Northwestern head men’s swimming and diving coach Jarod Schroeder will step away from the program to pursue a graduate degree full-time, the school announced Friday. Schroeder was head coach for nine seasons after spending one as an assistant. He also served as a volunteer assistant coach from 2000-2006.
The announcement comes just two days after head women’s coach Abby Steketee announced her resignation — though hers came without an explanation.
“We are extremely grateful for Jarod and his dedication to our men’s swimming and diving program,” said Northwestern Vice President for Athletics & Recreation Jim Phillips. “For nearly a decade, his student-athletes and staff have been great representatives of Northwestern University. We wish Jarod and his family all the best moving forward.”
Northwestern sent swimmers to the NCAA Championships in six of Schroeder’s nine seasons. Most notably, under Schroeder, Jordan Wilimovsky (Class of 2017) was an Open Water World Champion and Olympian, as well as a five-time All-American and 1,650 free Big Ten champion (2015). Wilimovsky took gold in the men’s 10k open water event at the 2015 FINA Open Water World Championships to qualify for the Olympics and then placed second in the 1500 free at the 2016 U.S. Olympic Trials to become the first American swimmer in history to swim at the Olympics in pool and open water events.
“I am so appreciative for the opportunity that Northwestern and Dr. Phillips have provided me,” Schroeder said. “Thank you to all the world-class student-athletes, coaches and administrators I’ve had the privilege of working with during my time here. I hold this University in the highest regard and look forward to seeing the continued progress this swimming and diving program makes in the future. My family and I are excited about this next chapter in our lives.”
Northwestern will conduct a national search for its next head coach, and no announcement has been made about the fate of the rest of the coaching staff — the online coaching page has not yet been updated. As to whether the school would consider combining the men’s and women’s programs now that there are coaching vacancies in both, the school told SwimSwam that it is “exploring all options.”