August 2, 2021
Syracuse coach Hillsman resigns amid ongoing review of women’s basketball program
Syracuse athletic director, head coach agree that the resignation "Is in the best interest of the university"
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Syracuse women’s basketball head coach resigned from the position, according to a statement released by the university today. The 15-year coach is under review by the university into allegations of threats, bullying and inappropriate behavior directed towards former staff and players.
“Coach Hillsman and I agreed that parting ways is in the best interest of the university, the program and our student-athletes,” Wildhack shared in a statement. “We wish him and his family all the best. Interim leadership for the women’s basketball program will be announced in the coming days.”
Since 2018, 20 student-athletes have transferred from the Syracuse program including 11 players after the 2020-21 season alone, more than any other men’s or women’s Division I program. The Athletic’s Chantel Jennings and Dana O’Neil released a report in June detailing information obtained from interviews with nine former players as well as 19 others, including team managers and staff members, alleging that the head coach created a “pernicious culture” for those involved in the program.
Allegations against Hillsman include the use of threatening language, unwanted physical contact and refusal to provide water breaks during conditioning exercises. Former players also pointed to condescending treatment of female coaches as compared to male coaches, including silencing of female coaches during practices. Syracuse athletic director John Wildhack will address issues identified by the ongoing review when the review is complete.
Hillsman finishes his tenure at Syracuse with a cumulative record of 319-169. He guided the Orange to the national championship game in 2016 and nine NCAA tournament appearances overall. His contract was in place through the 2024 season.