New basketball coach resigns after one week

    Following the release of information regarding late child-support payments, a past restraining order and financial problems, women’s basketball coach Fentriss Winn announced his formal resignation one week after being hired.

    Winn was announced as the new head coach on May 20, replacing Judy Malone, who retired at the end of the season after 29 years with the Tritons. However, writers from the San Diego Union-Triune called UCSD athletic officials to inquire about Winn’s records of a suspended driver’s license due to nonpayment of child support. Winn, who also has a past restraining order by his ex-girlfriend and tax issues, released a statement regarding his short-lived time at UCSD.

    “With great respect for the university I am announcing my decision to not accept the appointment of head women’s basketball coach at UCSD effective immediately,” Winn wrote in the statement he released on May 27.

    The formal announcement came one week after the athletic department decided to put Winn at the helm of the very successful women’s basketball program. The Tritons went 17-9 in the 2004-05 season, barely missing out on an NCAA Tournament berth. The year before, the team notched 15 wins along with 13 losses to earn a berth in the NCAA Division II West Regional.

    Winn was scheduled to maintain the Tritons’ winning ways next season after working as an assistant coach for San Diego State’s women’s basketball team last year. He also developed impressive stats as a women’s basketball coach at Saddleback College and at the Bishop’s School in La Jolla. However, the recent findings regarding his past will force the Tritons to look elsewhere for guidance.

    According to the Union Tribune report on Winn, which cited a California Department of Motor Vehicles worker, his driver’s license was suspended on April 17 due to child support issues. In 1998, Winn was ordered to pay $280 a month for each of his two youngest children, aged 11 and 13, after racking up $8,400 in overdue payments, according to court records.

    However, Winn’s statement implies that there is more to the story.

    “The information about my child support record is outdated and no longer factual or accurate,” Winn stated. “My child support payments are up-to-date and arrears have been cleared by the parents.”

    Besides child-support issues, the Union-Tribune discovered more financial and legal matters, such as tax liens and a restraining order. The tax problems, released in April, include an Internal Revenue Service lien amounting to more than $15,000. In 2000, Winn’s friend, Tiffany Harrison, filed a restraining order against him that expired in August 2003. According to court records, Harrison filed the order after allegations of yelling, grabbing and sending a threatening e-mail.

    Once again, Winn’s statement replies directly to these allegations, with Winn denying any domestic violence.

    “The incident concerning an ex-girlfriend that led to a court-issued restraining order in no way involved domestic violence of any kind,” he stated.

    Although he did not last long at UCSD, Winn ends his statement with no hard feelings.

    “This situation is unfortunate because for 23 years I have tried to be a champion for my family, friends and the youth of San Diego,” he stated. “For many reasons, I have had tough times financially and making ends meet. I wish UCSD great success in the years to come on many fronts.”

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