A former Fresno State volleyball coach was awarded $5.85 million yesterday by a jury that ruled the university discriminated against her for speaking up on behalf of female athletes.

The coach, Lindy Vivas, 50, was fired in 2004, two years after coaching her team to its best season in history. University officials said Vivas was let go because she did not meet performance goals and ran a team that often played in empty arenas.

Vivas sued, saying her contract was not renewed because she advocated for equal treatment of female athletes and access to facilities on the campus.

The jury award took into account Vivas’s back wages, future lost pay and emotional distress.