Some coaching changes influenced by NCAA violations, athlete input

 by Aaron Walling

Sun Star



The Nanook ski team puts on their skis and poles before one practice in late December. – Zayn Roohi / Photo Editor

The winds of change are sweeping UAF athletics with two huge announcements made last week.

There was the firing of volleyball coach Mallory Larranaga after two seasons, and the continued leave of absence for two-sport coach Scott Jerome who coaches both cross country and the ski teams. His contract expires June 30. Larranaga was let go following the self-reporting of violations of NCAA rules on Jan. 13.

Contributing to the exit for Scott Jerome was the skiers themselves who wanted change.

“We athletes were involved, you know in the whole process of Scott leaving, we were the initial people to say we needed change,” Jonas Lӧffler, senior skier for the men’s team, said. It comes as a surprise for others, but not for the skiers who wanted the change.

When asked about being led under the direction of interim coach Christina Turman, Lӧffler said it’s going fine. From direction of the Athletics Department here at UAF, they requested the athletes not to talk about Scott Jerome in detail.

It came as a surprise for the UAF volleyball team that saw their coach, Mallory Larranaga fired after just two seasons at the helm. There are many rumors swirling on why Larranaga was fired on Feb. 12, from the less than stellar record of 7-48, to the NCAA violations that happened with a recruit this past summer, which included the filming of visits and practices.

“I’m a young coach and there were a couple of hints that there was a violation,” Larranaga said in an interview with the News-Miner. “And it was brought to my attention, and I took care of it with poise and honesty.”

Some players are distraught following the decision, some of them worried about the spring season and camps coming up. One volleyball player, Jordan Ferland, said that they might not have a coach till July.



Correction: March 4, 2015

An earlier version of this article attributed Jerome’s leave of absence to NCAA violations, however his leave of absence doesn’t have to do with any NCAA violations.

Also, Jerome’s leave of absence was referred to as a suspension, in an earlier version of this article.

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