On Nov. 19, Finley said McLaughlin called him into his office and told him he would not renew his contract. “He said, ‘We want to go in a new direction. We’re not renewing your contract. Your employment will be over Dec. 31. Thank you for your time at VCU.’ That was it,” Finley said, recalling the meeting.
Finley has been the head coach of the women’s volleyball team at VCU for eight years, with a record of 151-116. In four of the first seven years, the team went to the Colonial Athletic Association conference championship four times, winning once and advancing to the NCAA tournament.
This year, VCU’s first year in the Atlantic 10 conference, the team went 25-6, the highest winning percentage of any VCU fall team this year and the best winning percentage for a women’s volleyball team at VCU in the university’s history. The team lost in the second round of the playoff tournament to Xavier University.
Prior to coaching at VCU, Finley coached at Arizona Western University in Yuma, Ariz., for four years, where his team was ranked in the top 10 nationally all four years, he said. He has 478 career wins over 12 years as a head coach.
Since McLaughlin came on in July, Finley said he felt the new athletic director had been cold to him and his team, ignoring them completely while appearing and celebrating with other sports teams and programs.
Finley said he met with the university’s chief diversity officer and the compliance officer, and the university has launched an investigation.
McLaughlin, a Natick native, left Merrimack College as assistant athletic director in 2000 for a job as athletic director at Niagara University in New York. In 2009, one of McLaughlin’s associate athletic directors at Niagara, Glenn Hofmann, landed a job as athletic director at Merrimack.