Fourteen months after hiring a law firm to provide a safety assessment of its sports programs following a lawsuit that alleged a culture of hazing in the renowned football program, Santa Ana Mater Dei confirmed on Wednesday the assessment was completed. However, the school gave no indication results will be shared publicly despite a commitment by former school president Father Walter E. Jenkins to release the findings.
In a statement provided to The Times on Wednesday, new Mater Dei president Michael Brennan said, “I can’t speak for Father Jenkins, but my commitment was to receive input about the assessment, review it with the diocese and have it serve as a tool for promoting a safe environment for all students and staff. That is what we have done and will continue to do.”
Jenkins left at the end of 2021 after hiring the Sacramento-based law firm in consultation with Diocese of Orange following the filing of a parent lawsuit in November 2021. Brennan succeeded Jenkins, who returned to South Bend, Ind. Brennan has since brought in a new athletic director, Joel Hartmann, who he worked with at Servite, and will be hiring a replacement for Bruce Rollinson as football coach. Rollinson announced his retirement during the playoffs last winter. The school has been interviewing candidates and could announce a hire by Feb. 1.
A school spokeswoman released a statement about the assessment that read: “The climate assessment has been completed, and we have provided an overview of the report to the Mater Dei High School community. We will use the climate assessment, along with our WCEA/WASC accreditation report and other school wide strategic plans, to strengthen the Mater Dei experience for all affiliated with the school.”