SPOKANE VALLEY, Wash. — Central Valley School District decided not to renew varsity girl’s basketball coach Ryan Bragdon’s contract this season after the district learned he had a relationship with a player while he was the head basketball coach at Northwest Nazarene University in Nampa, Idaho.
According to investigative records obtained by KREM, Central Valley discovered that Bragdon had a “close personal and emotional relationship that was not sports or educationally oriented.” He was let go on Nov. 15.
Bragdon and the player, who was over 18 the entire time of the relationship, discussed “books, music, personal issues and perspectives, and their feelings for one another” in addition to basketball and academics, according to the records.
The records also state that “a sexual relationship between the parties could not be substantiated based on the information available.” This may be due to the fact that NNU and Bragdon signed a non-disclosure agreement when Bragdon was terminated from the university midway through his third season in 2016, and NNU refused to sign a waiver to get around the agreement.
The investigation used a standard of "preponderance of evidence."
Bragon told KREM that the investigative summary provided by Central Valley was inaccurate and that he hadn't seen the investigative documents until they were sent to him by KREM.
"Its all false, I stand by my previous comments," Brogdan said.
The district hired attorney Ann Allen to investigate the allegations.
According to the documents, Bragdon was put on leave at Central Valley and eventually not renewed after the investigation determined he “has not been forthcoming about the nature and the extent of the relationship with the student athlete at NNU. Documents also stated it isn’t appropriate for coaches to have these relationships with players due to the power imbalance."
The investigation also revealed that Bragdon and the player spoke when not around others associated with the team, including text messages and Snapchat messages, according to the documents.
Bragdon also said there wasn’t a relationship between him and the player.
“Throughout the investigation, he has asserted that there was no inappropriate relationship between him and any student athlete. He may believe this,” the records state. “At the same time, the evidence gathered confirms that he did not disclose the personal nature of his communications with the player or the fact that many of their interactions were carried out in private.”
A community member told the school in Feb. 2019 that they were surprised to see Bragdon coaching the CVHS team due to the reason he left NNU, according to the documents. After being denied information due to the non-disclosure agreement, CVSD started the investigation on Aug. 11, 2019.
In all, 15 people were interviewed as part of the investigation, but no one from NNU would speak with the district. Ten other people involved with NNU also didn't respond.
Bragdon is the son of former Spokane Police Chief Roger Bragdon.