WINDSOR — Rosalind Aguilera, announced just days ago as the inaugural president of the two new professional sports teams that will make the Future Legends Sports Park in Windsor their home, has withdrawn.
Details from the sports park organization are sparse, but Aguilera said she was terminated.
Damian Foley, director of marketing and communications with Future Legends, told BizWest that the decision was a “mutual” one between Aguilera and the organization. Team owner and park developer Jeff Katofsky sent a note saying “no comment” when asked for time to speak about the matter.
Foley said that a replacement search is underway, with hopes of making a hire “in three or four weeks.”
Aguilera said she had been in the job for five weeks and in that time had to arrange for gear for the players, a training area prior to completion of the playing fields, medical care for the teams, practice areas, apartments for players, furniture for player apartments and furniture assembly.
“It’s appalling. I moved my family halfway around the world. It’s a mess,” she said.
She said resources for getting work done were in short supply. Before furniture could be delivered, for example, she needed a check from team ownership. That check arrived on a Thursday and the players were coming on Saturday, with the furniture needing to be assembled once delivered.
“There’s no way I can be a scapegoat for all the problems,” she said.
She said she complained to Katofsky about what she described as a hostile work environment. He terminated her a day later, she said.
“This is not how you treat people. If you treat employees this way, how will the community be treated?” she asked.
The departure comes at a critical time for the fledgling teams, both of which are scheduled to begin playing at the yet-under-construction sports park this spring.
BizWest had been in contact with Aguilera just last week as it prepared to profile her in the March issue of the business journal. She gave no indications then that she was on her way out. To the contrary, she expressed excitement at her role overseeing the Northern Colorado Owlz baseball team and the Northern Colorado Hailstorm FC soccer team.
“It’s thrilling. I get to be part of building two new franchises in a new community,” Aguilera told BizWest. “I love everything about sports, watching, playing and talking about sports.”
Aguilera, a California native who had moved to Fort Collins, came across the opportunity when she was on vacation for the holidays last year. She’d traveled to Colorado from Cape Town, South Africa, where she’d led all-girls sports programs for the previous six years. While here, she connected with Katofsky, owner of the Owlz and Hailstorm, who offered her after an hour-long conversation the position to lead the two new franchises.
“I wasn’t sure if I was ready to move to the U.S.,” Aguilera said, adding that she and her husband Uhuru Sonjica’s flight home got canceled due to the outbreak of the COVID Omicron virus. “It was an incredible opportunity of timing and world circumstances. … The world is telling us to take a leap to the next step in our lives.”
Hailstorm FC and the Northern Colorado Owlz make their home in the Future Legends Complex, a 118-acre multi-sport center in Windsor scheduled to open in June with the teams’ first two games. The center also will host guests from major sports, tournaments and leagues.
Reporter Shelley Widhalm contributed to this story.