePeilbet and the club will participate in since the conclusion of the Fall Series.