UCSB women’s soccer assistant coach Chris Fernandez submitted his resignation on Friday, Feb. 26 following allegations of sexual impropriety at his previous job with a girls’ youth soccer team in Arizona.
According to Assistant Athletics Director Bill Mahoney, Fernandez’s resignation was processed on Monday, March 1 and he is no longer a part of the team or the university. While Head of Coaching with the Arizona Rush Soccer Club, Fernandez allegedly acted improperly with at least one player, a 15-year-old on his team who he kissed in a hotel room. That incident, along with anonymous testimony from others, resulted in the Arizona Youth Soccer Organization banning Fernandez from youth coaching. The ban operates nationwide.
UCSB hired Fernandez in March 2009 to replace former Assistant Coach Kai Edwards. The administration says it was in the dark regarding the coach’s history.
“When Chris was hired here, we were not aware of the accusations or the proceedings that were taking place,” Mahoney said.
Fernandez’s suspension was brought to the attention of the Athletics Department late last month, and likely played a role in his resignation.
No criminal charges have been filed in either Arizona or Santa Barbara. According to the Arizona Daily Star, Fernandez has denied the accusations and will appeal the ban.