Mizzou Head Softball Coach Ehren Earleywine was fired in a moved announced on Friday morning by Mizzou’s Director of Athletics Jim Sterk.
A statement was released on the school’s website:
“I met with Coach Earleywine this morning and informed him of our decision to make a change in leadership within the softball program effective immediately,” Sterk said. “We do not take action of this magnitude without careful thought and consideration, however, we have lost confidence in Coach Earleywine’s leadership to foster the type of healthy environment we expect for our student-athletes, and as a result, believe it is in the program’s best interest to make a change at this time.”
“Since my arrival at Mizzou, I have had a chance to consider concerns within the softball program that arose before my time and observe Coach Earleywine’s leadership of our program,” Sterk added. “This decision was based upon a culmination of leadership concerns, not just one incident, which caused me to reevaluate his position within our softball program at this time.”
“While we are appreciative of the many successes Coach Earleywine’s teams have enjoyed on the field during his Mizzou tenure, we had serious concerns about the culture within the softball program and the experience our student-athletes were being provided as a result,” Sterk said. “I recognize that the timing is less than ideal, but I did not believe I could hold off in making a decision to ensure that our student-athletes experience a constructive environment that is consistent with the department’s expectations and values.”
After a lengthy investigation by the University’s Title IX office during the summer of August 2016, Earleywine was retained after several players complained of harsh language and treatment. There was divide on that roster as many players, current and former at the time, who came to Earleywine’s defense. Earleywine sought professional assistance to work on coaching and communications skills.
Calls to Earleywine for comment have not been returned.
In 11 seasons as the Tigers head coach from 2007-17, Earleywine compiled a record of 482-182 (.726), while guiding the program to 11-consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances with eight NCAA Super Regionals and three Women’s College World Series trips
Missouri opens the 2018 season in Tempe, Ariz., against San Jose State, Feb. 8.