Canada’s Kelowna AquaJets swim club has fired new head coach Lois Daigneault after news surfaced that Daigneault was under a 7-year suspension by USA Swimming, a suspension the club says she never disclosed.
Daigneault was suspended last December for a violation of two USA Swimming statutes, one dealing with fraud, deception or dishonesty and the other dealing with any conduct detrimental to USA Swimming’s image as a whole. She will remain suspended within the United States for 7 years.
That suspension wasn’t publicized by USA Swimming, though, as only lifetime bans get posted on the federation’s website.
Last week, Canada’s Kelowna AquaJets announced the hiring of Daigneault as their new head coach, but the club says the coach and her three employment references failed to tell the club about her suspension during the hiring process.
The AquaJets say they didn’t hear anything about Daigneault’s suspension until SwimSwam broke the story over the weekend, which led to the club firing Daigneault immediately Monday morning, less than a week after her hiring was announced.
Per club spokesman Clive Elkin:
Today the Kelowna Aqua Jets terminated Ms. Daigneault’s employment, effective immediately. We were blindsided by the revelation of her suspension. Ms. Daigneault did not disclose her suspension to us during the hiring process. She provided 3 references, none of whom disclosed her suspension or dispute with USA Swimming. Her suspension was not publicly available to us through the USA Swimming website, as only lifetime bans are posted. The Aqua Jets have a lengthy, proud and rich history of successful swimming, and we are greatly troubled by these events. We are currently taking urgent steps to put a qualified, experienced head coach in place for the upcoming year. After all, we just want a positive and fun environment in which our children can swim and grow.
The club will now begin searching for a new head coach to lead the traditionally very strong Canadian program.