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U-M hockey coach out after investigation into misconduct within program

Yost Ice Arena
James Coller
Yost Ice Arena

The University of Michigan men’s hockey program is looking for a new head coach. The school made the announcement Friday that Mel Pearsonwill not return next season. This is following an independent investigation into complaints filed against Pearson and his director of hockey operations Rick Bancroft.

According to the report, Pearson created a “toxic work environment for female support staff,” retaliated against players and staff who spoke out against him and told student athletes to lie on their COVID-19 tracing forms ahead of the 2021 NCAA tournament.

Bancroft, who retired in June, also knew about the sexual misconduct committed by late U-M athletic doctor Robert Anderson.

U-M historian John U. Bacon says after the report came out, the lack of support for Pearson was telling.

“No internal voices have come forward, colleagues and others, to defend him, which is also surprising.”  

Pearson, who led the Wolverines to a pair of Frozen Four appearances over the last five years, was operating without a contract since May 1st. U-M will not renew his contract.

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Josh Hakala is the general assignment reporter for the WEMU news department.
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