Some of Geoff Bond’s rowers loved and appreciated his demanding style. They thrived on how the coach at the University of California-San Diego pushed them to the limit while preparing them to take on the real world.
But for others, Bond was a nightmare, with over-the-top intensity, an unpredictable temper and rage they abhorred. They say he regularly threatened to harm or kill team members. One heartbroken couple insists Bond’s behavior was to blame for their son’s suicide.
Bond left his post earlier this year without any explanation from the school, and his employment status is unclear. In his wake, a debate now rages in college sports and athletics at every level: What constitutes bullying, and what is merely good, hard-nosed coaching that aims to get the most out of young adult athletes?