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Western Michigan University has fired Kelly Lycan, the longtime women's cross-country and track-and-field coach, for what athletic director Kathy Beauregard called an "unhealthy culture" within the program.

In Lycan's termination letter dated Thursday, Beauregard described a Feb. 19 interaction with student-athletes that included "inappropriate comments that lacked sensitivity." In the letter, Beauregard said Lycan admitted making the comments.

No further detail was given regarding the interaction. Beauregard didn't immediately return a message from The Detroit News.

The termination letter was obtained by The News through a Freedom of Information Act request Friday, a day after Western Michigan announced Lycan's firing.

"Upon further review of this specific situation and the overall health of your program, I have determined that an unhealthy culture exists and that your continued presence with the team would create a volatile environment," Beauregard wrote in the letter.

Lycan has been the head coach of both women's programs since 2001, overseeing more than 40 individual Mid-American Conference championships and 20 relay titles — including one of each in last month's indoor track-and-field championships. The cross-country team competed in NCAA regionals this past winter.

Prior to his Western Michigan tenure, Lycan spent seven  seasons as an assistant at Ball State, and before that, he began his coaching career at the University of Arkansas.

Lycan, a Wooster, Ohio, native, earned a bachelor's degree from Bowling Green, where he played football and ran track. He earned a master's from Arkansas.

The termination letter said his tenure officially ends March 10, and he will continue to be paid, with benefits, through March 31. Any university-owned property, including a car, must be returned by Monday. Lycan drew a salary of $64,489.

tpaul@detroitnews.com

Twitter: @tonypaul1984

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