Yann Hufnagel submits letter of resignation, drops appeal of sex harassment findings

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After former Cal assistant men’s basketball coach Yann Hufnagel submitted more than 900 text messages to UC officials Monday to contest the finding that he had violated UC sexual harassment policies, he submitted a letter of resignation Thursday afternoon, according to campus spokesperson Dan Mogulof.

The announcement, first reported by the Mercury News, marks the end of the appeal process that Hufnagel had started in an attempt to overturn UC Berkeley’s decision to fire him. Last month, the campus released a report from the Office for the Prevention of Harassment and Discrimination, which found that Hufnagel’s interactions with a female reporter were in violation of UC sexual harassment policy.

Hufnagel made sexual advances toward the complainant and stopped providing her with information after she refused to respond, the OPHD investigation found. According to the report, he asked the complainant to drive him home after they met at a local bar, and, upon their arrival, closed the garage door behind them and asked her to have sex with him.

The 900-plus text messages, presented to UC officials Monday, showed that the interactions between Hufnagel and the reporter were mutually flirtatious, according to his spokesperson Sam Singer.

Mary McNamara, Hufnagel’s attorney, released a statement Thursday afternoon saying that the “toxic environment at UC Berkeley” would make it impossible for him to rejoin the basketball team even if his appeal succeeded.

“He needs to look out for the student-athletes he coached, as well as his own future,” the statement said. “Earlier this morning and after much consideration, he decided it was time to move on.”

Cal men’s basketball lost a top recruit, Tyson Jolly, after the release of the OPHD’s report. Jolly, a four-star recruit, announced March 20 that he had asked to be let out of his letter of intent.

Hufnagel’s appeal was in accordance with a state mandate allowing him the right to a Skelly Review of his disciplinary measures. The review was being conducted by an unnamed dean.

His case is one of multiple high-profile sexual harassment investigations on campus that have been publicized in the last several months. Less than one week before Hufnagel was fired, former UC Berkeley School of Law dean Sujit Choudhry resigned after his then-executive assistant sued him for sexual harassment. This week, UC Berkeley released reports on the 19 campus employees who were found to have violated UC sexual harassment policies in the past seven years.

Contact Hooman Yazdanian, Alaina Getzenberg and Melissa Wen at [email protected].

A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that a review of Hufnagel’s termination was to be conducted. In fact, the review was already underway.