KPD leading criminal investigation of ex-UT swim coach John Trembley

John Trembley

John Trembley

KNOXVILLE — A criminal investigation has been launched into the actions of former University of Tennessee swimming coach John Trembley, who was fired Tuesday for "gross misconduct."

The Knoxville Police Department will meet Thursday morning with the UT Police Department "to determine what the scope of the investigation might be," KPD Chief David Rausch said tonight.

"The UT police chief (Gloria Graham) called me Tuesday night and asked us to take the lead in the investigation," Rausch said.

Rausch declined to discuss the nature of the probe.

Likewise, the university this afternoon would not discuss the specifics of Trembley's firing.

"The finding of gross misconduct led us to turn this case over to the proper law enforcement authorities," Margie Nichols, UT's vice chancellor for communications, said in a statement.

"Since this is an ongoing investigation, we are unable to comment further."

Attempts to reach Trembley for comment this afternoon were unsuccessful.

Trembley was the second-longest tenured UT coach — next to women's basketball coach Pat Summitt — and one of UT's most decorated swimmers.

UT vice chancellor and director of athletics Dave Hart said in a news release Tuesday that the men's swimming and diving coach now in his 23rd season was "relieved of his duties" in violation of his contract. Assistant coach Lars Jorgensen will serve as the interim head coach for the remainder of the season.

Trembley's contract also stipulates that he "shall not be entitled to further salary, compensation, benefits." Although the 59-year-old Trembley's current base salary is not listed in the contract provided to the News Sentinel, he was earning close to $180,000 annually in total compensation.

In a letter from Hart to Trembley with Tuesday's date, the AD writes that "for reasons we discussed today" he was being terminated from his position "for adequate cause" that is contained in his contract.

Hart cites Article XII, Section E, which defines acts of gross misconduct as "theft or dishonesty; gross insubordination; willful destruction of University property; falsification of records; acts of moral turpitude; reporting for duty under the influence of intoxicants; illegal use, manufacture, possession, distribution, or dispensing of controlled substances or alcohol; disorderly conduct; provoking a fight ... "

Hart's letter informs Trembley he has the right to appeal the decision. Options include a review by chancellor Jimmy Cheek or president Joe DiPietro, or request a hearing.

When asked if Hart would answer questions about Trembley, UT said since this is a personal matter, there will be no additional comment or statement.

A message left on Trembley's cellphone was not returned.

Trembley was named SEC coach of the year in 2011, the sixth time he had been honored (1989, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2001).

His annual base salary at UT was $110,000 in July of 2007, but when his contract was amended at the time, UT elected to give Trembley a 3-percent pay raise on an annual basis. He also earned additional compensation of $10,000 for radio and television and $45,000 for shoe and apparel endorsement.

The contract was extended in October 2009 through June of 2014.

Trembley came to UT in 1971 as the nation's top swimming prospect. The Vols were undefeated from 1971-74. During an All-America career, Trembly won or was a member of nine NCAA championship efforts.

After graduating from UT, Trembley served five years as an assistant from 1975-79. He became coach at Mercersburg Academy in Pennsylvania from 1980-88 before returning to UT in 1988 as coach replacing legendary Ray Bussard, who retired.

Jorgensen, who is a 1994 graduate and a former UT swimmer, is in his second season on the staff. He joined UT in August 2010 as an interim assistant before being promoted to a full-time assistant on June 30, 2011, assuming the position previously held by Joe Hendee, who died last April.

He previously was coach at Toledo for six years and spent five years as an assistant coach and associate head coach at LSU.

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Comments » 78

volfaninutah writes:

WOW... the hits just keep on comin'..when's it going to end?

FWBVol writes:

I have no idea what sort of criminal investigation is under way concerning John Trembley, but I think I speak for most of the Vol Nation when I say I hope the investigation is centered on drugs, theft, property damage...anything but the things that have happened at Penn State.

