“He ended up running 13 miles,” she said. “The students I coached were just floored that someone was so disrespectful.”
About a month later her problems with Mr. Long turned physical, she said. She had found a phone on the track and was trying to find the student it belonged to when Mr. Long ran up, yelling that it was his.
When Ms. Colell, who was 28 at the time, did not turn over the phone, she said Mr. Long grabbed her, reaching around her and grabbing her waist and buttocks.
“He was pretending to go for the phone, but really he was going for my body parts,” she said.
She said she pushed him away and immediately kicked him off the track team. She then reported the assault to the school administration, but, she said, a few days later Mr. Long appeared with flowers and apologized. Other coaches and teachers who accompanied him implored her to let him back on the team, saying that kicking him off could jeopardize his plans to join the Marine Corps.
For the rest of the season, she said, things remained tense.
“Every day after that he would come up at practice and say, ‘Here I am coach,’ like he was rubbing it in my face,” she said.
Ms. Colell, whose niece was at the Borderline bar on Wednesday when the shooting erupted, and escaped unharmed, said she was not surprised when she saw Mr. Long named as the gunman.
“He was violent then,” she said. “I coached hundreds of other students, and the only time anyone else touched me was to give me a hug.”