Two volleyball coaches at Bountiful High suspended in wake of lawsuit alleging assault and battery

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BOUNTIFUL, Utah -- Two Bountiful High School volleyball coaches being sued for assault and battery were suspended by the Davis School District Wednesday, and the men will be allowed to continue teaching within the district.

These coaches are being sued by the parents of two girls who are on the team.

Bountiful Volleyball Coach Lane Herrick.

Bountiful Volleyball Coach Lane Herrick.

In the lawsuit, Head Volleyball Coach Lane Herrick is accused of verbally and physically abusing at least two players, a junior and senior, who are sisters on the team.

Herrick has been with Davis School District since 2007 and is a driver's education instructor. Assistant coach Joel Burton is also named in the lawsuit. He is accused of witnessing the abuse and not stepping in and protecting the students or reporting the incidents.

joel burtonBurton has been with Davis School District since 2008 and is a physical education teacher.

Clair Asay is the father of the girls alleging abuse. His wife was also an assistant on the team before stepping down earlier this season. Asay believes every female on the team was vulnerable to abuse.

"In society we all talk about bullying, and we all teach our kids not to be a bully, and yet we have a bully that is in our school system coaching our 16 and 17 and 18 year old kids, and especially girls, he's a bully," Asay said.

FOX 13 News also spoke with a parent of a sophomore on the team who said she was sad to hear about the suspensions and frustrated that the school district hasn't been more transparent on this issue.

"The girls came out crying, and I heard from my daughters' friends that the coaches had been suspended," said Jamie Vandemerwe. "I just for the girls' sake think it's a tragic way to start out the season, and I hope a resolution can come quickly and the girls can have stability and thrive as a team together and be supportive of each other."

According to Davis School District, though the two coaches have been suspended, the volleyball team will continue practicing and playing games as usual. Their next game is scheduled for Thursday, but as of now there as been no announcement of who will be coaching the team. On Wednesday, the seniors on the team ran the practice.


  • Tug

    I’ll reserve judgement until the investigation is complete. I will admit that as a father of a Bountiful based women’s volleyball player – it was refreshing to have my daughter play for someone (at a high school) that wasn’t cashing a $1500 participation check – and always telling her what an outstanding volleyball talent she was – until we decided that $3000 was enough for a club sport, even one with a “paid trainer”. Suddenly the shoulders couldn’t have been colder, and the mean girls, more snippy. The Bountiful Bubble is real – and I’ll wait and see if these two did anything more than act as straight talking coaches.

    • Soso

      I have to agree! Asay sounds like a very sensitive parent (the wife was an assistant??). Being coached by the best in volleyball some parents could not handle my coaches choice of vocabulary and physical training, with that being said I will have to also wait for the outcome.

    • Hoover

      I can tell you a lot of people who were students under him at his last school are not shocked in the slightest. I hope it isn’t dismissed as being brought by a sensitive parent, there is probably more here.

      • Nerner

        Being a former volleyball under his coaching at a prior school, I personally was verbally abused and had several sexual harassment comments from him. After speaking to the principal and district all was dismissed if he apologized. Never did and I quite the team as did several other girls because of his bullying and sexual comments and actions.

    • Neal Pollard

      agree. weve had the same judgement passed on us. funny how those same people had no problem calling us to see if my kids wanted to play on their teams though….

  • Bountifulalumni

    You have to realize that this comes from the parnent whos wife is an assistant coach. She has been there for years. Now the opportunity comes where it can benefit them. I think if there was a real problem this would have happened a long time ago. Leaving that aside we can talk about the over-sensitive entitled children we have now. Let me tell you now.. There is nothing in this life that is going to be perfectly suited to you. Grow a set Mr. Asay. Youve just destroyed two peoples job.

    • bereal

      Rashad you probably got cut from the baseball team because you couldnt run, catch, throw, and hit at the same level or better than your peers or the competition you would have played against. real life stinks that way sometimes, but its the harsh reality….learn from, improve yourself, and move on! successful programs wont keep kids that arent the best of their local talent pool that they draw from, its dead weight and keeps the team from moving up and reaching its full potential. need proof look at the success the football, basketball, baseball, drill, and volleyball teams have had over the last 10 years or more. thats the hardest part of coaching i would guess is telling kids so young in high school that their dreams of playing the sports they love has potentially come to an end because they arent able to perform at the required level to be competitive. thats a job i am not envious of…. to look into a teenagers eyes and tell them its the end of the road and that they arent on a team anymore…thats not worth the $1,100 dollars a season that they make as coaches to tell that to kids…

      • kateinmt

        Speculation on matters of which you have no concrete evidence doesn’t help anyone. I have no reason not to believe what Rash has said, and if you do, please state why. Very, very few kids today have any sense of entitlement, media hype notwithstanding. A good coach isn’t a bully; a good coach emphasizes skills and game strategy. The bad coaches I’ve seen are former high school stars who couldn’t cut it at the college level. Fortunately, those coaches are few and far between. When you get multiple complaints, you need to question the coach, not the kids.


    If there was an assault why is this a lawsuit instead of a criminal matter? We’re not getting the whole story.

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