T.T. Cianfarano Set as Witness in Case Involving Allegedly Abusive Ex-Head Coach

Photo Courtesy: Quinnipiac Athletics

New court documents show that former Quinnipiac women’s ice hockey head coach Rick Seeley is no longer involved in a pending lawsuit against David Bills.

However with one lawsuit complete, another continues.

Seeley seems to be on a breakaway toward a jury trial in May 2018 with one of the Bobcats’ star players named as a witness.

The former Bobcats’ head coach is pressing ahead with a breach of contract and wrongful termination case against Quinnipiac University in which lawyers have subpoenaed senior forward Taylar “T.T.” Cianfarano.

Seeley filed a withdrawal of action on July 6, 2017 with the Connecticut Superior Court in his case against Bills. The document claims, “the dispute has been resolved by a discussion of the parties on their own,” and “The plaintiff’s action is withdrawn as to all defendants without costs to any party.”

According to Seeley’s legal team, Mitchell and Sheahan, the case was settled.

The details of the settlement are not in the court file, however in July 2016 Seeley filed an offer of compromise, attempting to settle the suit for $500,000.

Bills is the father of Courtney Bills, who played under Seeley at Clarkson University in the 2003-2004 season. In 2015, Bills described episodes of Seeley’s physical and mental abuse of his daughter to Q30 Television. That report became the basis of Seeley’s defamation suit.

Bills’ lawyers did not return a request for comment.

According to a memorandum filed in April that includes coach evaluation surveys, memos and interview transcripts from Quinnipiac Athletics and the human resources office, Seeley “grabbed (Cianfarano’s) upper body and spun her head around and continued to scream and say ‘F— You” in her face.”

The alleged incident occurred during the 2015 NCAA tournament game against Harvard.

(Seeley (Center) looks on during game against Harvard. Photo Courtesy: QU Athletics)

Seeley was the women’s ice hockey head coach at Quinnipiac from 2008 until he was fired in April 2015. The University extended Seeley’s contract twice during the coach’s tenure at Quinnipiac. This included a contract in which Quinnipiac offered and Seeley accepted the position from July 2014 to June 2019.

The offer letter declared Seeley’s salary as $165,000, to be reconsidered yearly based on merit adjustments. Seeley also received a car allowance of $900 per month, and the opportunity to run a youth summer camp.

His firing marked an end to the most successful coaching run in Bobcat women’s ice hockey history. Seeley led the women’s hockey program to it’s first ever NCAA tournament appearance in 2014, and compiled a 110-82-31 record over his six seasons at the helm.

But, it may have come at the price of the players’ experiences. Court documents reveal a program scattered with threats, verbal abuse and fear.

Cianfarano, from Oswego, New York, has tallied 108 points in her Quinnipiac career. She is currently third on the Bobcats’ all-time list and in good shape to take over second place her senior year.

(T.T. Cianfarano shoots a puck towards goal. Photo Courtesy: Quinnipiac Athletics)

The incident during the Harvard game served as the catalyst to Seeley’s firing, but the surveys, memos and transcripts allege that Seeley physical and verbally abused Bobcat players dating back to 2009.

As for his breach of contract and wrongful termination accusations against Quinnipiac University, the most recent document filed was a motion for summary judgment back in May.

Seeley also submitted an offer of compromise in April for the amount of $750,000.

Jury selection for this case is set to begin in May 2018.

Quinnipiac’s Associate Vice President for Public Relations John Morgan said, “The university does not comment on legal matters.”

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