Eric Ziady is starting to develop a reputation.
But it’s one that the Delaware athletic director would probably rather not have.
On Monday, Ziady fired Blue Hen softball coach Jaime Wohlbach.
Ziady, of course, was also the AD who famously fired football coach K.C. Keeler in 2013, a few months after coming to Newark.
It wasn’t unusual that a coach like Wohlbach, who only had one winning season in four years, was fired. But it was strange that Wohlbach was let go with a month still left in the season.
And it was especially noteworthy since the Hens actually had a winning record (21-15) at the time. She’s the first Blue Hen head coach fired in mid-season in recent memory.
Wohlbach seemed shocked by the firing. In a story in UD’s student newspaper, The Review, Wohlbach said she was told she a has a “hostile program environment.”
“I asked if they could please explain to me what that means, but they just kept saying ‘It’s a hostile environment,’” Wohlbach was quoted. “They would not share anything with me.
“These players are great kids, they’ve been playing to win and working really hard,” she said. “There’s not one time this entire year that I can tell you that these players have been yelled at or even talked to in that tone. These things are not happening.”
Ziady didn’t issue any public comment on the softball situation.
Then again, he also declined to comment last month when the university announced it had signed men’s basketball coach Monte’ Ross to a new three-year contract. There’s a widely-held belief that Ziady wanted to fire Ross but UD’s administration overruled him.
Smyrna hosting Hens today
The University of Delaware is holding its annual ‘Downstate Day’ at Smyrna High today.
The Blue Hens’ football, field hockey and soccer teams will all be holding practices as well as skill sessions for kids ages 4-12 who pre-registered. The event starts at 10 a.m.
The Delaware football team is slated to practice at noon with an autograph session to follow at 1:30 p.m. The Hens’ women’s soccer squad will then scrimmage Delaware State at 2 p.m.
Concessions and merchandise will be sold and tailgating is encouraged although alcohol is not permitted.
James is batting .287 on the year. He and the Hawks host Delaware State in a three-game series which starts with a noon doubleheader today.
UMES’ three-game sweep over the Hornets in March was its first over DSU since 1995.
Sports editor Andy Walter can be reached
at 741-8227 or email@example.com.