Jamie Holder Declines Offer to Return to Dartmouth as Head Swimming Coach

Jamie Holder, former head coach at Dartmouth College. Courtesy: Dartmouth Athletics

Former Dartmouth head swimming & diving coach Jamie Holder has declined to return to his position after the school reinstated 5 previously-cut varsity athletics programs.

The school re-offered the previous head coaches of all 5 programs their jobs back. Men’s golf head coach Rich Parker, men’s lightweight rowing head coach Dan Roock, and diving coach Chris Hamilton accepted the offers. Women’s golf head coach Alex Kirk and head swimming and diving coach Jamie Holder declined the offers.

This means the school will begin searches for new head coaches to lead the men’s and women’s swimming & diving programs and women’s golf programs.

“I am very pleased that Rich, Dan and Chris have decided to return to our staff,” Interim Director of Athletics and Recreation Peter Roby said. “I look forward to working with all three as they have provided their student-athletes with exceptional experiences throughout their tenures. I also respect the decisions of Alex and Jamie, and we in Dartmouth Athletics wish them nothing but the best in their future endeavors.”

Like several other programs we’ve seen over the last year, Dartmouth announced the cutting of athletics programs to deal with budget shortfalls, projecting that the cuts would save the school more than $2 million.

Also like several other schools, Title IX lawsuits forced Dartmouth to reinstate at least the women’s programs, even though the school said at the time of cutting the teams that their percentage of female athletes in athletics program was “identical” to that of the student body.

Holder was hired at Dartmouth as the head coach prior to the 2016-2017 season. Before that, he spent 6 seasons as the head coach at Georgetown, where he was named the 2014-2015 Big East Men’s Co-Coach of the Year.

Before Georgetown, he spent 5 seasons as an assistant at his alma mater, Princeton. Holder is a 2000 graduate of another Ivy League program: Princeton.

Every Ivy League team sponsors both men’s and women’s swimming & diving programs. Dartmouth’s women finished 7th out of 8 teams at last year’s Ivy League Championship meet, while the men finished 8th out of 8 teams. Dartmouth, is the only school in the Ivy League that has never won a team title in men’s or women’s swimming & diving.

Dartmouth has two on-campus pools. Its main competition facility is the Karl Michael Competition pool, which is 25 yards long and has seating for 400 spectators. The school also has a separate pool, the Spaulding Practice Pool, with 4 25-yard lanes. The Karl Michael pool was built in 1963, while the Spaulding Practice Pool was built in 1919.

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1 month ago

No kidding. Your team being cut with such flimsy excuse then being reinstated due to fear of lawsuits, theres not a single reason I would trust the institution to return to the best interests of the team and staff.

1 month ago

Wonderful news for Dartmouth swimming. Time for a real coach!

1 month ago

Wonderful news for Dartmouth swimming. Time for a real coach

Troll Longhorn
Reply to  Betty
1 month ago

At some level isn’t Dartmouth limited to what level of coach they can hire? Thinking salary and benefits compared to big name schools.

Reply to  Troll Longhorn
1 month ago

Salary needs to be compensatory with skills and results. Best for everyone to start fresh.

Reply to  Betty
1 month ago

Maybe the coach decided its time to coach for a real university swim program. Relatively young guy and coaches don’t go to Dartmouth to advance their careers.

Reply to  Betty
1 month ago

Hi Betty / Ruth. Did you write it once and then decide to change your name to something else? Jamie is a great coach. Time for a reality check

Reply to  Milodizang
1 month ago

No we are sisters and wrote it at the same time. Jamie is not known as good among his swimmers. His recruiting practices have left him with a questionable reputation and many club coaches do not recommend his program. Not sure how great is defined but Georgetown did better after he left and Dartmouth did not move up the Ivy League versus historical trends. He was also passed over for the Princeton Men’s coaching job two years ago.

Reply to  Milodizang
1 month ago

Jamie is not a good coach, he’s ambivalent at best. Dartmouth could be a respectable program, they’re in a competitive conference that has seen teams jump in the standings over the course of a season or two. It doesn’t happen with a coach with zero ambition.

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder of SwimSwam.com. He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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