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Former Columbia College volleyball coach files lawsuit against school

wrye washington and Columbia College
Melinda Wrye-Washington and her attorney filed a lawsuit against Columbia College after she claims she was the victim of discrimination and forced to resign.


A former Columbia College volleyball coach filed a lawsuit against the school after she claimed she was the victim of discrimination.

Melinda Wrye-Washington coached the volleyball team from 2000 until March. In that time, Wrye-Washington led the team to a pair of national championship wins and took the team to the NAIA tournament every year. She's considered the school's winningest coach in Columbia College history.

The lawsuit filed in the Circuit Court of Boone County on Monday alleged Wrye-Washington was forced out of her position earlier this year on the basis of sex, disability and age discrimination.

The lawsuit claims Columbia College's president targeted older employees for termination. Court documents allege Dr. Scott Dalrymple looked to fire aging employees after the school spent millions of dollars to build a new residence hall. Apparently, numerous employees over 40 years old were asked to retire or relocated to other positions.

A longtime Columbia College basketball coach also retired this year. The lawsuit shows former basketball coach Bob Burchard told Wrye-Washington retirement was not on his timeline.

Court documents allege Wrye-Washington said false accusations were brought against her by the university. The report shows Wrye-Washington was called into the General Counsel's office on March 13, two days before she was fired. Wyre-Washington alleges Mark Falkowski, who works in the office, accused her of verbally assaulted volleyball players.

The lawsuit shows Wrye-Washington was called into Dalrymple's office on March 15 after the accusations were lodged against her. According to the court documents, Dalrymple asked her to admit to the allegations. Wrye-Washington said she did not admit to anything and was fired at that time, documents say.

Wrye-Washington's attorney is seeking back pay and other damages in the suit. The lawsuit shows the plaintiff is looking for any lost commission, her lawyers costs be paid for and that Wrye-Washington be reinstated by the university.

The lawsuit requested a jury trial in the case. Online court records show no court hearing are scheduled in the lawsuit.

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Matt Ragsdale

Matt Ragsdale is a broadcast and digital producer at ABC 17 News.


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