The University of Texas has parted ways with head women’s swim coach Kim Brackin after another disappointing NCAA Championship season.
The move surprises few who have followed the program since Brackin took over. Her tribulations began when National Teamer Kathleen Hersey left the collegiate program to train with men’s coach Eddie Reese after a disappointing first two seasons in Austin, and continued on to year-after-year of huge recruiting classes but sub-par NCAA Championship performances. That includes the past year, where the team finished in 9th place overall.
In most sports, it sounds rough to finish in 9th-place and lose one’s position, but with the types of recruiting classes that have come through Texas in the last few years, and the lack of development by those swimmers, the administration decided that it was time for a change. The frustration within the team grew to a head this past season after heated post-conference-championship meetings. It was becoming obvious to recruits that there were problems in Austin, after a massive dropoff in recruiting this season without a single swimmer rated by collegeswimming.com in the top 50 in the class.
There were reports out of Austin that massive transfer-defections were imminent, and it’s not clear how this latest news will affect that. The current team was heaped with much of the blame for the poor recruiting class, and the discontentment left the administration with no choice but to make the switch.
The dominoes are continuing to fall with this move, and despite the problems in this program over the last few years, it will still become one of the top 10 women’s coaching positions in the country, and there will be plenty of top-notch candidates.
Brackin made her name as an assistant at Auburn, where she worked with, among others, Zimbabwean Olympic champion Kirsty Coventry. Coventry recently returned to Austin to resume training with Brackin, and it will be interesting to see how this move affects her, as moving would result in her 4th training stop in the last 2 years.
The full statement from UTSports.com is below.
The University of Texas Women’s Athletics Department today announced a leadership change in its women’s swimming program. Effective immediately, Kim Brackin is no longer head coach. Matt Scoggin continues as men’s and women’s diving coach. Women’s associate head coach Jim Henry continues his annual appointment until a new head coach is in place and future staff is determined. The search for a new head coach commences immediately.