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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Krazy Koach
2 years ago

I really hope they bring Sammy Busch in. Great Coach even better person. Would fill in perfectly given the circumstances here.

googoodoll
3 years ago

Did Beth shave her head as a swimmer?

Wahooswimfan
3 years ago

So perhaps Leah Smith returns to Virginia and trains under Fenwick? Or heads to NCSU and trains under Bernardino (who originally recruited her to UVA). If suggested rumor is true, probably not likely that Chitwood finds a landing spot in time to accommodate Leah’s training for the summer and not likely a school like UNC will want to buy into anyone controversial.

Doh Heels
Reply to  Wahooswimfan
3 years ago

Not sure UNC is buying into anyone at all. DeSelm’s departure really couldn’t have been much of a surprise and it’s still been over 8 weeks with no new coach and Coley Stickels taking the Bama job. Took less than 2 weeks to replace the women’s b-ball coach who departed pretty abruptly. Shows where swimming sadly seems to fit in Chapel Hill.

TomKnows
Reply to  Doh Heels
3 years ago

Jeff Dugdale will be the next coach at UNC. Wait for it.

PAA
Reply to  TomKnows
3 years ago

I think a stronger Kase will be made for someone else.

dmswim
Reply to  Wahooswimfan
3 years ago

Maybe she could join Ashley Twitchell and Hannah Moore at TAC Titans? Obviously, training with Katie at Stanford would also be great, but it seems like non-graduates don’t commonly join the Stanford pro-group.

KitKat
3 years ago

Do you think frank and rocket could come in and fill those roles short term?

Nepotism
3 years ago

Could this all be a ruse so Busch Light can replace them with daddy and baby bro in an effort to save his job?

Coachy
Reply to  Nepotism
3 years ago

Damn you’re salty……

SwimmyMeTimbers
Reply to  Coachy
3 years ago

He’s a troll from UVA.

Swammer
3 years ago

I love it when SwimSwam commenters start spilling tea.

hookem91
Reply to  Swammer
3 years ago

Grabbing the popcorn and settling in for a loooong comment section.

Backstroker
3 years ago

Augie is a good man! And I liked the staff at U of A!
Being both backstrokers, maybe the two of them were just perfecting their Backstroke techniques after hours? I’m all for good coaching!

Less backstroke
3 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
3 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
3 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
3 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
3 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
3 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
3 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
3 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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