SYRACUSE — Julie Robinson, who has been head swim coach for Wawasee High School for the past 11 years, was fired at 4:30 p.m. Thursday, March 14. According to Robinson, Cory Schutz, Wawasee High School Athletic Director, informed her she was no longer the swim coach for the high school and the school would no longer allow PRO swim club to use the pool. Robinson was coach of the senior group of that club.
Dr. Tom Edington, superintendent of the Wawasee Community School Corporation, issued the following statement Friday morning, March 15.
“After a thorough review of the Wawasee High School swim program, a recommendation was made not to renew Julie Robinson’s contract for the 2019-20 school year. We thank Julie for her years of service to the Wawasee swim program and wish her all the best in her future endeavors.”
The firing of Robinson comes on the heels of a sex discrimination lawsuit she filed in December 2018 in Kosciusko County Superior Court. That case has since been moved to U.S. District Court Northern District of Indiana, South Bend.
According to information obtained, Robinson was relieved of duty due to her inability to get along with others.
Robinson alleges in the suit, filed in Kosciusko Superior Court on Dec. 26, that she is a qualified female who is currently the varsity head coach for the school’s swim team, and since approximately 2017, it has been expressed to her in various ways that she would need to defer any decision making about the swim program she coaches or coaching philosophies to the middle school coaches, both of whom are male.
The complaint also states in January 2017, Robinson received a letter from Cory Schutz, Wawasee High School’s athletic director, that can be categorized as a reprimand. It states she has been accused of speaking negatively about the middle school coaches and that this accusation was not discussed with her prior to the letter being sent.
Other issues noted are that in February she was informed she was being investigated and told not to speak to anyone or she would face suspension. The complaint states she was not informed about the subject matter of the investigation, nor was she denied any opportunity to provide any information until the end of their investigation.
It is further alleged that on March 23, Robinson received a memo from Schutz with a list of recommendations that was a result of communication as positivity. However, the recommendations were vague, unmeasurable and were concerned with approachability, communication and positivity. That memo ended with a paragraph explaining that Robinson does a “very good job with a large number of her swimmers” and it expressed that the goal was to have a successful swim program.
Documents note that the swim program at Wawasee has been successful for a number of years under her coaching. She contends in the complaint that Schutz and the two male middle school coaches are paving a way for her termination by creating a false perception of her demeanor and damaging her reputation.
“Plaintiff is being treated differently than male coaches in the athletic department by being asked to defer to the two male middle school coaches,” documents show. Robinson further contends that any changes made to other athletic programs are done so with consultation from the male coaches, which has been denied to her and she is being held to a different standard in regards to approachability and positivity than the male coaches.