It appears that Craig Harrington is no longer the head coach of Utah Royals FC, according to one report via The Equalizer Soccer to an email to subscribers.
The report came from The Equalizer Extra, a paid feature at The Equalizer.
The report was straightforward with the news: “Multiple sources confirmed to The Equalizer that Craig Harrington is permanently out as head coach of Utah Royals FC.”
Update: The club reached out to RSL Soapbox to address the report:
The club’s official response is: Utah Royals FC Head Coach Craig Harrington has been placed on a temporary leave of absence from team activities, including upcoming matches. This matter is ongoing and is unrelated to the investigation underway by [the] NWSL.
He has not been fired and the investigation is still ongoing.
Note: We stand with The Equalizer on their reporting and trust that they reported on the legitimacy of their sources.
We first learned of Harrington’s status on Sunday’s broadcast on Twitch between Utah Royals FC and the Portland Thorns that assistant coach Amy LePeilbet was now the interim coach because Craig Harrington, Utah Royals FC coach, is on administrative leave of absence, as is assistant coach Louis Lancaster.
The commentator mentions that Amy LePeilbet is the interim head coach while head coach Craig Harrington and assistant coach Louis Lancaster are on an administrative leave of absence – excuse me what??— RSL Soapbox (@rslsoapbox) September 20, 2020
It was later that Meg Linehan of The Athletic shared more information via a series of tweets, tying Harrington to the toxic culture in the organization.
Talking with sources now — Harrington's leave of absence is directly tied to the overall investigation into the culture in Utah. Inappropriate comments, at the minimum.#NWSL— Meg Linehan (@itsmeglinehan) September 20, 2020
My understanding is that Lancaster is for a different reason, not tied to the reports of Harrington's behavior. #NWSL— Meg Linehan (@itsmeglinehan) September 20, 2020
Then, finally, official word came from the club’s press office.
Utah Royals FC Head Coach Craig Harrington and Assistant Coach Louis Lancaster have been placed on a leave of absence from team activities, including today’s match against Portland Thorns FC. In the interim, Amy LePeilbet has been named head coach.
Harrington was hired in February and led URFC through the 2020 Challenge Cup.