SEAGRAVE MAY BE REMEMBERED FOR COACHING THE FIRST THREE ACROSS THE LINE IN THE WOMEN’S 100M IN THE US CHAMPIONSHIPS, THINK IT WAS 1989. IN 1990 HE ALSO BRIEFLY WORKED IN TORONTO AS BEN JOHNSON’S COACH PENDING HIS REINSTATEMENT AFTER THE BAN POST-SEOUL. HE PRODUCED THE “SPEED DYNAMICS” SERIES OF INSTRUCTIONAL VIDEOS ON SPRINTS, HURDLES AND ASSOCIATED DRILLS. kk
BATON ROUGE, La. – A former Louisiana State University track coach who claims he was fired in 1989 because of his interracial marriage has lost a $773,000 award from a jury.
The 1st Circuit Court of Appeal ruled Friday that there was not enough evidence to support Loren Seagrave’s racial discrimination claim, a finding that turned aside a ruling by a state district court jury in Baton Rouge in 2003.
LSU has maintained that Seagrave was fired because of an inappropriate early morning “counseling session” with a member of the women’s track team.
Seagrave denied making any sexual advances, but acknowledged giving the student a “reassuring hug” and a kiss on the forehead after discussing a variety of her problems. The two fell asleep at Seagrave’s house.
While traveling back from Arizona in 1989, Seagrave reported the 1988 counseling session to head coach Patrick Henry out of concern that the woman’s boyfriend would be at the airport, according to court documents.
University officials said Seagrave should have postponed the counseling until it could happen at a more appropriate time and place.
The marriage of Seagrave, who is white, to hurdler Kathy Freeman, a three-time All-American at Southern University, was not a factor in his dismissal, the university said. Seagrave is no longer married to Freeman.
“I think we were always very confident that the case would be reversed,” LSU attorney Michael Pharis said Monday. “We are just happy justice was served.”
Seagrave and his attorney, Dan Scheuermann, said they plan to appeal to the Louisiana Supreme Court.
“As far as I’m concerned when the jury came back and rendered their judgment unanimously in our favor, it sent a message that one of the reasons they fired me was that I was married to a black woman,” Seagrave said.
Seagrave served as women’s head coach when the Lady Tigers won both indoor and outdoor NCAA track championships in 1987 and an outdoor championship in 1988.
Information from: The Advocate, http://www.theadvocate.com