Panama City, FL---Surprising news Friday afternoon concerning Gulf Coast's veteran softball head coach Susan Painter.
The College Friday sending us an email stating coach Painter and assistant coach Ryann Ellingsworth have both been put on paid administrative leave until further notice.
Within minutes of receiving that I spoke by phone with Chris Thomes, the college's Executive Director of Marketing and Communications.
He said he would not elaborate on the email release, only that the two will remain suspended pending an internal investigation. Thomes would not tell us the nature of the suspension, nor could he give us a time frame as to when that investigation might be complete.
Charity Butler will guide the team for now, starting with Saturday's home doubleheader against Tallahassee.
Coach Painter's guided the G.C. program for 21 years with nearly 900 wins, and in '98 was the Juco National Coach of the Year.
This year's team has struggled, 23-28 overall, 5-13 in conference play.