Former Iowa Hawkeyes field hockey coach Tracey Griesbaum joins Duke staff as volunteer

Mark Emmert
Hawk Central

Tracey Griesbaum is back in the game.

Griesbaum said this spring that she was hopeful her days of coaching field hockey weren't behind her — despite being fired at the University of Iowa and eventually getting a $1.5 million settlement from the school.

On Tuesday, Griesbaum got her wish, being introduced as a volunteer assistant coach at Duke.

Tracey Griesbaum stands for a portrait at the Newkirk-Zwagerman law office in Des Moines Monday, May 22, 2017.

"It is with great respect and excitement that the Duke University field hockey program welcomes Tracey Griesbaum to our 2017 coaching staff,” Blue Devils coach Pam Bustin said in a university news release. “Her elite level of coaching, insight and competitiveness will only enhance the experience of our student-athletes and coaching staff as we continue our journey towards a national championship."

Griesbaum, 51, was fired by Hawkeye athletic director Gary Barta on Aug. 4, 2014, over what he said were complaints about her abusive behavior toward athletes. A university investigation of Griesbaum had found no policy violations. Griesbaum had compiled a 169-107 record in 14 seasons as Iowa's head coach.

She filed a lawsuit claiming gender and sexual orientation discrimination. Her partner, Jane Meyer, was later removed from her post as Iowa's senior associate athletic director and filed her own lawsuit on similar grounds. In May, a Polk County jury found for Meyer on all five of her claims. A week later, the university settled with Griesbaum, giving her $300,000 in lost wages and $1.2 million for emotional distress while not admitting any wrongdoing.

“I was in my prime, and three years later I don’t think I’m out of my prime," Griesbaum told the Register after her settlement when asked if she would consider coaching again. "I feel like my energy and my passion and my skills and what I bring to the table is not going to go away when I’m 62 or 65 or 68. ...

"I tried to represent female coaches and just coaches, the profession (by filing her lawsuit). That’s a lot of responsibility. I started to light a torch, and I’ll carry it a little bit and pass it on to whoever is going to have the most impact and just keep it going until leaders and directors and presidents and all the top stakeholders understand it. This is real. This could be your daughter. This could be your wife.”

Griesbaum was teammates with Bustin on the USA senior national field hockey team from 1989-1993.

"I want to thank Pam Bustin and her administrative team for the opportunity to join the Duke University field hockey coaching staff this season,” Griesbaum said in the university release. “I am looking forward to applying my experience, passion and expertise to assist the student-athletes and program in any way possible.”