This is a letter I recently sent to the AD at UMD--Shannon has been a long time friend and respected colleague and I firmly believe that she is onto greener pastures. However, I want to be clear she should be given the choice to move on. The ridiculousness of this decision will hopefully inspire many of us who have done nothing about other female coaches being mistreated and fired to become active in our collective opinions to value women leaders and role models!
Dear AD Berlo,
Not sure what the circumstances are around Coach Miller's firing, but as a long time leader in women's sports and as someone who has supported your staff over the years, I could not be more disappointed in your decision. I will not go on a long-winded diatribe about this as I am sure you have already heard countless times--on the can of worms that you opened--about valuing women in our community, respecting women's leadership, respecting half of the population on the planet and what your decision implies. I am sure you've heard it all. All true and their versions probably much more articulate than mine!
The silver lining in all of this much like the Brown Court case in the 90's, is that your decision has activated a group of people, both men and women, who are dumbfounded, outraged, and quite frankly pissed off that this behavior can continue to exist in the male dominated paradigm at UMD. The shift to the female model of leadership is occurring and is going to happen. I would like to thank you for help in furthering the cause. And in my humble opinion, Shannon Miller is way too talented to be in limited, insensitive, and dead end environment that seems to exist at UMD for women. She doesn't know it now but you did a coach and leader like Shannon Miller a huge favor and also re-ignited a fire that all women coaches should have had for a long time!