Cleveland State Head Coach Resigns One Week Before Conference Meet

Just one week before the Horizon League Championships, Cleveland State Head Coach Paul Graham has resigned from his position. We reached out to CSU, and received a response from the University confirming that Graham has resigned, but no details regarding the circumstances of the resignation were provided. The response also included that Kevin Rapien has been named as the acting head coach. The Horizon League Championships are set to begin next Wednesday, February 13th, and will be held at IUPUI.

Graham became the head coach in May of 2014, and in his almost 5 years in the position he saw a lot of success in building the program, particularly with the women’s team. In 2018, CSU’s women came in 3rd at the HL Championships, just 7 points behind 2nd place, even though they were picked to finish just 6th in the preseason poll. On top of that, the 3rd place finish comes after finishing 5th in 2017, and 7th in 2016. In the 2017-2018 season, CSU’s women also broke school records in 9 events. Graham was named the 2017-2018 Horizon League Women’s Coach of the Year for his efforts.

Graham also saw success with the men’s team, leading them to runner-up finishes at the HL Championships in 2016, 2017, and 2018. He was named HL Men’s Coach of the Year for the 2015-2016 season. In the 2016-2017 season, senior Phillipp Sikatzki was the highest placing finisher in the 100 fly (20th) at NCAAs that did not come from a Power Five school.

Before Cleveland State, Graham was the head coach at Ashland University. In his 14 years there, Ashland finished in the top 20 at Division II NCAAs all 14 years.

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Speedoze
3 years ago

The rumor we heard is that swimmers tested positive for drugs, it wasn’t reported, resignations were asked for, parents applied influence to have details withheld which may be why no one has responded to our requests for an official response.

Vikeswimmeralum
3 years ago

Is this comment thread closed? Surely after ten days there must be more info. Still nothing in the news or from CSU.

Annonswimparent
Reply to  Vikeswimmeralum
3 years ago

No response to emails being sent either

CoachGrahamisagoodhuman
3 years ago

Stop speculating… sometimes people do the right thing, and that’s not how it is perceived/portrayed

Coach
Reply to  CoachGrahamisagoodhuman
3 years ago

If we knew what happened and it was transparent we wouldn’t have to speculate.

ScottishDragon
3 years ago

A forced resignation without announcement/explanation a week before Conference Championships typically points to something far more severe than just a few NCAA violations…

Smith
3 years ago

Is the athletic department not going to make any sort of announcement? Are the current coaches going to move on as if nothing happened? Having an intersquad meet in place of an end of season? Too many questions and too many people left in the wrong here.

Admin
Reply to  Smith
3 years ago

Smith – they sent us a statement. It was relatively bland, confirmed that he had resigned, and included some of the team’s highlights (in the pool and the classroom). Seems that’s all they’re going to say for now.

Oneanddonewonder
3 years ago

Unsure if we will ever hear the full story. Intrigued to learn more about how this came about.

Daniel Smith
3 years ago

So far nothing in papers….truth will out eventually. In reveiwing news items from Cleveland State, it appears they’ve had some coaching turnover the past year or two….and the AD left in November, 2018. Much more to the story, I believe.

NotNeeded
3 years ago

Resignation needed for this one…can’t wait for more on this story to come up for the public to see what a selfish and cheating guy he was

John P
Reply to  NotNeeded
3 years ago

Selfish and cheating- Just throwing out words or do have more information?

NotNeeded
Reply to  John P
3 years ago

The swimming world is smaller than people seem to think. I wouldn’t use strong words if they weren’t needed.

Fiveos
Reply to  NotNeeded
3 years ago

Swimming world is indeed small. I’ve been told the story, and it’s not good. I’ve met the coaching staff, and was very impressed with Kevin, the team will be good under his leadership, perhaps better.

HappyFan
Reply to  Fiveos
3 years ago

Have you heard anymore, as you have been told the story? Will the team be at the conference meet? Are there any suspended swimmers that won’t be there?

Fiveos
Reply to  HappyFan
3 years ago

Do you think those decisions have been made already by all entities that have oversee issues like this?

Minmee
Reply to  HappyFan
3 years ago

Yes team is still going, and as a parent of a swimmer there, we have no idea what is going on. Waiting to hear what this has been all about.