Lea Maurer Resigns as Stanford Women’s Head Coach

  42 Braden Keith | July 03rd, 2012 | Diving, Featured, News

Stanford has lost their second head coach of the summer today, as women’s head coach Lea Maurer has resigned her position at the helm of her alma mater to “spend more time with her family”.

“There is not a day that goes by that my connection to Stanford does not have an impact on my life.  The Stanford community is a special place bound together by a group of people pursuing dreams in so many areas.  I will always be a part of that community and am honored to share the connection with the women I’ve brought in, my teammates when I swam here, my husband, Erik, who I met here and so many others that are a part of my Stanford family.” said Maurer of the decision.

Maurer’s husband Erik has been a volunteer assistant with the program since she took over the program 7 years ago; together they have led the Cardinal to 7-straight top-5 finishes at NCAA’s. Erik is a principal at a venture capital and private equity firm in the San Francisco area.

The Cardinal finished 4th at last year’s NCAA Championships, and were within 100 points of rivals Cal, who won the title.

The Stanford women didn’t have a great Olympic Trials meet, though they weren’t bad either. Their best shot at the Olympic Team was Elaine Breeden, who looked very good through two rounds of the 100 fly but couldn’t put things together in the final. They failed to put a swimmer on the Olympic Team for the first time since 1952.

Sources tell us that this was a total surprise to most around the program, this was a totally unexpected move headed into Olympic Trials, and that the athletes were only informed of the decision today.

This now leaves two major openings in the college scene, as Jim Richardson has still not been replaced at the University of Michigan.

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42 Comments on "Lea Maurer Resigns as Stanford Women’s Head Coach"


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Asher Green
4 years 2 months ago

My interactions with Lea and Erik have been consistently positive and they’ve done a nice job in their seven years at Stanford. I hope that this is one of those rare legitimate resignations instead of just another ousted coach following the same old script. I wish them both the best whether it be in coaching or not. This is another massive coaching opportunity like that at Texas, replete with resources and tradition as well as nearly-unmatched pressure to perform. I wonder who will take the helm?

4 years 2 months ago

Good luck to you Lea! Maybe now you’ll have some time to swim with us at Noon Masters. : -)

There will be a lot of changes in and around the Stanford Pool in the next few months. Men’s Head coach Skip Kenney’s gone. Synchro coach Heather Pease-Polsen just resigned (she was 1996 Olympic gold synchro winner). And Stanford Athletic Director Bob Bowlsby resigned last month to become Big 12 commissioner.

ken baker
4 years 2 months ago

Stanford or Michigan should consider a younger coach who can keep swimmers who have made a commitment to the University. Both Michigan and Stanford praise themselves on academics, but there is a strong competitive feel as well, with both schools showing outstanding promise. They should consider someone who has NCAA experience and has built a reputation with women who are willing to work hard. Paul Yetter would be someone to consider. He was at Auburn and recruited the #1 female high school swimmer to come there, but when issues came up between he and Brett Hawke, he quickly stepped aside and so did Knutson.

Craig H
4 years 2 months ago

Stanford went with a relatively unknown, unproven coach in Lea the last time around. I think she’s a great person, and has both success and setbacks as a coach. That said, I’d love to see them go with someone who is a bit more a rock-star in the coaching world this time around. I know that Sean Hutchinson is probably done for good, but what ever happened with Paul Yetter’s college coaching career? I don’t suppose they could lure Bultman away? MIssy’s coach?

aswimfan
4 years 2 months ago

Hiring Todd Scmitz would be a stroke of genius!
They’ll get Missy in one package

ColoSwim
4 years 2 months ago

Obviously you know nothing about Todd. In fact they may have a better shot to land Missy if they hire just about anyone else.

aswimfan
4 years 2 months ago

I admit I know nothing about Todd.
So please tell me more why hiring him is not a good idea?

Freebee
4 years 2 months ago

yes Bultman!!!

milly
4 years 2 months ago

a younger coach isn’t necessarily better. would you say terri mckeever was a better coach when she was younger, or now? it is also against the law to discriminate based on age.

swimfan
4 years 2 months ago

paul yetter is a nut job!? already showed he couldn’t cut it at the collegiate level.

Socalswim
4 years 2 months ago

Stanford should take a real leap of faith and consider Yuri Suguiyama, the young yet respected Curl Burke coach who just guided 15-yr. old phenom Katie Ledecky to the U.S. Olympic team. He has a great following at CUBU and in PVS, an excellent reputation, and is an exciting talent in the swimming world.

Suzzie2012
4 years 2 months ago

Nothing better could happen to Stanford swimming. It is surprising how Maurer survived 7 years. Look at statistics of performance of majority of her swimmers over the last 4 years (not only top 2 or 3). She was not much better than Kim Brackin

CardKnow
4 years 2 months ago

With the amazing recruits Stanford signs consistently, they should be better than they are. Sorry, but I think this is a good decision. She probably realizes that she can’t take swimmers the full way, so she stepped out of the way. At least she has her dignity intact (unlike other coaches, namely the Ex-Womens Coach at Texas…)
Breeden really wasn’t a great swimmer without the suit, and even she hasn’t been consistent these past few years. Not surprised that nobody made the team.
Stanford is very average right now – Men and Womens considering the talent they bring in.

bb
4 years 2 months ago

No please. We who have swimmers with Yuri like him just where he is– building a great group. OK. Totally understand you can’t prevent opportunities from coming for a talented coach though.

