Harassment, Coverups, And Total Control: A Culture Of Toxicity At Milligan University

Justin Horneker
7 min readJul 26, 2022

Milligan University is supposed to be a beacon of community and “Christian values”, describing itself as, “offering its members a dynamic and supportive environment in which students join faculty and staff, supported by alumni and others, in exploring and practicing the personal and communal dimensions of individual and corporate responsibility under the Lordship of Jesus Christ”. Yet, time after time, that “environment in which students join faculty and staff” has been at war with itself. An environment that supposedly prides itself on empowering students to be leaders often does everything to make sure students don’t have a voice and thrives on invalidating their experiences.

Before reading any further *TW — SA/ED*. If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts call, or text, 988 or visit https://988lifeline.org/

This becomes extremely apparent after reading the many stories of athletes who competed under Cross Country and Track & Field Coach, Chris Layne.

At the surface, Chris Layne is a highly successful coach and agent — NAIA and USTFCCCA Coach of the year with dozens of national titles on his resume… but all of those accomplishments come with an alleged undercurrent of control and abusive behavior towards his athletes.

I’ve had my fun too — Chris Layne’s response to an athlete coming forward to disclose that she had been sexually assaulted.

This is who Chris Layne is, this is what Milligan University is…

Behind the 23 seasons and hundreds of All-Americans, you can clearly see the dark cloud looming over the program.

I’ve had the opportunity to talk with over a dozen former Milligan athletes over the past year, who have all shared similar stories about Layne and the higher ups at Milligan.

There are multiple occasions where athletes would go to Layne with their experiences, and their reward for their courage was more victim blaming and suggestions of — maybe you should wear different clothes to practice — or — be careful what you talk about with your teammates.

The latter quote comes from a reported incident where an assistant throws coach, Daniel Corriher…



Justin Horneker

Writing about Soccer and the current state of sports.