Harris steps down as director of golf

Andrew Baker

John Harris has resigned after less than a year as the Gophers’ director of golf, the University of Minnesota announced Friday afternoon.

In January, former Gophers associate head golf coach Katie Brenny filed a lawsuit in Hennepin County District Court against Harris and the University alleging that Harris discriminated against her based on her sexual orientation.

The complaint alleges that after hiring Brenny last summer and learning that she was a lesbian, Harris forbade her from carrying out her duties as associate coach and instead delegated those duties to his son-in-law Ernie Rose, who is the team’s “director of instruction.”

The associate head coach position requires a bachelor’s degree, which Rose – who is not a University employee and was hired as an independent contractor – did not have at the time of his hiring.

Brenny resigned in October, after just two months on the job.

Harris’ departure comes after 11 months at the helm of the program.

“I was very excited about returning to my alma mater and giving back to The University of Minnesota, which has been so good to me and shaped my values and beliefs,” Harris said in a release. 

“I feel that it is best for the University of Minnesota and the golf program for another coach to move forward to build on the current positive performance momentum in the program.”

Harris and University Athletics Director Joel Maturi declined further comment.

The Minnesota Daily reported Harris’ alleged misconduct in December, a month before Brenny filed her lawsuit.