The University of Colorado announced today that safeties coach and interim defensive coordinator Joe Tumpkin had resigned after disturbing domestic violence allegations came out—and the school asked him he to leave. Tumpkin had been with the school for two seasons and was calling plays for the defense by the end of Colorado’s season after defensive coordinator Jim Leavitt took a job at Oregon. His ex-girlfriend filed a motion requesting a civil restraining order against him in Boulder County court on Dec. 20, and a judge granted a temporary restraining order two weeks later.

BSN Denver first reported the news last night, and Colorado confirmed Tumpkin’s departure to Deadspin this afternoon:

University of Colorado Athletics Director Rick George announced today that assistant football coach Joe Tumpkin has submitted his resignation, effective Jan. 31, after being asked to do so by CU Athletics.

Tumpkin, 45, had been with the team since early 2015 as the safeties coach. On Jan. 6, 2017, George and Coach Mike MacIntyre learned that a judge had issued a temporary restraining order against Tumpkin at the request of his ex-girlfriend. George and MacIntyre immediately placed Tumpkin on administrative leave from the coaching staff and CU Boulder.

“Joe is currently defending himself against allegations made in court records that do not represent our values,” George said. “Furthermore, we need to move forward to ensure we do not have gaps in our coaching staff as we build the team and sign new recruits.”


Colorado suspended Tumpkin without pay on Jan. 10 after Broomfield, Co. police formally opened an investigation. The Daily Camera first reported on the details given in the court file, in which the ex-girlfriend said the alleged abuse started in February 2015 and continued until late 2016. The woman lives in Michigan and said she regularly visited Tumpkin in Colorado during the three years that they dated, according to the court records. On the night of Feb. 27, 2015, she told the court that Tumpkin threw her against the wall of a hotel room, then prevented her from leaving the room by throwing her on the bed.

She said that she continued to visit him every 10 days or so and later moved in with him, while he continued to abuse her. The woman said in her request that Tumpkin would get on top of her, choke her, and bite her on the face. Afterward, he would tell her “he was sorry and that it wouldn’t happen again (but it always did),” her request said.


She said they stopped seeing each other seven months after he allegedly assaulted her in Tampa (she did not give a specific date for when this happened but said the period ended on Nov. 18). But she followed that saying in the court motion: “However, he has threatened to kill other men I have interacted with and leaves messages where he yells, curses, and threatens.”

The woman finally agreed to see him before Colorado’s Pac-12 title game against Washington on Nov. 18, the program’ biggest game in years. The night before the game, she told the court that Tumpkin showed up drunk to her house, where he “pinned me against a wall and choked me” after she said she wanted to end their relationship, according to the court documents.


The night after the Buffaloes lost to Washington, she went to Tumpkin’s house where she says Tumpkin sat on her and pulled her back by her hair, before choking her again then dragging her out to the door by her hair and yelling to “get the fuck out.” That was a month before she asked for a restraining order.

The restraining order is temporary. A hearing is scheduled for next week to determine if it will be made permanent, according to the court documents.


You can read the full restraining order below and read more at the Daily Camera.