Linwood Vrolijk

Virginia college field hockey coach resigned on allegation of assaulting student

In 1998, Linwood Vrolijk (b. 1965) resigned from Eastern Mennonite University (EMU), Harrisonburg, Virginia, after captains of the women’s field hockey team he coached submitted a complaint of sexual assault on behalf of one of their players.

In December 2016, another former EMU field hockey player reported a sexual assault by Vrolijk to the Harrisonburg Police Department, along with two SNAP Mennonite representatives who filed additional secondary accounts reported to them confidentially.

In early 2017, EMU was asked by a former field hockey player to assist her in reaching out to other former team members. EMU declined to help her contact the other players or provide their alumni contact information.

In February 2017, a community member contacted Eastern Mennonite School (EMS), a K-12 school in Harrisonburg, Virginia, after hearing that Vrolijk had gone on to coach there. Head of School Paul Leaman confirmed via email that Vrolijk was no longer coaching at EMS, but he declined to provide dates of Vrolijk’s employment. According to Vrolijk’s Facebook timeline, he was coaching boys’ soccer at EMS in 2012 and 2016, as well as coaching at Shenandoah Valley United in the fall of 2016.

Vrolijk’s spouse Radella served on the board of EMS, and on its personnel committee. She also chaired the EMS athletics Booster Club for many years.

Church-related positions

  • Basketball coach at Eastern Mennonite University, 1988–1993
  • Women’s field hockey coach at Eastern Mennonite University, 1992–1993, 1995–1998
  • Boys’ soccer coach at Eastern Mennonite School, Harrisonburg, Virginia
  • Advisory board member of Walking Together for Christ Haiti with James Arbaugh (see MAP case listing)
  • Attends Lindale Mennonite Church, Linville, Virginia

First-person accounts

  • I, Anje” (see EMU Field Hockey subheading), Survivors Standing Tall, Jan. 31, 2018


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