Assoc. athletics director officially resigns

Mike Ellis stepped down in August amid anonymous reports regarding his conduct.

by Mike Hendrickson

Associate athletics director Mike Ellis announced his resignation Friday, two months after temporarily stepping down amid reports concerning his conduct.
Ellis, a close advisor to former athletic director Norwood Teague, will officially resign on Nov. 20 and will continue to receive payment from the University of Minnesota until then, according to interim athletics director Beth Goetz.
The University is undergoing an independent investigation into its athletics department following the allegations surrounding Teague.
The Board of Regents will have a meeting in December to go over the results of that investigation, Regent Michael Hsu said.
Ellis voluntarily stepped down from his position in August after anonymous reports were filed concerning his own conduct. Two weeks prior, Teague resigned after multiple sexual harassment claims surfaced against him.
The Star Tribune obtained a copy of a complaint related to an anonymous letter sent Aug. 10 by senior athletic staff to University President Eric Kaler. The complaint alleged that Ellis had shared pornographic images with Teague at a football game in 2012.
Ellis said in his letter he did nothing wrong and the allegations levied against him were “unsubstantiated.”
“I am pleased that the University has made no disciplinary findings against me and that no discipline has been imposed or proposed against me related to any ongoing investigation,” Ellis wrote in his resignation letter.
Ellis worked with Teague at Virginia Commonwealth University and came over to Minnesota shortly after Teague took over the athletics department.
Ellis oversaw the men’s basketball program while at the University of Minnesota and garnered influence within the school by hiring Richard Pitino in 2013 and Marlene Stollings in 2014.
Ellis played a part in Stollings becoming the head coach at VCU shortly before leaving for Minnesota.
Ellis is known for founding Villa 7 in 2004, an event that connects Division I assistant coaches with athletics administrators. More than 100 men and women’s assistant
coaches who have participated in the event have now been hired as head coaches.
Ellis wrote in his resignation letter he has “several recent opportunities of employment” and feels that it is best for him and his family to accept one of the opportunities and move on from the University of Minnesota.