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Miller files lawsuit against UMD

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DULUTH, Minn.—Former Canadian women’s hockey team coach Shannon Miller and two other former University of Minnesota-Duluth female coaches have filed a discrimination lawsuit against the school saying they lost their jobs because they’re female and gay.

Miller, from Melville, Sask., led the Bulldogs to five NCAA women’s championships in her 16 seasons there.

She also coached Canada to a gold medal at the 1997 IIHF World Women’s Championship and silver at the 1998 Nagano Olympics.

UMD cited a budget deficit when it told Miller last December it would not renew her contract.

The other plaintiffs in the suit are former women’s softball coach Jen Banford, who also was director of operations for UMD women’s hockey, and former women’s basketball coach Annette Wiles.

Banford, who is from Ottawa, and Miller allege in the lawsuit filed yesterday that the university dismissed them because they’re female, gay, and Canadian.

Wiles said she was forced out because of her gender and sexual orientation.

Miller, 51, and Wiles, 46, also allege age discrimination.

“We continue to refute the allegations and claims of discrimination, and will aggressively defend ourselves in the lawsuit,” UMD chancellor Lendley Black said in a statement.

The lawsuit seeks unspecified back pay and compensatory damages, as well as lawyers’ fees.

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