By Miriam Raftery
May 2, 2014 (San Diego) - Did San Diego State University dump a successful coach for political reasons? Doug Perez is accusing the university of getting rid of him because he refused a request from the Associated Students executive director, Christina Brown, who asked him to help her raise money for Kevin Faulconer’s mayoral campaign.
Perez told her that was not an appropriate workplace request—and five weeks later, at an Associated Students meeting, rowing team members learned that Perez would not be returning, according to one board member, Allan Miller.
Miller initially claimed Perez had made statements offensive to gay people, but later said the school recanted on that statement. Later school officials claimed Perez had “snickered at school policies” and even claimed that the request to raise money for Faulconer didn’t occur. The school refused to discuss the case with 10 News.
But they haven’t reinstated Perez in his position as volunteer coach—despite his performance that was impressive on several levels. Brought in to help rebuilt the team, Perez oversaw building the rowing team from 13 members to 60. Donations soared from $3,000 to over $200,000 – enough to buy six new boats for the team. The rowing team also saw better results in competitions under Perez’s leadership, winning multiple first place and gold medals during the last season.
Perez maintains, “This was retaliation for not going along with an inappropriate suggestion.”