Concordia University Chicago has officially parted ways with head men’s basketball coach Steve Kollar, following a temporary removal from duties after several players were hospitalized related to an intense practice session Dec. 31.

It is unknown if Kollar left of his own accord. However, Concordia spokesperson Eric Matanyi confirmed that, as of Jan. 23, Kollar is no longer in the River Forest university’s employ. Wednesday Journal has reached out to the former coach for comment. Athletic director Peter Gnan and Concordia athletics staff were not available for interview.

Assistant basketball coach Rashaan Surles, who served in recent weeks as acting head coach in Kollar’s absence, has been named head coach.

Concordia previously put its support behind Kollar after an internal investigation found no evidence of hazing or intent to harm the players. Kollar resumed his off-court, administrative duties Jan. 13 and was expected to make a return to head coaching duties in the coming weeks.

“The university and athletic administration has full confidence in Coach Kollar and believes that he has the best interests of our student-athletes in mind,” Gnan wrote in a Jan. 12 letter to parents, students, coaches and training staff.

Since then, Matanyi told Wednesday Journal that the university and athletic leadership have continued to gather information and receive feedback beyond the original inquiry.

“Significant new information has recently come to light,” said Matanyi. “As it relates to confidential employment records, the university is not able to provide additional details at this time.”

The six student-athletes were admitted into local Illinois hospitals during the week of Jan. 2, where they were diagnosed and treated for rhabdomyolysis, a potentially life-threatening condition that can be brought on by serious physical exertion.

The investigation found that the hospitalization was linked to a New Year’s Eve practice, which was a direct consequence of some players breaking curfew while on a team trip to California earlier that month.

“We believe the intensity of the practice contributed to the students’ illness when combined with other factors including, but not limited to, an immediate return to full activity after an extended break, cross-country travel, rest, hydration and nutrition,” Gnan wrote in his Jan. 12 letter.

The players have all been released from care and the team doctor is working alongside professionals at Loyola University Medical Center to create care plans for them, according to the letter. Once it has been determined that they are fit to resume physical activity, the players will make a “gradual return.”

Join the discussion on social media!