Petitioning Director of OPERS and NCAA Athletics Andrea Willer and 2 others

Reinstate UCSC Head Coaches Emily Scheese and Jamey Harris

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On June 28, 2017 UC Santa Cruz Coaches Emily Scheese (women's soccer) and Jamey Harris (women/men's cross country and track/field) were unceremoniously fired by Andrea Willer, the head of OPERS. They were informed their employment contracts would not be renewed, and that in just 2 days they would lose their jobs, their pay, and their health insurance.  Neither was given any explanation for this life-changing decision, other than the administration had decided to "go in a different direction."  (At the bottom of this page, you can find links to articles in the Santa Cruz Sentinel that more fully describe the situation.)

These firings are shocking and wrong-headed because both Jamey Harris and Emily Scheese were exemplary coaches along every dimension.

  • They were recognized for coaching excellence by their peers across the country; both were three-time recipients of the "Coach of the Year" award from the NCAA Division III Association of Independents.  
  • Jamey and Emily both brought their teams to great athletic success and markedly improved the competitive standing of their teams.  
  • Both demanded academic excellence from their athletes, and led all of their teams to earn multiple Division III "All Academic Team" awards.
  • Both Emily and Jamey were beloved by those they coached for helping them achieve new levels of athletic and personal growth, and for their efforts to make UCSC athletics more inclusive, diverse, and accessible by more students.
  • Emily and Jamey both managed to provide great competitive experiences to their athletes on shoestring budgets.  None of their teams received enough UCSC funds to participate in all their scheduled competitions. So, to make up the shortfall, Emily and Jamey were also master fundraisers who took responsibility for raising all the money that their programs required. They were also creative geniuses in reducing costs to stay within budget.
  • Neither Jamey nor Emily ever received any indication that the administration was not happy with their performance. All their past performance reviews were positive, and no one from the administration ever gave them any indication that they were unhappy with the direction where Emily and Jamey were taking their teams.

Their teams are now without coaches, but the Cross Country and Soccer seasons begin in just 5 weeks. These athletes deserve better. In fact they deserve the best: Jamey and Emily.

Firing them was a grave mistake by the UCSC administration, but it is not too late to reverse action and reinstate Jamey Harris and Emily Scheese to their Head Coach positions. To convince the administration, we must act quickly and be very persistent and vocal.

Please join us. Sign this petition to ask UCSC administrators to immediately reinstate Emily Scheese as Head Coach for Women's soccer and Jamey Harris as Head Coach for Men's and Women's Cross Country and Men's and Women's Track & Field. 

In signing the petition, PLEASE LEAVE A PERSONAL COMMENT. Describe how Emily or Jamey made a difference in your life.  Vouch for their expertise in their sport and their coaching skills. And if Emily or Jamey were part of why you chose UCSC, please say so in your comment.

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For more information, please refer to these articles in the Santa Cruz Sentinel. 

Swift firings: UC Santa Cruz restructures its athletic program


Coaches lodge complaints against UC Santa Cruz for Athletic department layoffs


Letter: Staffing 'restructure' a huge blow to UCSC


Letter: Students need more than just academics at UCSC


Letter: UCSC firing of coaches a deceitful act 

This petition will be delivered to:
  • Director of OPERS and NCAA Athletics
    Andrea Willer
  • Chancellor of the University of California, Santa Cruz
    George Blumenthal
  • Vice Chancellor of the University of California, Santa Cruz
    Sarah Latham


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