Jury Awards Former SBU Coach $76,800
Bolivar Herald Free
Wednesday, September 8, 2000
by Judy Kallenbach
[NOTE: Judy Kallenbach, the Editor of the BOLIVAR HERALD-
FREE PRESS, is/was a special instructor of Communications Arts
at Southwest Baptist University.
Judy's son, John Kallenbach, is an associate law partner in the firm --
(Kerry) Douglas, (Gary) Lynch, (Verna) Haun, and (Jerry "Jay") Kirksey
P.C. -- who are the corporate attorneys for Southwest Baptist University,
the City of Bolivar, the County of Polk, Empire District Electric
Cooperative, and Citizen's Memorial Hospital.]
Julian, a volleyball and softball coach, was awarded $76,800
Wednesday by a Kansas City jury that agreed that SBU retaliated
against Julian after she filed a claim of gender discrimination
with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in 1997
and the subsequent lawsuit.
Five other claims, however, some of which could have had
more far-reaching ramifications, were dismissed by either
Julian or the judge before the case went to the jury.
The court dismissed a breach of contract claim before the
trial started Aug. 28. The discrimination on the basis of gender
claims under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act and Title IX,
a federal regulation that requires equal treatment of women
in school sports, were dismissed by the court after hearing
Julian voluntarily dismissed her claims that SBU had violated
the Equal Pay Act and subjected her to a hostile work environment,
leaving only the retaliation claim, which she had added to her
lawsuit after her contract was not renewed in 1999.
Julian was volleyball coach from 1996 to 1999 and softball
coach from 1996 to 1998. After her contract was not renewed,
she said it was in retaliation for filing the EEOC claim and
the lawsuit against the university. SBU officials said the
dismissal was because they had received complaints about
"We did not renew her contract because of her inability
to get along with her administrator [Dennis Roland]," said
SBU President C. Pat Taylor at a news conference Thursday.
"She would get defensive and wouldn't work with him."
Another complaint was that Julian was not feeding her
players after losses as punishment."
Taylor said the decision not to renew Julian's contract last
year was made more difficult because of the pending lawsuit.
"But we had to do it for our kids," he said.
"We believe we
have a sacred trust to always put the students first, not only
in academics but in student activities and athletics. At no
time did we do anything that did not put our students first."
"I and SBU strongly disagree with the jury," said Bolivar
attorney Jay Kirksey of Douglas, Lynch, Haun and Kirksey.
"There was evidence and testimony by players and records
to show that the players were not fed after losses."
Kirksey said he talked to four of the eight jurors after the decision.
"They said they didn't think it was mistreatment not to feed the
players," he said. "We strongly disagree."
Julian, however, was pleased with the decision.
"It's a good day, but a sad day because I really feel Southwest
Baptist University is a good university and I learned a lot from
attending there," said the 1990 graduate. "The good things I
was taught there was one of the reasons I was able to do this
without succumbing to the pressures."
She lays the blame on a few individuals rather than the entire
school. "There are some of the most wonderful faculty and
staff there, and I don't want them to be confused with those
who made some wrong choices," she said.
"Hopefully, my name has been restored. Maybe I'll be invited
back to play in an alumni game or to Homecoming festivities."
Julian now lives in Kentucky and coaches fast-pitch softball
at the high school level.
Her attorney, Denise Henning of the McLeod Law Firm in
Kansas City, said the most disappointing part of the trial was
the dismissal of the Title IX claim requiring equal treatment
of women in sports.
"That would have made history," she said. "We believe the
law is unclear. There's not much guidance on how to handle
The jury awarded Julian $1,800 for lost
wages and benefits
from May 31, 1999 to Aug. 23, 1999.
[Note: Julian's salary
and benefits for coaching the SBU
Woman's Volleyball team was, according to this figure,
about $600 a month.]
Other damages [for emotional anguish] were assessed at
$75,000. Kirksey said Julian had claimed $2.6 million in
Julian's attorneys will also file a motion for attorney fees on
the retaliation count only. The judge is expected to make a
determination on the fee amount within a few weeks.
Attorney Gary Lynch of Bolivar, also of Douglas,
and Kirksey, said the firm was pleased to have the opportunity
to represent the university.
"We wish it had been an outright win, but we're looking at
an appeal or other post-judgment action," he said.
Taylor said the university has insurance to cover
with the trial.
Please see related articles:
Ex-SBU Coach Wins Claim of Retaliation
Jury Sides with Former Coach in Suit Against Baptist School
Associated Baptist Press
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