Women’s hockey coach addresses allegations as new recruits are announced
The University of Windsor women's hockey coach is speaking out, addressing allegations of verbal and mental abuse.
Deanna Iwanicka addressed the allegations in a positive way on Thursday as she announced a recruiting class of 11 players for next year’s team.
Five players from the school’s hockey team stepped forward with complaints against Iwanicka in March. But the University said there was a lack of evidence and closed its probe after a two-month investigation.
Iwanicka says she’s as satisfied as one can be.
“I think the truth comes out in the end,” says Iwanicka, who admits the allegations caught her by surprise.
Iwanicka also tells CTV News she was forthright during her recruitment visits.
“I think there are questions no matter what,” admits Iwanicka. “But I think there's a large amount of confidence in the direction that we're going and why they're coming and what they're going to do for the program.”
Former team member Krystin Lawrence was one of the players who brought the allegations forward. She tells CTV News they are disappointed by the school’s findings.
“If this was a men's coach, he'd be walking out in handcuffs with some of the stuff that has been said or has been done,” says Lawrence. “People have physically harmed themselves, that's not ok. That should be the first sign of something's not right in the dressing room. Something's not right in that environment in general. It's supposed to be a safe space for people.”
Lawrence, who has transferred to the University of Waterloo, feels the allegations were swept under the rug.
Iwanicka feels the new class is a sign that the program is moving forward. Maggie Dewulf-Ross of L'Essor is the lone Windsor-Essex player announced as part of Thursday’s recruitment class.
“For me, I think it's really just about what's next and where are we going and re-enforcing the confidence that the players that are here do have,” says Iwanicka. “The support was tremendous. The positives that did come out it at the end of the day were great so that's what we’re really trying to build off of.”
The Lancers women's hockey team managed only one victory in 23 games last season.
CTV News reached out to the university, but officials say they do not comment on personnel matters.
Lawrence and the group that filed the allegations say the game is far from over. They say they plan to take their fight into overtime but wouldn't get into specific details.