Volumnus writes:

I will bet he was a Hammy Hire too! Can this get any better. Would Martin and Dooley just please resign and let us get past this mess, once and for all?? Puhleeze!

UTVOLSRROCKN writes:

in response to FWBVol:

I have no idea what sort of criminal investigation is under way concerning John Trembley, but I think I speak for most of the Vol Nation when I say I hope the investigation is centered on drugs, theft, property damage...anything but the things that have happened at Penn State.

I sure hope you're right. More bad publicity is all we need, especially anything that has to do with sex

keepitreal4vols writes:

With this trend of Mens athletic coaches, lets fire the tennis coach now cause there has to be something wrong with him too.

lemme_axya_this writes:

in response to Volumnus:

I will bet he was a Hammy Hire too! Can this get any better. Would Martin and Dooley just please resign and let us get past this mess, once and for all?? Puhleeze!

"Hammy", as you called him was A.D. for eight years. This coach was here for twenty three years. Jethro can do that math.

jjsteel writes:

in response to Volumnus:

I will bet he was a Hammy Hire too! Can this get any better. Would Martin and Dooley just please resign and let us get past this mess, once and for all?? Puhleeze!

If you are alumni, you would know that Trembley was not a Mike Hamilton Hire. Trembley has been the swim coach for 23 years.

FWBVol writes:

in response to Volumnus:

I will bet he was a Hammy Hire too! Can this get any better. Would Martin and Dooley just please resign and let us get past this mess, once and for all?? Puhleeze!

Trembley was a Doug Dickey hire and was the hand picked successor of former UT Hall of Fame swimming coach the late Ray Bussard.

I'm not the biggest Mike Hamilton fan in the world, but some people would probably like to blame him for World War II.

born2ride writes:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

collegegrad writes:

Well, now that he's under criminal investigation, if he is arrested, tried, and convicted, he'll definitely lose his pension, be blacklisted from any other coaching jobs at other universities or colleges and go to jail. In fact, if he does jail time at all and gets out, then his first new job, will involve him asking, "Do you want fries with that?"

etu_vol_fan writes:

We hope it isn't a Penn State deal. We don't need this now or never. The Penn State deal disgusts me and I shudder to think it's happening here.

Ironcity writes:

Sounds like the administration acted quickly when they found out something was up.

voloffaith writes:

in response to born2ride:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

New poster name for 2012 could be born2deride......

On topic,this is sad as he was doing decently and staying out of the deep waters...then....do I want to know? No. The Enquirer generation wants the dirt on anybody and everybody.....

burpee_von_rotweiler_IV writes:

in response to lemme_axya_this:

"Hammy", as you called him was A.D. for eight years. This coach was here for twenty three years. Jethro can do that math.

Lessee, twenty-three gozinta eight naught dot 34782 but that ain't right because ain't no town got that zip code. How 'bout that for a sixth grade education! Wee doggies!

motownjoe writes:

in response to Orange_A_Holic:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

That's the funniest comeback I've read on this site the whole 2 years I've been reading this phooey.

A+++

idontwant2knowu writes:

in response to UTVOLSRROCKN:

I sure hope you're right. More bad publicity is all we need, especially anything that has to do with sex

A Criminal Investigation is ongoing and all you can think of is "bad publicity." That is exactly why the Penn State crimes went on for so long. People from the top tier of the University to the player who first saw Sandusky were worried about the impact the molestation of a child would have on the institution. Nobody worried about the child.
Just as the people on here have posted so far, nobody cares about victims or what crimes this coach may have committed.
You people need to get your priorities straight. A Sports game is not more important than a childs life.

Munsterlander writes:

in response to Grantlands_Red_Beans_and_Rice:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Oh how cute and original you are! Have you been waiting years to drop that punch line? What devastating humor! You should write for the tonight show! You are probably the wittiest, funniest person on the planet.

Caneoverthere writes:

Was there more than a Dip in the Pool?

