Canadian national team coach Dave Scott-Thomas fired following investigation
The news that well-known running coach Dave Scott-Thomas has been terminated by the University of Guelph and the Speed River Track Club is ceasing athlete development operations is sending shockwaves through the Canadian running community.
Scott-Thomas has been one of the most successful running coaches in the country and has coached on 16 Canadian national teams. Top Canadian distances runners such as Reid Coolsaet and Eric Gillis and many others were coached by him.
In a written statement dated Dec. 17, the university outlined its position:
“Recently, the University received information from former and current track and field athletes regarding their experiences on the team. During the course of reviewing this information and in the last 24 hours, the University became privy to new information regarding past unprofessional conduct,” the statement read.
“The well-being of our student-athletes is a priority; the University does not tolerate conduct from its coaches that is inconsistent with the core values and beliefs of the University of Guelph and our University’s Coaches Code of Conduct.”
Scott-Thomas coached Eric Gillis and seven members of Canada's team at the 2016 Summer Olympics. He was inducted into the Guelph Sports Hall of Fame in 2018 in the builder category.
Related to the move, the Speed River Track & Field Club, which appears to have closed its social media channels, also announced that it would cease operations related to athlete training and development, as well as event hosting.
“Effective immediately, the Speed River Track & Field Club will not be receiving any member registrations, and the club has ceased operations related to athlete training and development, as well as event hosting.”
The Club, which has played an integral role in athlete development in the area, indicated in a statement posted on its website, that it would regroup and continue in the near future.
“Moving forward, there are initiatives underway to create a new training platform in which our top priority is to ensure continued programming for track and field athletes in our community in a fun, safe, and caring environment,” read the statement. “As these plans develop, we will provide further details to you as soon as practical.”