Arizona Parts Ways with Coaches Cory Chitwood and Beth Botsford

University of Arizona associate head coach Cory Chitwood and assistant coach Beth Botsford are no longer on head coach Augie Busch‘s staff, multiple sources tell SwimSwam.

A 2012 Arizona graduate and swim team captain, Chitwood was an assistant under Busch at the University of Virginia and made the move back to Arizona with him in July 2017. At Virginia, the now-30-year-old Chitwood was the primary coach for Olympic medalist Leah Smith during her NCAA career. Smith followed him to Arizona after taking bronze in the 400 free in Rio, and has recently hit her stride in the 800, going a best time at the Richmond Pro Swim Series early in April. Chitwood, along with Indiana’s Ray Looze and Louisville’s Arthur Albiero, was an assistant to Greg Meehan on the Team USA women’s staff of the 2017 FINA World Championships.

That major appointment, coupled with his NCAA assistant coaching success, would make him a likely candidate for one of the many recently-vacated head coaching positions.

Botsford, also an Arizona alum and a two-time Olympic champion in 1996, was appointed to the coaching staff shortly after Busch was hired, and was the only woman on the six-person staff. She was previously an assistant at the University of Wisconsin. Botsford, 37, swam her NCAA career under longtime Arizona head coach Frank Busch (father of Augie), graduating in 2003, and was inducted into the Arizona Sports Hall of Fame in 2008.

SwimSwam has made multiple attempts to contact the University of Arizona, Chitwood, and Botsford for more information but is yet to receive a response.

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swimfan2298
2 years ago

Is it possible he is taking the UNC job??

Samuel Huntington
Reply to  swimfan2298
2 years ago

And what does Leah do? She has been so successful under Cory

Salvador
Reply to  Samuel Huntington
2 years ago

In all honesty, is Leah a product of Cory or is Leah just real good. My cat, Salvador may be able to coach Leah to Tokyo.

Samuel Huntington
Reply to  Salvador
2 years ago

Well you could say that about any swimmer and coach, right? I always heard that Cory was a good coach, but I could be wrong.

Salvador
Reply to  Samuel Huntington
2 years ago

Salvador could not coach any swimmer. Salvador could coach Leah. This I know.

Scott Morgan
Reply to  Salvador
2 years ago

I have no doubts. I would only revoke my retirement status to swim with Coach Salvador. I hear he is mercurial but fair. Also, innovate. Cat naps and meat snacks between sets? I’m in!

sven
Reply to  Scott Morgan
2 years ago

Swam for Coach Salvador in the 90s. He is a tyrant, but he gets results.

Bad News
Reply to  swimfan2298
2 years ago

Not sure this is the kind of guy they’d want leading the rebuild of their program. I would guess high character would be something they’re seeking in a head coach.

Bad News
2 years ago

Rumor has it that he and Beth had an extra-marital relationship, Cory’s wife left him, the team found out and it has been a distraction all year. Augie fired both.

Hswimmer
Reply to  Bad News
2 years ago

OOOOOF

2Fat4Speed
Reply to  Bad News
2 years ago

WHOA! Props for specifics instead of the normal vague responses we hear about.

swimmerTX
Reply to  Bad News
2 years ago

Whoa there buddy

hookem91
Reply to  Bad News
2 years ago

Source???

Mike
Reply to  Bad News
2 years ago

I wish people would feel less free to share rumors on public forums. If you have credible knowledge and feel compelled to share then more power to you, but labeling it a rumor and spreading it sucks.

Karma
Reply to  Mike
2 years ago

This is absolutely true. You get what you deserve.

Yep10
Reply to  Bad News
2 years ago

This isn’t a rumor. This is a fact. He cheated on his wife (Ellyn) with fellow coach, Beth Botsford. It became a huge distraction to the coaching staff and they were both let go in result.

hookem91
Reply to  Yep10
2 years ago

Yikes @ the objectification of women in this post. Actually yikes @ this whole comment section.

myturn
Reply to  Yep10
2 years ago

This from a guy who accepted a free ride to UofA ($100,000.00) Shows no regard or respect for his school, it’s coaches and teammates.

AZgal
Reply to  Bad News
2 years ago

(obviously a very sad situation for ellyn/their families but) this is the kind of swimming gossip I log on to swimswam to see

Hmmmm
Reply to  AZgal
2 years ago

What did father used to say, everything before the word but is horse sh*t

Swamfan
Reply to  Bad News
2 years ago

WHOAH. Wonder if that has anything to do with Leah Smith spending large portions of this year training away from Arizona.

Kripkenstein
2 years ago

Well, whatever it may be that happened, looks like Augie Busch had to make a really hard decision here — one that will probably be best for the team in the long run. Props to him for that. It will be interesting to see who they land as new assistant coaches. Pretty big named school, so I imagine the openings are drawing some solid coaching talent.

zonad
Reply to  Kripkenstein
2 years ago

Actually, it appears the decision was made for Augie. AD got wind of the situation.

