Madison - St. Clair Record

Thursday, December 5, 2019

Varsity tennis coach at WIU dismisses defamation case against player's mother

State Court

By John Breslin | Oct 4, 2019

Western Illinois University

A varsity tennis coach who claimed he was dismissed from his position after it was clearly, publicly, and falsely implied he was a racist has dismissed his lawsuit against the mother of a player. 

Plaintiff Mirko Bjelica had sued Dr. Larissa Malone, a social studies assistant professor at Greenville University.

Bjelica claimed he was removed from his position as Western Illinois University's head tennis coach just weeks after being cleared of dropping a player from the team based on her race and for using the n-word without context, the lawsuit filed in September in Madison County Circuit Court stated.

Mirko Bjelica, former WIU tennis coach |

On Sept. 30, Bjelica petitioned for voluntary dismissal. On Oct. 9, Circuit Judge Dave Hylla granted Bjelica's motion to dismiss, without prejudice. 

Bjelica, of Macomb, removed as coach in May, accuses Malone of defamation, invasion of privacy, and breach of confidentiality after she made an official complaint against him and allegedly protested close to the college's tennis court, while holding a sign referring to the claimed use of the n-word.

Bjelica filed the complaint without legal counsel.

Madison County Circuit Court case number 2019-L-1338.

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