Former Lamar softball coaches obtain TRO against university

By David Yates | Jun 12, 2018

BEAUMONT – The former coaches of the Lamar University women’s softball team were granted a temporary restraining order on Monday, June 11.

Alleging policy violations, Holly Bruder and Allison Honkofsky, who are married, filed suit against Lamar on June 6 in Jefferson County District Court.

Judge Justin Sanderson, 60th District Court, granted the plaintiffs’ TRO request five days later and set a hearing for a permanent injunction for July 9. 

Until May, Bruder was the head coach while Honkofsky was the associate head coach since the program was restarted in 2012.

According to the lawsuit, Bruder and her coaching staff had a “stellar reputation” at Lamar. The former coach’s most recent evaluation stated that she “consistently exceeds expectations” and has done “a tremendous job” developing the program. 

On April 27, Bruder was placed on leave with six games left in the season because of “unspecified allegations of misconduct” and then was fired without notice – a violation of Lamar’s policy, the suit states.

An assistant coach was named as interim head coach over Honkofsky.

“Over the next 2-3 weeks, the coaches, staff, and program were viciously attacked in the media by a former player and her father,” the suit states, adding that Lamar told both coaches that they could resign or be terminated.

The incident, and subsequent media attention, began when the team’s former catcher, Paige Holmes, complained to the university that an assistant coach forced her to eat meat on a Lenten Friday.

The plaintiffs are seeking declaratory judgment that the Lamar University Human Resources Policy Manual governs their grievance and appeals.

They are represented by Beaumont attorneys David and Cade Bernsen.

Case No. E-201876

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