Joe Plane, the head coach at Iowa Central Community College, has resigned from his position, multiple sources have told SwimSwam.
Neither the school’s athletics director nor Plane responded to SwimSwam’s requests for comments on the resignation, and its unusual timing six weeks after the start of the academic term. The school still has Plane listed as the program’s head coach and his wife, Jaime Plane, listed as the program’s assistant, though members of the team say that she was not involved as far as they are aware.
Bryce Pierce was hired over the summer as their new assistant coach. Pierce is managing the team in the interim, and the school has posted a job listing to hire Joe Plane‘s replacement.
The school has not updated its roster or schedule for the current season, nor has it posted any news or updates about the program since the NJCAA Championships in March.
According to an Instagram post by the school, however, the swim team raced on Saturday at home against nearby Iowa Lakes Community College. Plane put in his resignation on Sunday, and student-athletes were informed on Monday.
Plane was hired at Iowa Central before the 2016-2017 season, where he continued to build off the success from his predecessor Mike Peterson. In his first year, both teams finished a program-best-matching 3rd at the NJCAA National Championships. In 2019, the program had its first-ever swimming national champion when Emile Lutzeler won the 50 breast, part of a 2nd-place team finish for the men, their best ever.
At the most recent NJCAA Championship, Iowa Central’s women finished 3rd behind Indian River and Southwestern Oregon, while the men finished 4th behind Indian River, SW Oregon, and Barton Community College.
Prior to his time at Iowa Central, he coached under Jim Richardson at the University of Michigan from 203-2006.
As part of the NJCAA, Iowa Central’s student-athletes only stay with the program for two seasons, before some transfer to compete at four-year schools.