MSU Rowing Team coachless

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Three coaches announce resignation following head Coach Weise's firing

East Lansing, Mich (WLNS)– Michigan State University’s Women’s Rowing team is in search of a new leader.

The team’s head coach, Matt Weise, was fired on July 16. Now, all three assistants have announced they’re also leaving.

Weise is a three-time big ten coach of the year. He’s been with the rowing team for 20 years, and was set to begin his 15th season as head coach, according to the university’s website.

Matt Larson, a spokesperson for MSU athletics said Bill Beekman, MSU’s Athletic Director, let Weise go because he wanted to take the team in a different direction.

Samantha Sarff, the team’s recruiting coordinator, was appointed interim coach, but she along with assistant coaches Mackenzie Whiteside, and Liz England Smith announced last week that they would all be leaving.

Larson said Sarff, Whiteside, and England accepted coaching positions at other schools.

Beekman became the university’s AD after MSU’S former AD resigned in the wake of Larry Nassar’s sentencing.

In January of 2018, dozens of MSU rowers confronted university officials over their handling of the Nassar sex abuse scandal.

Coach Weise was there when the women met with Beekman and other MSU trustees.

The decision is leading some to wonder if Weise was fired for not discouraging the women to confront the school.

Others believe there was cause for Weise’s firing, due to the team’s record the past several years.

A former MSU rower, Catherine Hannum said “I know [Weise] to be a person with exceptional integrity.”

Hannum called the firing “incredibly disheartening.”

The university is standing behind its decision and the team is without a coach less than three months before their first competition.

6 News reached out to the coaches, but did not hear back.

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