ORboy writes:

I guess it's sad story that I'm hoping that it will come out that he was fired for something like padding his expense account.

thevoice writes:

Maybe he just urinated in the shallow end.

Witch_Doctors writes:

Witch Doctor say it HAS been a rough year on the hill. Witch Doctor about ready to sit in corner and cut own hair with scissors..
Bones never lie.

LJS1984 writes:

in response to thevoice:

Maybe he just urinated in the shallow end.

Let's pray that's the only thing he was using that part of his body for.

jhayes0926#638474 writes:

How many of you idiots are gonna blame Fulmer or Hamilton for this one? At least 7-8 of you.

CoverOrange writes:

in response to burpee_von_rotweiler_IV:

Lessee, twenty-three gozinta eight naught dot 34782 but that ain't right because ain't no town got that zip code. How 'bout that for a sixth grade education! Wee doggies!

CoverOrange writes:

Doesn't seem likely to be a Sandusky type issue. There would have to be underage victims that came forward and their parents wouldn't go to the UT police as a first step.

Somebody go scan the Daily Beacon police reports for odd entries. Oh, wait, that would be all of them.

VolfanClinton writes:

in response to Volumnus:

I will bet he was a Hammy Hire too! Can this get any better. Would Martin and Dooley just please resign and let us get past this mess, once and for all?? Puhleeze!

Hey... Cuonzo Martin is doing a good job and just got 5 star recruit from Memphis...I'm not sure Pearl could done any better ..Now Dooley is real problem..he will be gone this next season !!

DwayneElizondoMountainDewHerbertCamacho writes:

in response to FWBVol:

I have no idea what sort of criminal investigation is under way concerning John Trembley, but I think I speak for most of the Vol Nation when I say I hope the investigation is centered on drugs, theft, property damage...anything but the things that have happened at Penn State.

For the first time, we are in total agreement. The only way this has any semblance of a happy ending is if there aren't any kids involved.

oldsuwaneevol writes:

in response to Volumnus:

I will bet he was a Hammy Hire too! Can this get any better. Would Martin and Dooley just please resign and let us get past this mess, once and for all?? Puhleeze!

If you can read, the article points out he has been the coach for 23 years or about 15 years longer than Hamilton was around. Go back in your cave!

BankerVol writes:

in response to Volumnus:

I will bet he was a Hammy Hire too! Can this get any better. Would Martin and Dooley just please resign and let us get past this mess, once and for all?? Puhleeze!

Puhleeze tell me you are kidding? If not, Puhleeze... you are an idiot.

drum56 writes:

in response to VolfanClinton:

Hey... Cuonzo Martin is doing a good job and just got 5 star recruit from Memphis...I'm not sure Pearl could done any better ..Now Dooley is real problem..he will be gone this next season !!

How is Dooley the real problem? I would love to hear who you think could do a better job with what he inherited 2yrs ago! I don't know if he is a good coach or not but he was the only person willing to take the job & try to get it turned around. Do you people not realize that coaches didn't want this job because of the mess the program was in? It's finally starting to get some what of a foundation & stability back and that is the most important thing at this point. If we get rid of Dooley next year it will begin crumbling down again. It's time to support this guy!

BankerVol writes:

in response to Grantlands_Red_Beans_and_Rice:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Your schtick is getting old Fing Idiot!

DwayneElizondoMountainDewHerbertCamacho writes:

in response to idontwant2knowu:

A Criminal Investigation is ongoing and all you can think of is "bad publicity." That is exactly why the Penn State crimes went on for so long. People from the top tier of the University to the player who first saw Sandusky were worried about the impact the molestation of a child would have on the institution. Nobody worried about the child.
Just as the people on here have posted so far, nobody cares about victims or what crimes this coach may have committed.
You people need to get your priorities straight. A Sports game is not more important than a childs life.

