AD Ziady in spotlight again after firing

Eric Ziady is starting to develop a reputation.

But it’s one that the Delaware athletic director would probably rather not have.

On Monday, Ziady fired Blue Hen softball coach Jaime Wohlbach.

Publicity Photo of Eric Ziady

Delaware AD Eric Ziady

 

Ziady, of course, was also the AD who famously fired football coach K.C. Keeler in 2013, a few months after coming to Newark.

It wasn’t unusual that a coach like Wohlbach, who only had one winning season in four years, was fired. But it was strange that Wohlbach was let go with a month still left in the season.

And it was especially noteworthy since the Hens actually had a winning record (21-15) at the time. She’s the first Blue Hen head coach fired in mid-season in recent memory.

Wohlbach seemed shocked by the firing. In a story in UD’s student newspaper, The Review, Wohlbach said she was told she a has a “hostile program environment.”

“I asked if they could please explain to me what that means, but they just kept saying ‘It’s a hostile environment,’” Wohlbach was quoted. “They would not share anything with me.

“These players are great kids, they’ve been playing to win and working really hard,” she said. “There’s not one time this entire year that I can tell you that these players have been yelled at or even talked to in that tone. These things are not happening.”

Ziady didn’t issue any public comment on the softball situation.

Then again, he also declined to comment last month when the university announced it had signed men’s basketball coach Monte’ Ross to a new three-year contract. There’s a widely-held belief that Ziady wanted to fire Ross but UD’s administration overruled him.

Smyrna hosting Hens today

The University of Delaware is holding its annual ‘Downstate Day’ at Smyrna High today.

The Blue Hens’ football, field hockey and soccer teams will all be holding practices as well as skill sessions for kids ages 4-12 who pre-registered. The event starts at 10 a.m.

The Delaware football team is slated to practice at noon with an autograph session to follow at 1:30 p.m. The Hens’ women’s soccer squad will then scrimmage Delaware State at 2 p.m.

Concessions and merchandise will be sold and tailgating is encouraged although alcohol is not permitted.

Notes

  • Milford High grad Josh James has strung together some big games for the Maryland-Eastern Shore baseball team. The senior infielder had 11 hits in one four-game stretch at the beginning of the month and has has 11 multiple-hit games this season.

James is batting .287 on the year. He and the Hawks host Delaware State in a three-game series which starts with a noon doubleheader today.

UMES’ three-game sweep over the Hornets in March was its first over DSU since 1995.

  • Caesar Rodney High grad Sarah Candeloro, a sophomore on the Tennessee-Martin women’s tennis squad, was named to the All-Ohio Valley Conference second team. Candeloro won 11 matches at second singles as well as being part of nine doubles victories.
  • Polytech High basketball point guard Ricky Hicks has accepted a partial athletic scholarship to play for Division II Kutztown (Pa.) University. He was a three-year starter for the Panthers, who reached the state finals in March.
  • CR announced that senior runner Rebekah Mills will continue her cross country career at Columbia University in the fall.
  • Polytech baseball catcher Adrian Hill has signed a partial athletic scholarship to play for Lincoln (Pa.) University.
  • The DelState women’s lacrosse team, which finished its season 2-13 this week, scored a team-record 109 goals this season. That was 45 more than last year.

Sports editor Andy Walter can be reached

at 741-8227 or walter@newszap.com.

Reach sports editor Andy Walter at walter@newszap.com

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