‘Insensitive language’ played part in Chattanooga Red Wolves coach’s suspension

Staff photo by Olivia Ross / Chattanooga Red Wolves coach Jimmy Obleda watches his players warm up before a home match in April.
Staff photo by Olivia Ross / Chattanooga Red Wolves coach Jimmy Obleda watches his players warm up before a home match in April.

Chattanooga Red Wolves head coach Jimmy Obleda used "overly aggressive management tactics and insensitive language on multiple occasions," which warranted his suspension from the club on July 22 by USL League One, according to a league release issued Friday.

The release said an executive summary of the professional soccer league's investigation into allegations of misconduct was provided to the Red Wolves, Obleda and the USL Players Association.

Obleda, who is in his third season with Chattanooga, also must have "mandatory training as a condition of his eligibility as a USL coach." The release noted the Red Wolves' cooperation in the investigation.

"The club appreciates the league's diligence in completing the process and looks forward to receiving complete factual findings from the league," the Red Wolves said in a released statement. "Coach Obleda remains on administrative leave while we complete our own investigation and assess appropriate next steps for the club going forward."

The Red Wolves are fourth in the league standings with an 8-8-5 record, tied with Charlotte with 29 points and just six points behind first-place Greenville. Chattanooga has two wins and three ties in the five matches since Obleda's suspension, moving up from sixth in the standings with former Baylor and Chattanooga Christian coach Jimmy Weekley leading the club.

"Jimmy Weekley is a brilliant soccer mind, and I don't use that term lightly," Red Wolves president and general manager Sean McDaniel said recently. "He really sees the game and understands the game, but it's also the coaches that Coach Obleda brought in; our entire coaching staff is built around what Coach Obleda put together, and adding the final piece of the puzzle with Jimmy Weekley. I'm not surprised we're having success; it's an extension of what Coach Obleda has already started. Now we have healthy players.

"I fully expected us to have success — even in Coach Obleda's absence — because we have a good staff and we have the right team on the field now."

The Red Wolves, who have nine matches remaining in the regular season, host South Georgia (7-7-6) at 7:30 p.m. Saturday.

Contact Gene Henley at ghenley@timesfreepress.com. Follow him on Twitter @genehenley3.

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