Harvard diving coach Chris Heaton has resigned less than a week after he was put on leave due to allegations of sexual misconduct during his time as a coach for RipFest Diving Club in 2015.
The school issued a brief statement on Tuesday, saying:
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Chris Heaton, The Class of 1989 Head Coach for Diving, has decided to step down from his role, Bob Scalise, The John D. Nichols ’53 Family Director of Athletics, announced today (Oct. 9).
Tracey Bird will step in as the new interim coach, effective immediately.
A national search for a successor will be conducted.
Heaton was only months into his tenure as head coach, which followed stints at Moss Farms Diving Club, RipFest, and Ohio State Diving Club. There are lawsuits pending against both RipFest and Ohio State Diving Club related to sexual misconduct allegations. Heaton is not a defendant in either suit, but court documents include allegations that Heaton both solicited nude photos from, and sent nude photos to, female athletes.
Bird, a Stanford alum, was a former volunteer assistant coach at Harvard in the mid-90s under longtime head coach Keith Miller. She has also served as the diving coach at Concord-Carlisle High School, and has independently coached several high level divers in the area.