You're an idiot. FWB was one of the first posters. He's a die-hard Vol fan and he's HOPING that this is related to drugs, theft, or property value and NOT a Penn State type situation. Not because he's worried about the Vols' program, but because NO ONE wants that sick mess on or near our campus. And it's not because we're ONLY worried about the bad press, it's because of the type of victimization that happens whenever kids are involved.

Maybe VolsRRokn is worried just about the publicity (I would bet good money that that's not true), but 99.9999% of all Vols fans HATE what happened at Penn State because of who the victims are and the manner in which they were victimized.

Get your head out of your A**.

Theo writes:

in response to Volumnus:

I will bet he was a Hammy Hire too! Can this get any better. Would Martin and Dooley just please resign and let us get past this mess, once and for all?? Puhleeze!

You should beg Coach Dooley and Coach Martin to stay. I don't think either of them will be an embarassment to the university - think Kiffin, Pearl.

mcpherson#241536 writes:

My only contacts with Coach Trembley were when his son vaulted for Maryville High and mine for Powell. I always found him to be a gentleman and sportsman. I hope things are not what they seem.

BankerVol writes:

in response to drum56:

How is Dooley the real problem? I would love to hear who you think could do a better job with what he inherited 2yrs ago! I don't know if he is a good coach or not but he was the only person willing to take the job & try to get it turned around. Do you people not realize that coaches didn't want this job because of the mess the program was in? It's finally starting to get some what of a foundation & stability back and that is the most important thing at this point. If we get rid of Dooley next year it will begin crumbling down again. It's time to support this guy!

Don't risk the tunnel carpal trying to reason with the negative idiots on this site. Miserable SOBs.

FWBVol writes:

in response to DwayneElizondoMountainDewHerbertCamacho:

You're an idiot. FWB was one of the first posters. He's a die-hard Vol fan and he's HOPING that this is related to drugs, theft, or property value and NOT a Penn State type situation. Not because he's worried about the Vols' program, but because NO ONE wants that sick mess on or near our campus. And it's not because we're ONLY worried about the bad press, it's because of the type of victimization that happens whenever kids are involved.

Maybe VolsRRokn is worried just about the publicity (I would bet good money that that's not true), but 99.9999% of all Vols fans HATE what happened at Penn State because of who the victims are and the manner in which they were victimized.

Get your head out of your A**.

Thanks for sticking up with me. We might not agree too often, but we can always agree not to be disagreeable when we disagree.

drum56 writes:

in response to BankerVol:

Don't risk the tunnel carpal trying to reason with the negative idiots on this site. Miserable SOBs.

AGREED!! GBO!!!

Theo writes:

Yes, it is odd but I'm hoping for good old plain theft as well. I have to say though I wasn't that excited about Hart given his Bama connections but I'm beginning to think he might be okay. Seems to move quickly and decisively.

And before the haters jump on this - no he doesn't need to move quickly on Coach Dooley. The man deserves a fair chance. I would guess Grantland and Camacho were still trying to find the restroom in their second year on the job. Hint - it's near the fry cooker.

RJP11 writes:

in response to drum56:

How is Dooley the real problem? I would love to hear who you think could do a better job with what he inherited 2yrs ago! I don't know if he is a good coach or not but he was the only person willing to take the job & try to get it turned around. Do you people not realize that coaches didn't want this job because of the mess the program was in? It's finally starting to get some what of a foundation & stability back and that is the most important thing at this point. If we get rid of Dooley next year it will begin crumbling down again. It's time to support this guy!

And by "foundation & stability" you're referring to Dooley losing his team, losing his coaching staff, losing to the worst Kentucky team maybe ever, & losing most of the major boosters & fans-with-a-clue in the process?! Man, that's some awesome stability & one helluva foundation right there! Try to pay attention ... this guy is making an admittedly bad situation even worse! If you had any idea what's been going on behind the scenes, you wouldn't be defending this clown. It's worse than even what's been reported by the media.

