BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – After a 6-17 season, Indiana University has opted not renew the contract of women’s water polo head coach Ryan Castle. Assistant coaches Emily Carr and Taylor Dodson will lead the program until a successor is named.
17 of the team’s 23 games were played against College Water Polo Association Top 25 teams. The Hoosiers won just one of those, the team’s season opener against #15 UC San Diego (8-7) on Jan. 19.
The Hoosiers went 0-6 in conference play in its first year of Mountain Pacific Sports Federation action. The MPSF, which is made up of seven teams, produced the nation’s top four teams at the 2019 NCAA Champion Tournament: Champions Stanford, #2 USC, #3 UCLA and #4 Cal.
IU, which was among the CWPA Top 25 through the first 11 weeks of the season, was plagued by injuries and illnesses in 2019 and was playing without 11 athletes, including five graduated seniors, from the 2018 squad. The Hoosiers, which were ranked 13th in the preseason poll, wrapped up the year as the #26 team, the top vote-getter outside of the Top 25, finishing a seven-week stint among those receiving votes.
Castle was in his third year at the helm of the Indiana program. The team went 21-10 with 10 wins over nationally-ranked foes in 2017 and 25-9 with 10 ranked wins in 2018.
All told, in his tenure, the Hoosiers went 52-36, including a 10-12 mark in conference play. Indiana played in the CWPA in 2017 and 2018, before moving to the more competitive MPSF in 2019.
The Hoosiers will return 14 members of the 2019 team, including All-MPSF Honorable Mention selection Izzy Mandema, while adding eight newcomers to the roster.
Castle came to the Hoosiers after two years as the associate head coach at Hawaii (2015 and 2016), including a stint as interim head coach during the 2016 season. Prior to that, Castle was an assistant at the University of Michigan (2013-14), Hartwick College (2011-2013) and Arizona State (2007-2010).
Away from collegiate water polo, Castle was the head coach for the Kazakhstan Senior Women’s National Team, which appeared at the 2011 FINA World Championships, finishing 13th. He also was a video analyst for the New Zealand senior team in 2009 and worked with the U.S. Olympic Develop Program in the under-18 ranked from 2007-2009. Castle, a 2001 graduate of the University of Cape Town (South Africa), was an assistant coach for South Africa from 2002 to 2005 and in 2011.