Wes Glon named Penn State Interim Head Coach

Wes Glon

Wes Glon (Photo: US Fencing)

Today Penn State University announced Wes Glon has been named the Interim Head Coach for the men’s and women’s fencing teams for the 2013-2014 season. Following the firing of Emik Kaidanov from the head coaching position of Penn State Univerity’s fencing team, there was talk that Glon would be one of 3 assistant coaches with no official head coach for the season.

Glon has been the associate head coach under Kaidanov for the past few year.

“I am pleased to take on the leadership of such a successful program as we move forward,” Glon said. “We have a rich and successful tradition here at Penn State and I will work very hard to live up to those standards. I believe that this team is very strong and I will strive to give the right motivation and direction so that we can continue to build upon the great success of this program. Our goal is to win our 13th NCAA Championship.”

Glon has coached the U.S. teams for the Junior and Senior World Championships (1990-93), the Pan American Games (`91) and the Olympic Games (`92 and `96). In 1996, Glon was named Co-Coach of the Year by the U.S.F.C.A.

The naming of Wes Glon as the Interim Head Coach follows the dismissal of Emmanuil Kaidanov from the head coaching position after 31 years. The University refused to discuss the matter of Kaidanov’s dismissal, citing that it was a “confidential personal matter”.

Timeline and details on Kaidanov’s firing:

Several bloggers, including the blogger The Fencing Coach, have pointed to Kaidanov’s firing as an overreaction by Penn State and unjustified.

Kaidanov is now weighing his legal options following the firing, and has the support of Penn State Fencing team alumni. A number of coaches in the US Fencing community have also professed support for Kaidanov.

Based on what has been reported, the firing was for:

Policy AD67: Disclosure of Wrongful Conduct and Protection from Retaliation, which was established in June of 2010. It protects  university whistleblowers from retaliation for reporting wrongdoings.

Sources claim the termination stemmed from an incident last February involving a staff assistant. The staff assistant allegedly reported that a player had possession of illegal drugs to the athletic department. The player submitted to a voluntary drug test and tested positive. Kaidanov made his transgressions with the former staff assistant vocal. Kaidanov believed he should have been informed of the incident first and been the one to report it to the athletic department.

The athletic compliance office believed that the argument with the staff assistant constituted retaliation a

In reporting on the firing, Onward State points out several issues with the firing that indicate due process may not have been followed:

  • There was no press release issued on the coaching departure, normally a standard procedure. Instead, Kaidanov was quietly removed from the listing of employees/coaches on official pages.
  • Why Kaidanov was fired for what was reportedly one exchange with a University “Morals Officer”
  • Who the “Morals Officer” in question is

More on this topic:

http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/sports/psu/son-of-legendary-psu-fencing-coach-speaks-out-on-firing-700952/

http://www.centredaily.com/2013/08/26/3755121/penn-state-fencing-longtime-coach.html

http://www.statecollege.com/news/local-news/lawyer-calls-decision-to-fire-fencing-coach-an-insult-kaidanov-said-to-be-considering-options,1375983/

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