Mario Sategna is no longer the head coach of the Texas track and field team, athletics director Chris Del Conte announced Thursday.
A media release from the university said Sategna had “separated” from the school, but did not give a reason for the change. Associate head coach Tonja Buford-Bailey will serve as the team’s interim head coach.
“After discussing the future of our track and field program, I felt it was best to move forward and head in a new direction at this time,” Del Conte said in a statement. “Coach Buford-Bailey has a great deal of experience as a head coach and has been a valuable leader in our program for several years now. We have full confidence in her ability to lead our student-athletes and in assuming the duties of head coach immediately.”
Sategna previously took a leave of absence from the program from Sept. 12, 2016 through the beginning of January 2017 while the school performed an ethics and misconduct investigation. The Longhorns claimed their third consecutive Big 12 outdoor title last season.
Buford-Bailey served as co-head coach during that time. The university didn’t give much detail on the investigation after Sategna was reinstated. It is not clear if this coaching change is related to that investigation.
“They all have been addressed by coach Sategna and appropriate responsive measures have been put in place,” a statement from the university said when Sategna came back to the program in January 2017. “Coach Sategna will be responsible for meeting the University’s requirements going forward, which he has agreed to do.”
Sategna had served as head coach since 2013, when the school combined its men’s and women’s track programs. The Longhorns swept the men’s and women’s Big 12 indoor championships in 2015. The women won it again in 2016 and the men finished second.
Before that, Sategna was the associate head coach for the men’s team from 2003-2013.