Cal fires assistant coach after sexual harassment investigation

Cuonzo Martin has fired one of his assistant coaches.

Kelley L Cox/Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Four days before University of California men’s basketball team will open the NCAA tournament with a game against Hawaii, one of its assistant basketball coaches has been fired following an investigation into sexual harassment allegations, according to a San Francisco Chronicle report that cited a source.

University investigators concluded after a months-long probe that Yann Hufnagel, who joined head coach Cuonzo Martin’s staff two years ago, had violated UC Berkeley’s anti-sexual harassment policy, said the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the matter publicly. Details of the allegations have yet to be released.

In his second year with the program after three years at Tennessee, Martin has led California back to the tournament for the first time since 2013. The Golden Bears are 23-10 after going 18-15 in Martin’s first season, but – according to the report – the Hufnagel investigation is part of the reason Martin is still working under his original offer sheet and hasn’t yet signed a contract with the school. Athletic director Mike Williams had previously cited a change in athletic directors as the reason a contract had yet to be signed.

According to the Chronicle, Hufnagel’s firing comes as the school is under criticism for its approach to sexual harassment incidents by faculty. Martin fired Hufnagel after receiving a report from the school’s Office for Prevention of Harassment.

The athletic department released a statement later Monday:  

“Effective immediately, Hufnagel has been relieved of his duties pending the outcome of the termination process and will not be traveling with the team during its NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament run.”

The Golden Bears enter the tournament having won nine of their past 11 games.