U discrimination suit goes to court

Former associate women’s golf coach Katie Brenny says she was discriminated against because of her sexual orientation.

Andrew Krammer

Former associate women’s golf coach Katie Brenny will bring her sexual discrimination lawsuit against the University of Minnesota to court Thursday.

The hearing in the Minnesota Court of Appeals could set a trial date in her suit against former golf director John Harris.

When Brenny took the job as Gophers associate women’s head golf coach in the summer of 2010, she thought she had her dream job. Instead, the aspiring professional golfer found herself at a desk, handling paperwork and only interacting with players in a mentorship role — not coaching.

She sued the Board of Regents and Harris in January 2011 alleging that Harris kept her from coaching duties after discovering she is a lesbian.

Brenny left her position just two months into the job in October 2010 after Harris limited her involvement in the golf program.

Brenny did not travel to any of the women’s away matches and claims she wasn’t allowed to discuss golf with players in her brief tenure.

The 14-page complaint alleges that Harris factored sexual orientation into his search for a new associate women’s head coach and offered the job to Brenny without knowing she is a lesbian. It also alleges discrimination, retaliation and sexual harassment based on sexual orientation.

University General Counsel Mark Rotenberg said in a statement last year that “the University of Minnesota strongly contests both the factual foundation and legal basis of the claims asserted in this lawsuit.”

Brenny’s attorney, Donald Chance Mark Jr., could not be reached for comment by the Minnesota Daily, but he told Golfweek, “My hope is we’ll see a trial before the end of the year.”