The Toledo football program had a strong showing during the 2023-24 season. The Rockets finished with an 11-3 record and earned a trip to the Barstools Sports Arizona Bowl. Before that, the team shook up the coaching staff when they terminated Craig Kuligowski in January of 2023. Over a year later, Kuligowski has decided to file a discrimination lawsuit.

Craig Kuligoswki is a Toldeo football alumnus who started his coaching career of over 30 years with the program. Yet, the veteran coach is filing a $10 million discrimination lawsuit against the University for the athletic department's handling of his firing, per Football Scoop.

Kuligowski's suit alleged that “The University of Toledo's Athletic Department fired Craig Kuligoswki because he was the wrong age and the wrong race.” The former coach said Toledo Athletics Director Bryan Blair stated in an athletics-wide meeting that Blair wanted Toledo to hire “more coaches who were representative of current student-athletes,” per a document reviewed by Football Scoop.

“It was clear that by “representative,” Kuligowski’s suit alleged, “Blair, as an agent of the University, meant younger and black or African American.”

Kuligowski contended that as a former Toledo student-athlete, he was particularly representative of the student body.

In addition, Kuligowski took issue with the way he was terminated by members of Toledo's human resources team. Kuligowski was terminated without a formal hearing. Thus, he included the incident in his legal lawsuit.

In total, Kuligowski is suing Toledo for “Race Discrimination in Violation of Title VII,” “Race Discrimination in Violation of Title VI,” “Age Discrimination in Violation of the ADEA (Age Discrimination Employment Act)” and “Violation of the Due Process Clause to the 14th Amendment of the United States Constitution.”

Toldeo football looks to continue stout showing in the absence of Kuligowski

Craig Kuligoswki has extensive coaching experience spanning several teams. He coached at Alabama and Missouri, where he helped lead both teams to conference championships. He served the Miami Hurricanes in addition to holding positions with Toldeo.

Kuligowski's Toledo bio noted that he helped coach six future first-round NFL Draft picks as well as three unanimous All-Americans. It also noted that he was an All-MAC performer as an offensive lineman for the Rockets.

After a lengthy NCAA stint, Kuligowski turned his attention to the European League of Football. He serves as a defensive coordinator for the Wroclaw Panthers. Kuligowski's efforts with Toledo helped propel the program forward. They continue to have high aspirations for 2024.

The Rockets had a target over/under prediction at 8.5 before the 2023-24 season. Their over 8.5 win odds were -120, while their under was -102, per FanDuel. However, Toledo blew their expectations out of the water.

The team only lost three games and was on the verge of winning the MAC Championship. Toledo advanced to the championship game but lost 23-14 to the Miami-Ohio Redhawks. The Rockets amassed more total yards of offense but turned the ball over twice.

Toledo will be sure to come back stronger for the 2024-25 season as they look to make more noise in the MAC and on the national level.