CARY, N.C. (WNCN) – Former North Carolina Courage head coach Paul Riley is one of four coaches in the National Women’s Soccer League to receive a permanent ban by the league on Monday.
Riley, who was fired in 2021 for accusations of sexual coercion, was permanently banned following an investigation into allegations of systemic abuse of players.
Riley was banned along with Racing Louisville’s Christy Holly, Chicago Red Stars’ Rory Dames and Washington Spirit’s Richie Burke.
“Today, the NWSL announced disciplinary sanctions for Clubs and individuals who committed or enabled misconduct since the league began in 2013. This marks a critical step toward holding clubs and team leaders accountable for their actions, or inactions, that compromised and betrayed player safety. People in positions of power who have perpetrated harm on Players have been relieved of their duties, banned from the League, suspended or fined,” the NWSL Players Association said in a statement.
In 2021, the Courage released a statement on the day of Riley’s firing, too.
“…The Courage support the players who have come forward and we commend them for bravely sharing their stories…The North Carolina Football Club is united together in our commitment to creating a safe, positive and respectful environment, not only within our club but across the league and our great sport.”
Sean Nahas was named interim head coach for the remainder of the season, and then later promoted to full-time.