Is that you, Momma Dooley?!

volcraze writes:

in response to idontwant2knowu:

A Criminal Investigation is ongoing and all you can think of is "bad publicity." That is exactly why the Penn State crimes went on for so long. People from the top tier of the University to the player who first saw Sandusky were worried about the impact the molestation of a child would have on the institution. Nobody worried about the child.
Just as the people on here have posted so far, nobody cares about victims or what crimes this coach may have committed.
You people need to get your priorities straight. A Sports game is not more important than a childs life.

Can everyone please stop talking about Penn State on here? I live in PA and have heard enough. Just let this story unfold and then we can talk about it.

Vol43 writes:

Yall think this grantland red beans idiot could be css?

ClemCash writes:

Worse possible timing if this is anything similar to Sandusky or Bernie Fine. The last thing undecided football recruits and their parents want to hear about is that kind of garbage.

The Police being involved makes me very nervous! On the bright side, it appears UT has acted quickly, swiftly and appropriately - hopefully.

SevenT writes:

This guy is a complete idiot!! 59 year old man with a fantastic career in athletics making 200K getting into trouble with the law and fired from a position he held for 20+ years. Who does that?

freevol writes:

in response to Volumnus:

I will bet he was a Hammy Hire too! Can this get any better. Would Martin and Dooley just please resign and let us get past this mess, once and for all?? Puhleeze!

all you cry baby fans try pulling for another team,who should we hire, christ?dooley will get it done then everone thats bashing him now willsay how they knew he was the right fit,or just find something else to female dog about.fans like you are an embaressment to our university

Razor784 writes:

in response to Theo:

You should beg Coach Dooley and Coach Martin to stay. I don't think either of them will be an embarassment to the university - think Kiffin, Pearl.

Pearl did break the rules, but his name never belongs next to Kiffin's in that context. Pearl still loves UT he just made a mistake. Kiffin was just here for a paycheck and advancement, he never cared anything about UT

drum56 writes:

in response to RJP11:

And by "foundation & stability" you're referring to Dooley losing his team, losing his coaching staff, losing to the worst Kentucky team maybe ever, & losing most of the major boosters & fans-with-a-clue in the process?! Man, that's some awesome stability & one helluva foundation right there! Try to pay attention ... this guy is making an admittedly bad situation even worse! If you had any idea what's been going on behind the scenes, you wouldn't be defending this clown. It's worse than even what's been reported by the media.

Is that you, Momma Dooley?!

I'm with the program everyday...i think i know what's going on! We will finally have a full roster of scholarship players after this years signing class...believe it or not that's a big deal!

jobrando#216494 writes:

in response to SevenT:

This guy is a complete idiot!! 59 year old man with a fantastic career in athletics making 200K getting into trouble with the law and fired from a position he held for 20+ years. Who does that?

I suppose someone that's irritated because they pay a football strength coach 250k and he just gets 180k.

kyvol98 writes:

in response to Volumnus:

I will bet he was a Hammy Hire too! Can this get any better. Would Martin and Dooley just please resign and let us get past this mess, once and for all?? Puhleeze!

You are are lost, an idiot. I never say that here, but you are deserving.
Do you think Mike Hamilton was AD 23 years ago? Really? Get a clue dumbas.....

js1992 writes:

We've come to hard days indeed when I see this headline, and my thoughts are: let's hope he just stole a bunch of money.
Hard days indeed.

CrankE writes:

Well, I'll give Hart credit for this: When he terminated a contract for cause, he also terminated the employee and didn't pay another dime.

Unlike Lord Hamilton, The Indecisive who should have done the same thing to Bruce Pearl in September 2010. No, it wasn't a criminal investigation, but while UT saw fit to terminate Pearl's employment contract, they couldn't bring themselves to terminate his employment. Worse, they were in negotiation for a new contract immediately thereafter. Genius!!

I have a bad feeling about what we're going to see on this investigation.

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