Pojoaque coaching prospect accused of sexual harassment at previous job

Posted: May 6, 2012 at 6:18 am

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A volleyball coach investigated for sexual harassment in Texas is the top choice to take over the prestigious volleyball program at Pojoaque Valley High School.

Michael Littlejohn, the Elkettes' coach-in-waiting, said in a phone interview Friday that he engaged in behavior and made comments to Borger High School employees that could be interpreted as sexual harassment, but denied more serious allegations made by six accusers.

According to a 2011 Borger internal investigation, accusers said Littlejohn, 56, made inappropriate comments, improperly interacted with minors, indecently touched an assistant coach's breast and sent her illicit text messages. He was placed on paid administrative leave at the school on Sept. 15 while the investigation was ongoing. He resigned Feb. 9.

The allegations, made by a former assistant coach and five current district employees, cover a two-year span.

At Borger, 50 miles northeast of Amarillo in the Texas panhandle, Littlejohn admitted making inappropriate jokes and touching some of his players during workouts, but disputed sending his former assistant coach illicit text messages or touching her breast.

"I didn't think it was sexual harassment," Littlejohn said.

Littlejohn said he disclosed the allegations to Pojoaque athletic director Matt Martinez, but refused to say when.

Martinez said last week that Littlejohn, the former Texico volleyball coach who retired after being reassigned following 29 years with the program, was recommended by the Pojoaque coaching search committee and is waiting for a teaching opening.

Martinez, who is on the coaching search committee, said Friday he was aware of the allegations, but didn't say to what extent. When asked if Pojoaque planned to move forward with hiring Littlejohn, Martinez said, "That's a personnel issue. I'm not going to answer that. You're going to have to ask somebody else about that."

Then he hung up the phone.

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Pojoaque coaching prospect accused of sexual harassment at previous job

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May 6th, 2012 at 6:18 am

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