Indiana’s Andrew Couchon and Kai Bathurst Enter NCAA Transfer Portal

UPDATE: SwimSwam had not heard back from Andrew Couchon upon the publication of this article, but we’ve added in his comments below as he reached out with a quote on June 14.

More Indiana University swimmers are on their way out as rising junior Andrew Couchon and rising sophomore Kai Bathurst have both entered the NCAA transfer portal. Bathurst tells SwimSwam that he’s narrowed down to a couple of schools to transfer to, while Couchon says he hasn’t narrowed down his list quite yet.

“Honestly, I’m really eager to talk to anyone that reaches out in order to find the best place for me,” said Couchon. “As far as for why I left, I’m seeking a program where I feel a greater sense of value from the coaching staff and have a better relationship with the coaches themselves. The kids on IU’s team are incredible and truly deserve the best- you’ll never hear me say a bad word about them. Towards the end of this year I just felt as if the relationship between the coaches and myself was fractured, and that for my own wellbeing and happiness it would be best for me to go somewhere else.”

ANDREW COUCHON –  TOP TIMES (SCY)

  • 50 free – 20.33
  • 100 free – 45.09
  • 200 free – 1:40.23 (from high school)
  • 100 breast – 52.78
  • 200 breast – 1:59.76
  • 100 fly – 50.67  (from high school)
  • 200 IM – 1:51.20 (from high school)

Couchon came to IU with high school bests of 54.43 in the 100 breast and 2:04.13 in the 200 breast, improving significantly in both in his two seasons with the Hoosiers. IU has had a very strong breaststroke group the last few years, and Couchon did not make the B1G roster in 2019 or in 2020. That said, at the 2020 Boiler-Make-It Qualification meet (a last chance meet at Purdue for 2020 NCAAs), Couchon clocked a lifetime best 52.78 and ended the season as IU’s #2 100 breaststroker.

The Hoosiers still return their top breaststroker for next season, rising junior Zane Backes, who has been 51.07/1:53.49 while at IU.

Couchon would be a strong pickup for most any NCAA team in the country; his 52.78 last season ranked him 41nd in the country. As long as he ends up out of the conference without any other transfer hitches, he should have two seasons left at his next program effective this coming season.

KAI BATHURST –  TOP TIMES (SCY)

  • 50 free – 20.72 (from high school)
  • 100 free – 44.53
  • 200 free – 1:35.85
  • 500 free – 4:21.50
  • 100 fly – 49.72 (from high school)
  • 200 fly – 1:44.45
  • 200 IM – 1:49.55 (from high school)

Bathurst dropped over four seconds in the 200 fly and over three in the 500 free in his one season with the Hoosiers. He also made small improvements in the 100 and 200 free. At the 2020 Big Ten Championships, Bathurst made the 200 fly A-final and placed eighth overall, while adding B-final appearances in the 200 and 500 free.

Bathurst ended the 2019-20 season ranked third on IU’s roster in all three events that he swam at the Big Ten Championships, although he didn’t swim on any relays at that meet. The Hoosiers will still return their top men in the 500 free (Mikey Calvillo) and 200 fly (Brendan Burns), but they just graduated Mohamed Samy, who led the team in the 200 free last season (1:32.63). Bathurst is expected to have three seasons of eligibility left as long as he transfers out of the conference.

IU has had several swimmers on the men’s and women’s sides leave the program this last year or so.

A week ago, rising sophomore Jake Marcum announced his transfer to Alabama for the 2020-21 season, where many former Hoosiers have flocked since former IU sprint coach Coley Stickels took over as head coach in Tuscaloosa. A few days later, rising sophomore Cora Dupre announced her move to Alabama, too. Dupre led the IU women in several events in her freshman season and set program records in the 50 and 100 free. After their freshman seasons, sprinters Julia Wolf and Morgan Scott followed Stickels from IU to ‘Bama for the 2019-20 season and beyond, as did several members of IU’s pro group, while sprinter Ileah Doctor transferred out to Nevada for 2019-20, too.

Matt King, a top-ranked 2020 sprint recruit, initially committed to Indiana for fall 2020 but ended up switching his commitment to Alabama. Another top sprint recruit, #10 Lindsay Flynn, announced last month her commitment switch from Indiana to Michigan for fall 2021.

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JCO
1 year ago

What is going on in Bloomington…

Monteswim
Reply to  JCO
1 year ago

Was just going to comment the exact same thing

Pez
Reply to  JCO
1 year ago

its called Ray only focuses on 4-5 swimmers and leaves the rest to the assistants or just ignores them

Swimmer2020
Reply to  Pez
1 year ago

Yeah, the assistants that are replaced or leave every year. Completely brand new staff other than ray this year. Now half of them will probably leave too.

