Indiana University has fired associate head coach Mike Westphal after news broke this week of his arrest on intimidation charges.
IU released the following statement on Thursday: “Today, Associate Head Swimming Coach Mike Westphal’s employment was terminated effective immediately related to an incident that is detailed in the probable cause affidavit from the Bloomington Police Department.”
Westphal was arrested last week and faces criminal misdemeanor charges for intimidation. He is accused of trying to force a local club coach (Max Irwin, also an IU swimming alum who used to swim for Westphal) to support a club merger by threatening to hurt the other coach’s career. The Indy Star reports that Westphal allegedly told Irwin he “could be an asshole, is ruthless and would squash him.”
He’s been released on bail, but Westphal still faces the intimidation charges.
Westphal’s departure will mean Indiana’s coaching staff has almost entirely turned over from last season. Two left to take head coaching jobs (Coley Stickels at Alabama and Caitlin Hamilton at Illinois State) and another, Kirk Grand, left when his wife received a job offer in Colorado Springs.
IU’s current staff includes head coach Ray Looze, associate head coach and sprint coach Jonty Skinner, assistant coach and distance coach Cory Chitwood, assistant coach Emily Eaton and diving coach Drew Johansen. They’ll have one more swim coaching opening now to fill Westphal’s spot.