'Creepy' behavior: NCCU women's coach ousted after parent complaint

Posted May 1, 2015
Updated May 2, 2015

The behavior of the associate head coach of the North Carolina Central University women's basketball team was so odd that Tonya Kirkpatrick, the mother of a freshman player, complained to the university.

Kirkpatrick said Ronnie Enoch called her Greensboro home, often for reasons outside of basketball, and blurred the lines between coach and friend, attempting to insinuate himself into the family's life.

"He wanted to be real close real fast," Kirkpatrick said. "The way he would call and ask us what we were doing."

Kirkpatrick said she first contacted N.C. Central Associate Athletics Director Etienne Thomas in January.

"I called the AD's office to ask about the culture at NCCU because I didn’t understand why some things were happening. I just did not understand if this was the way things were going to be," she said.

Enoch never said or did anything sexually inappropriate, Kirkpatrick said, but he did discuss boyfriends and birth control with the players, conversations that, she said, "were really none of his business."

Enoch was placed on paid leave March 16 and, as of Thursday, was no longer with the program, a university spokeswoman said.

He had coached the Eagles since 2012 when he came from Johnson C. Smith University with head coach Vanessa Taylor.

Kirkpatrick said she believed Taylor knew about and condoned Enoch's behavior.

"I always felt like she knew his character," Kirkpatrick said. "He should have never been able to do the things he’s done and say the things he’s said to players and parents."

According to the Durham Herald-Sun, three players were also dismissed from the team.

Kirkpatrick said her daughter would not be returning to N.C. Central for her sophomore year.


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