BREAKING: Eric Hansen Resigns as Head Coach of Arizona Swim Teams

There is finally some closure out of the University of Arizona today, as the school has officially announced that former head men’s & women’s swimming & diving coach Eric Hansen has resigned from his position.

In news first in to SwimSwam, we have learned today from a University spokesperson that the team was told this afternoon of the decision, which clears up much, but not all, of the questions that have swirled since Hansen took a leave of absence on October 22, 2013 for undisclosed reasons. Several rumors have swirled about what caused Hansen’s leave, but we were unable to substantiate any from reliable sources. Hansen hasn’t responded to several requests for contact over the last three months. The school didn’t provide any further information as to the reasons for the leave of absence, and swimmers were not given any more details in their team meeting today either.

“I have decided to resign my position as head swimming and diving coach at Arizona,” Hansen said in a statement released through Arizona. “After taking a leave from the program in October, I came to the decision that it would be best for me to step down and pursue other interests. I want to thank athletics director Greg Byrne and the current athletic administration for the opportunity I was given.”

Hansen was an assistant for the Wildcats from 1996-1999, at which point he left to take over as the head coach of Wisconsin. He returned to Tucson, from where he earned his Master’s Degree, in the 2011-2012 season to become the head coach after Frank Busch took over as the USA Swimming National Team Director. There were several transfers, both into and out of his program, in two-plus seasons, though it was at a rate not totally inconsistent than most head coaching changes (see places like Virginia for other recent examples).

“I want to thank Eric for serving as Arizona’s head swimming and diving coach,” said Byrne. “Although Eric will no longer serve as head coach, he remains very supportive of Arizona swimming and diving, and we thank him for his service to the program. Associate head coach Rick Demont will serve as interim head coach until a new head coach is named. We plan to open the position and conduct a national search. I’m confident we will find an excellent head coach to lead our swimming and diving program.”

In Hansen’s second full year at Arizona the 2012-2013 season, his women’s team finished 5th at the NCAA Championships, including NCAA titles by Margo Geer in both the 50 and 100 yard freestyles; and his men finished 2nd, including American and NCAA Record-crushing performances by breaststroker Kevin Cordes.

Associate Head Coach Rick DeMont will continue providing leadership to the program, as he has done since Hansen took his leave of absence, and Omar Ojeda remains as the head diving coach. Demont has now for the first time, however, been given the interim title.

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Cookie monster
6 years ago

I heard some very disturbing rumors about this. Not sure if they are true.

BearDown
Reply to  Cookie monster
6 years ago

What are the rumors circulating?

Brian M
Reply to  Braden Keith
6 years ago

Here’s a hint…we will never know something concrete, this is another issue swept under the rug…it disturbs me how corrupt this sport is, and how people go out of their way to protect the powers that be. Since forums such as this fail to shed some light, we will just deal with the same old same old. It’s why predators have survived and flourished in this sport for so long, and continue to do so.

Spencer
Reply to  Brian M
6 years ago

Thank you Brian m. Saving face for universities and USA swimming means protecting criminals in the process. Our athletes (mostly children) will continue to shoulder the abuse of such cover ups. It’s exhausting to think of how little accountability has been taken and to realize how many coaches and parents continue to look the other way. I could put together a hell of a “who’s who” of coaches that protected abusers. Very few come out of this chaos clean.

YouGotLezakd
Reply to  Cookie monster
6 years ago

Could you shed some light on the subject?

Swam
Reply to  YouGotLezakd
6 years ago

Perhaps just state an overall theme of the rumors to shed a tad bit of light?
academic scandal?
abuse?
personal issue such as sickness?
family problem?

If anyone knows anything but doesn’t want to share all, can you please just say the over-arching matter? Thanks. Very strange deal, and definitely don’t want false rumors to spread.

coach
Reply to  Braden Keith
6 years ago

All eyes are on USA Swimming; they no doubt have heard the same rumors that we have.

Steve Nolan
Reply to  Cookie monster
6 years ago

Here’s to hoping he’s just some kind of run-of-the-mill arse and not a monster…

SwimminIsGood
6 years ago

Thanks for the update…hopefully the Wildcats can put this aside and continue on with a great season. As an FYI, the Arizona Men’s team got 3rd at NCAAs last year (’12-’13)…Michigan 1st, Cal 2nd, Arizona 3rd, if I’m not mistaken….

Nomad
6 years ago

This is just very very blizzare….

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder of SwimSwam.com. He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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