Chelsey Lucas, the Grambling State volleyball coach who came under fire for reportedly purging the entire roster in the offseason, has been fired, the school announced Tuesday.
In a statement, the school said, “the decision was made due to the determination of an internal investigation within the volleyball program.”
“The success of student-athletes and their ability to matriculate at Grambling State University is the top priority,” said athletic director Trayveon Scott. “As we move forward in this transition and commence a national search for the next coach, all volleyball student-athletes who received scholarships for the 2022-23 academic year will keep their scholarships and remain on the team. Walk-ons will also continue to hold their roster spot.”
The move comes two months after Grambling President Rick Gallot announced that the school had sought a legal firm to investigate the volleyball team.
Lucas, in a statement Tuesday, said she was fired “without notice” and the school did not provide any details about its decision.
“Since I started at Grambling, I have been ordered not to speak to the media. My voice has unfortunately been silenced despite the rumors and accusations about me,” Lucas said. “As a result, I have not been able to provide my side of the story about the many events that have occurred during my tenure as head volleyball coach at Grambling. I was told today, without notice or any opportunity for discussion, that I was being terminated. When I asked why I was being terminated, the administration was not able to provide me any details about why they decided to fire me.”
Lucas added: “This termination came just days after I had requested and then had a meeting with the President to discuss the way I had been treated in recent weeks by the Athletic Director. The AD, without me knowing in advance, was invited to this meeting with the President. The AD was visibly upset at my complaints during my meeting with the President, and today I was informed that he was the one who recommended my termination. I will be working with my attorney to prepare a response, and believe that my side of this story will demonstrate that what happened to me today was not right or just.”
Also read: ‘We deserve so much better’: Grambling State volleyball players say coach cuts entire roster
It all started with a message posted on April 5 by the Twitter account Grambling State Volleyball Fans which reported that Lucas “cuts the entire volleyball team.” The tweet also alleged that Lucas did so to recruit players from another SWAC school.
Several players contacted by HBCU Sports or other media outlets detailed that they either had been released from the program or did not know their status with the team. Players also alleged that Lucas’ brief interactions with the team were hostile and punitive.
Watch: Grambling volleyball coach cuts entire roster
“It is the responsibility of this institution to make sure that student-athletes are afforded opportunities in a manner compliant with all regulatory organizations,” said Gallot. “That applies to athletics as much as it does to academics.”
Lucas, a former Grambling volleyball player, was hired in February after a three-year stint at Arkansas-Pine Bluff. While at UAPB Lucas’ teams compiled a 37-44 overall record and a 27-17 mark in the SWAC, including going 13-3 in 2021. She also previously coached at Alcorn State.
A national search for a new volleyball coach will begin this week, the school said.