Lawsuit accuses University of Houston of discrimination in football coach hiring process

HOUSTON – In January, the University of Houston named Dana Holgorsen as the new head football coach, three days after the firing of UH head football coach Major Applewhite on Dec. 31, 2018. 

Dr. Kevin Simms, president of the African American Coaches Association, is now suing the university, claiming he wasn’t given a fair shot at the job because of his race. 

To read the lawsuit, click here. 

What does the lawsuit say?

Simms claims African American candidates, including himself, were never afforded the chance to apply for the head coach position because UH failed to properly post or advertise the position for at least two weeks, which, according to the lawsuit, is required by state law. 

According to the lawsuit, "Chairman Tilman Fertitta, Caucasian, was heard boasting that he personally went after Mr. Holgorsen."

The lawsuit also states "Simms has over 30 years of coaching experience and is clearly more qualified than Dana Holgorsen."

Simms claims when he inquired about UH’s hiring process, he was not given an adequate response. 

According to the court papers, Simms is seeking $20 million in damages, the amount of Holgorsen’s five-year contract with the school, in part, because of mental anguish. 

What is the University of Houston saying about the lawsuit?

A UH spokesman released a statement to KPRC 2 that reads, “The University of Houston believes this case is without merit and looks forward to its resolution.”

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