The University of Victoria has appointed an interim head coach of its women’s rowing program, after a verbal abuse lawsuit against its previous coach resulted in his suspension and resignation.
In a 2020 lawsuit, Barney Williams was accused of demeaning treatment and verbal abuse against one of the team members during the 2018-2019 season. The claims have not been proven in court.
In April, Williams resigned by mutual agreement and received a one-year suspension from Rowing Canada.
Jane Gumley is now set to take over for the 2021-2022 season.
“As a current international level coxswain and former varsity athlete, Jane brings an exciting skill set and unique understanding to the team,” Nick Clarke, director of Varsity Performance Sport, said in a release.
Gumley graduated from UVic in 2013 and has worked with the coxswains of the men’s and women’s programs since. She has also represented Canada in rowing multiple times, including competing as the first female coxswain in the men’s eight rowing at a world championship in 2018.
Gumley spent the last four years coaching at the Victoria City Rowing Club and the last winter assistant coaching for the Vikes men’s rowing team.
“I am really excited to step into the Vikes women’s rowing culture. I have witnessed amazing drive and compassion from the athletes, and I can’t wait to see some of that on the racecourse this fall,” she said.
Gumley added she’s seen all different kinds of coaching styles over the years and believes she has an understanding of how to positively drive athletes to meet their goals.
“This will help me guide the team and meet the standards of varsity athletics while continuing to provide a culture of growth and inclusion,” she said.
–With files from The Canadian Press
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