The Griz are giving another member of the football program a second chance at overcoming high-profile legal issues. The university announced yesterday that former recruiting coordinator and assistant coach Ty Gregorak would join head coach Robin Pflugrad's staff. In yesterday's news release, Pflugrad refers to an "unfortunate situation" involving "misinformation and mistaken identity," and makes it clear that all charges against Gregorak were dropped. The release doesn't elaborate on what happened.
But most Griz fans remember the sensational charges initially filed against Gregorak last May. Few may have followed what happened after that.
Gregorak, a former football player at the University of Colorado, was charged with theft and trespassing after a night in Boulder, Colorado. The Daily Camera, among many others, reported:
He is suspected of stealing a gun and wallet from the car belonging to a bouncer at the Nitro strip club on Pearl Street on May 1. The bouncer had turned Gregorak away from the club because he was too intoxicated, according to police.
When the bouncer got off work around 3:20 a.m., he found the door of his Nissan Sentra ajar, his wallet missing from a center console and a loaded .45-caliber Glock 36 handgun taken from the glove compartment, according to police.
Later that day, police said the bouncer was awoken at his home by "persistent knocking." He opened the door to see Gregorak, who returned the missing items and apologized.
Gregorak soon lost his coaching job at UNLV, where he had followed former Griz coach Bobby Hauck.
But two months later, in July, all of the charges were dropped. According to Gregorak's lawyer, the police rushed to judgment without fully investigating the case. The lawyer said video never showed Gregorak outside the club, the bouncer's description of Gregorak proved to be inaccurate, a parking attendant stationed close to the bouncer's car says no one ever broke into it, friends testified that Gregorak wasn't intoxicated, and hotel staff never saw Gregorak return to his room carrying anything.
"This is another classic example of the Boulder Police Department jumping to conclusions simply to classify a case as closed," wrote David Beller, Gregorak's lawyer, in a release that details how his client was wrongly charged. "The actual investigation in Boulder cases must be completed by the accused. At some point, concern of innocence must prevail over a quick 'investigation.'"
I am grateful that this whole ordeal is finally over. Perhaps someday I will learn what happened to me that night, but as of now, I still do not know. My story has always been consistent and has never changed. This has been a nightmare for me and my family.
Gregorak spoke to Fritz Neighbor at the Missoulian shortly after the charges were dropped and talked about trying to put the pieces back together. He eventually landed a coaching job at Central Washington, before rejoining the Griz this week.
Gregorak isn't the only Griz to seek a second chance at Washington-Grizzly Stadium. Last season was marked by the return of cornerback Jimmy Wilson, who had been charged with murder in 2007. He was acquitted in 2009. With the exception of an assault charge just a week after his return to Missoula (he later pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of disorderly conduct), Wilson's perseverance and play on the field was celebrated as a success.