A women’s soccer coach in Odessa, Texas, has been suspended following disturbing allegations of inappropriate behavior with her student-athletes. It started with an arrest on Sept. 11 of the University of Texas Permian Basin coach Carla Tejas who was stopped on suspicion of driving under the influence; Tejas had failed a series of field sobriety tests.
However, after her arrest, the allegations began when an anonymous group of students sent a letter to university officials describing inappropriate behavior from Tejas; the group claimed to be members of the soccer team. The letter alleges that Tejas asked her players to help her pay the bail from the DWI arrest. In addition, the letter reportedly says that Tejas had physical interactions like kissing in public with members of the University of Texas Permian Basin men’s soccer team.
BREAKING: AD Todd Dooley speaks on the Coach Tejas investigation, saying they have no comment and they fully support the students.
The anonymous players say Dooley's wife last night told the team in a meeting that they have Coach Tejas' back. pic.twitter.com/6oOLA6M9fk
— Kayler Smith (@KaylerSmithTV) October 3, 2022
“We are aware of the allegations made against Coach Tejas. As a result, she has been placed on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation,” said UTPB’s director of athletics, Todd Dooley. “In our UTPB athletics program, the well-being, safety, and support of our student-athletes always comes first. That will never change.
“These kinds of allegations are taken very seriously. Right now, our focus is on our women’s soccer team and providing any additional support our players need. Because this is an ongoing personnel matter, the University will not be able to comment further at this time.”
Tejas is well known in collegiate women’s soccer circles after she took Louisiana Christian College Wildcats from a 1-16-1 record in 2019 to a 16-2-1 record in 2021 and reached the NAIA National Tournament. The drastic change was regarded as one of the most significant positive turnarounds in college soccer. The Wildcats hadn’t reached the postseason and had only won more than two games in a season just once in 2013.
Under Tejas, the Wildcats won the Red River Athletic Conference with a 10-0-1 record, and Tejas took home Coach of the Year honors. The team also reached the NAIA National Tournament, falling to the No. 1 overall seed William Carey University 1-0 on a goal in the game’s final minute. She was only there for one season.
Some of the major allegations against Tejas from the letter:
– Arrested of a DWI Sept. 11, asked for players to help pay her bail, and some did.
– Physical interactions with members of the UTPB men's soccer team, including kissing in public.
– Distributed alcohol to minors
— Kayler Smith (@KaylerSmithTV) October 2, 2022
Tejas was then announced as the fourth head coach in the history of the UT Permian Basin women’s soccer program. However, Tejas’ methods have come into question as a parent of one of the student-athletes of UT Permian Basin has alleged that Tejas “intimidates” and “threatens” her athletes if they “don’t do exactly as she wants.”
However, her results are apparent.
While a graduate assistant at Belhaven University for two seasons, Tejas worked with the goalkeepers, helping to turn the team around from a two-win team to a 10-win team that reached the American Southwest Conference playoffs. She helped Louisiana State University at Alexandria earn a Red River Athletic Conference regular season conference championship, the first in program history.
Tejas was a player at LSU at Alexandria in the goalkeeper position, winning five games and allowing just 1.275 goals per game. She played for seven years internationally in Chile, her home country, and participated in the U17 World Cup as a team member.
With a track record of wins and program turnarounds, the allegations against Tejas are a blemish on a solid athletic and coaching career.
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