Nepotism
Reply to  zonad
2 years ago

Looks like the Arizona AD got duped by daddy just like the Virginia and TCU AD’s did. Busch light and baby bro have been a dumpster fire as the head coach,no matter where they go.

None
Reply to  Kripkenstein
2 years ago

He was forced to make the decision by the AD

Joe schmoe
Reply to  None
2 years ago

Makes it worse. Busch light does not have the integrity or moral backing to make a decision like this on his own. Apple doesnt fall far from the tree, in this case, apples.

Joel Lin
Reply to  Joe schmoe
2 years ago

But honestly, if this account of it is accurate isn’t this the most Augie Busch thing ever? I will never stop wondering how on earth Craig Littlepage got conned into thinking Augie was a good egg for UVa. It only took a week or two to evidence out that Augie didn’t have the character or integrity needed to meet the responsibilities on and off the pool deck,

RE
Reply to  Joel Lin
2 years ago

AD, staff, team, HR has known for several months. This was Augie’s decision to not renew.

SwimOff
Reply to  None
2 years ago

And how do you know this? Are you on the staff? Work in HR?

awesome
Reply to  SwimOff
2 years ago

no one will ever give up their sources.

None
Reply to  awesome
2 years ago

Alumni benefactor who plays golf with the president and AD brought the matter to their attention…

Coach
Reply to  None
2 years ago

Not judging anyone for anything, but if two coaches are fired for this, how in the world is their basketball coach still employed?

SURFDC
Reply to  Kripkenstein
1 year ago

Cory did not have an affair, he didn’t start seeing Beth until he filed for divorce. He left his wife because she was not easy to live with, Also he was NOT let go from Arizona, he resigned. People really need to know both sides of the story, it baffles me how much the story is twisted. Cory is an incredible coach and has much integrity, I am curious to see how well Arizona does without him.

Salvador
2 years ago

So should we expect Cory to take his act to TCU or join up with Sam Busch and Beth elsewhere? What a dynamic trio!

Articuno
2 years ago

Arizona sure loves a bit of controversy… Erik Hansen, Busch, now this! What a mess.

Kate
Reply to  Articuno
2 years ago

Does anyone feel like explaining what the Erik Hansen controversy was? 😬

Articuno
Reply to  Kate
2 years ago

https://theovercomersmagazine.com/christy-mullinax-heart-of-a-warrior/
Something to back my claim on Hansen being abusive to swimmers. Also rumours of him having a relationship with a swimmer on his team early on in his time at Wisconsin.

Snarky
Reply to  Articuno
2 years ago

He’s not mentioned in this thread. And seems like the person had issues with lots of people.

#MFan
Reply to  Articuno
2 years ago

“AZ sure loves a bit of controversy… Erik Hansen, Busch, …” Can Rich Rod coach swimming??!?

Checkers
2 years ago

Hate to see Clif in the picture. That man is a saint.

AWA560
Reply to  Checkers
2 years ago

100%

Coach A
Reply to  Checkers
2 years ago

Block A = Scarlet Letter?

Mr. Brightside
2 years ago

About time they were both terminated…KARMA

Less backstroke
2 years ago

Is it normal to have a clause in a coaching contract about who you can have a relationship with? Outside of students of course. Must have been some other issues at play otherwise just ask one of them to leave.

hookem91
Reply to  Less backstroke
2 years ago

I think if it involved an extramarital affair that could be grounds for an athletic department lawsuit. There’s some precedent for that in other sports I think.

Less backstroke
Reply to  hookem91
2 years ago

Just thinking “in the real world” you aren’t going to get fired for having a relationship with a coworker (subordinate situation excluded) and the marital status would be irrelevant.

corp world
Reply to  Less backstroke
2 years ago

ppl do get fired for this stuff in real world all the time. not just boss and employee, either.

Admin
Reply to  corp world
2 years ago

That used to be the case, but it’s becoming less-and-less common. These days, without supervisory conflict, it’s usually not an issue. Especially at larger corporations with a professional HR department managing the situation and response.

Salvador
Reply to  Less backstroke
2 years ago

Wouldn’t an issue be that he’s a superior (Associate Head Coach) and she is a subordinate (assistant coach). Regardless, sounds like an HR nightmare.

DMSWIM
Reply to  Salvador
2 years ago

I don’t know how their staff was structered, but I would think Augie was both of their direct supervisors. It would be odd for Augie and Cory to each supervise one person. Cory may rank higher but I wouldn’t think he was her supervisor.

DMSWIM
Reply to  Less backstroke
2 years ago

And how would you pick which one to ask to leave? It’s probably best to start fresh. Also, I’m just speculating, but if there was any inappropriate contact between the two during work hours, on travel trips, using work issued devices to send inappropriate messages, etc., that could explain why their choices in their personal lives affected their employment statuses.

About Torrey Hart

Torrey Hart

Torrey is from Oakland, CA, and majored in media studies and American studies at Claremont McKenna College, where she swam distance freestyle for the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps team. Outside of SwimSwam, she has bylines at Sports Illustrated, Yahoo Sports, SB Nation, and The Student Life newspaper.

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