Kate
Reply to  Pez
1 year ago

That’s definitely the impression one gets from Cody Miller’s videos.

Swimmom
Reply to  Kate
1 year ago

Ever consider he’s part of the problem. Vlogs don’t show reality!

Country Oldtimer
Reply to  Pez
1 year ago

That is just not true.

Monteswim
Reply to  Pez
1 year ago

Is it a particular focus on the pro group?

Robert Lewis
Reply to  JCO
1 year ago

I echo your comment of what’s going on in Bloomington. We have an excellent swimming program and IU is among the best schools in the country. I know; I was there for seven years. Whatever it is, it must be fixed. This exodus of talented swimmers must cease. Ray, it doesn’t make you look good.

Swimmom
Reply to  JCO
1 year ago

Same thing thats always been going! Just read old post and you’ll get the picture! Only normal years is when Dennis Dale had control of Athlete relations! 3 years of normal.

SSRSwimer
1 year ago

Come Quick! Swimmer Giveaway now only, buy one get one free!

Fins
1 year ago

Honestly I feel really bad for IU swimmers/divers. They have been going through so many coaching changes and transfers over the past few years. Haven’t they already been through enough? Losing friends, coaches they enjoyed, etc. Plus, current IU swimmers/divers reading so many negative comments about their school is just adding onto things for them. I hope the kids who transfer still find joy in swimming, wherever they go.

Ladyvoldisser
1 year ago

Mob mentality can affect “peaceful demonstrators” and NCAA athletes thinking of transferring. Best wishes to these two, may they find the greener pastures they seek. IU is a great school with an amazing swimming program.

Theswammer
Reply to  Ladyvoldisser
1 year ago

If I had a different coaching staff every year, If not twice in a year, I’d leave too.

You can’t recruit swimmers with a certain vision and have it constantly change year to year. The phrase “consistency is key” is a popular term in swimming and they can’t get the easiest thing consistent in Bloomington. If paid well and taken care of, you can keep coaching staffs around for a good while.

Anonymous
Reply to  Theswammer
1 year ago

Yeah I feel you. I’m going into my senior year of high school and I have had a different coach every year. We’re getting another this year. It sucks that we don’t have consistency and it can mess with the swimmers. I know this because my coach this year was a sprinting coach and barely did any distance and I had a very underwhelming year this year, but hoping to bounce back this upcoming year.

Swimfish
1 year ago

People are acting like this is a new thing. This has been going on for years at IU. For on Ray tends to pit swimmers against each other causing riots in the team dynamic. Also making it difficult for couches. I mean why was it that only 5 swimmers could come to the private pool they swam at during the shut down. IU has always had problems they are just starting to come out.

Ol' Longhorn
Reply to  Swimfish
1 year ago

So when are the couches going to transfer?

DMacNCheez
Reply to  Ol' Longhorn
1 year ago

Once they’ve finished casting

Togger
1 year ago

No idea what is or isn’t happening at IU, but in any organisation staff turnover in the organisation or a particular team is a metric to be limited as far as possible.

Inevitably, people will leave to (1) seek promotions you can’t offer (literally for a coach, making conference team for a swimmer), (2) relocate, or (3) just because the team/organisation isn’t quite right for them culturally.

For any team/organisation, a glut of 1s and 2s in a year can make turnover look bad. Such is life, you note to keep an eye on it. But if you have two or three years with high turnover, that suggests something’s remiss with your culture and that requires you to… Read more »

B1Guy!
1 year ago

Didn’t IU already announce online classes after fall semester? Maybe not the swim team ppl are leaving it’s the academics? Doubt it, but a thought.

Admin
Reply to  B1Guy!
1 year ago

No, they announced with a mix of in-person and online coursese, similar to almost every other college in the country.

https://www.wndu.com/content/news/Indiana-University-campuses-to-open-in-fall-with-in-person-and-online-classes-570809781.html

B1Guy!
Reply to  Braden Keith
1 year ago

Ahhh thanks Braden!

BBQBilly
1 year ago

Good luck to those guys. By their times, they appear to be ‘walk-ons’ who may not command as much attention as they think they deserve. Can’t measure determination, desire, coach-ability by times. Seems like the popular trend is to pile-on Ray. That is unfortunate assumption.

Jillian
Reply to  BBQBilly
1 year ago

There is always a risk entering the transfer portal as to what team wants their talents. However I would imagine that they had a risk/benefit discussion with their parents and determined no matter the outcome, IU is not the right fit for them.

JCO
Reply to  BBQBilly
1 year ago

1:44 200 fly as a freshman and 52 100 breast as a sophomore. Those are some pretty good walk-ons…

About Karl Ortegon

Karl Ortegon

Karl Ortegon studied sociology at Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT, graduating in May of 2018. He began swimming on a club team in first grade and swam four years for Wesleyan.

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