Swmguy70
4 years 2 months ago

The timing on this is interesting. With Skip Kenney retiring, yet hiring Skip’s long time (but let’s be honest, older assistant) and now Maurer leaving, I’m wondering if there is any talk about combining the programs and bringing in the only heavy weight really that should be in the discussion.
David Marsh.
There have been lots of other names floated around. Todd Scmitz, regardless of how great a coach he is, would be a tough choice because he has no NCAA experience and in this day and age, not knowing the rules and the way major NCAA institutions operates from the inside out is a hindering factor for many elite club coaches considering making the leap. Lots of people just look at landing Missy, but that’s just 1 swimmer and I’m sure she is not going to be doing compliance and recruiting jobs around the office.
Paul Yetter, maybe, but it’s been awhile since he has had true international success with athletes and tough to see him being able to handle a large group of elites and not just one or two athletes given the Auburn situation a few years back and the T2 thud at Trials.
No, I think that all things considered, the Stanford ‘want’ list should be a very short one.
It should have 1 name.
Dave Marsh.
Marsh could helm the women’s team for a few years and keep tabs on the men’s side, then when it was time could bring in several world class assistant coaches and go the way of how Auburn was, and USC is with combined staffs and cohesion that seems to be fairly successful if done correctly.
And Marsh from his time on the plains seems to have got it right.
The big question is: can the Farm provide enough financial incentive to get him out of Carolina?

Josh
4 years 2 months ago

Stanford won’t hire Marsh. His specious recruiting practices are what stopped the train at Auburn. They won’t want anything to do with that.

Mark
4 years 2 months ago

Not a big Stanford backer (from my days swimming in the PAC 10 a hundred years ago) but I agree that they would not hire a coach with questionable recruiting ideas. They don’t have to go that way anyway and, with the stature (and image) of the institution worldwide, the powers that be would not want a hint of placing athletics above academics.

Swmguy70
4 years 2 months ago

I would also like to say that if they could lure Steve Bultman out of College Station, that would be a coup, or maybe Rich DeSelm from UNC? Rich is very highly regarded from what I understand.
My final thought about Marsh….was it Marsh’s questionable recruiting issues or those of his assistants? There were rumors that followed for at least one of those in their next job.
Sometimes guilt is being complicit for allowing it to happen under your watch. But that may or may not be something that was institutionalized. Just sayin…..

MIKey
4 years 2 months ago

a marsh assistant w/ questionable recruiting tactics…. first thought that came to mind was Kim Brackin!

aswimfan
4 years 2 months ago

I thought it was Brett Hawke?

Pisces
4 years 2 months ago

I’m shocked at this news. Lea is a beautiful person, the complete woman, strong, determined, ambitious, competitive, committed, yet loyal, loving, and enormously dedicated to her kids and family. It must have been an incredibly difficult decision for her, but she realized the right choice. She has such positive energy, giving all that she has. She is a great coach and a great mother. I wish her all the best and all the best for Stanford swimming.

Nick
4 years 2 months ago

It was a shock for me to see Lea leave Stanford. However, the thought did come across my mind after the trial that Stanford didn’t produce any Stanford-related swimmers in the Olympics (US only) for this year at all both M and W. The last time this happened was 60 years ago!!!

I think Lea is a great person but I think we have lost out many great recruits. Our breastroke group is probably one of the weakest. The sprint group is getting better. However, I think it was quite different caliber between Richard Quick and Lea Loveless (at this point). Maybe in 10-15 years from now, Lea can duplicate the success of Richard or Terri at Cal.

I hope the next coach for both M and W can produce success that Stanford enjoyed during the early-mid 90s.

IM Monster
4 years 2 months ago

Lea may be a great person away from the pool, but she does not know how to communicate with the Stanford community in a positive way. I do not think she is/was mature enough for the public image that a college coach has to have.

I also have witnessed enough workouts to know that she trains college kids a little too much like age groupers. Perhaps more experience at a smaller program first would have done her some good. Some people can step right into a college program, but others definitely need to learn the ropes.

GoStanford
4 years 2 months ago

Obviously Lea has to do what is best for her and her family, which is great. But timing here just couldn’t be worse – July recruiting window is now open, no assistant, best names in swimming busy with Olympics for more than a month, etc. I sure hope that there has been some activity here. They have to land a top notch coach and recruiting needs to get some very quick momentum. It’s their biggest challenge.

From everything that I’ve heard, Bultman at A&M seems to be the emerging star. But again, choices and timing are a big problem. They should not forget Batis at PASA….. standing right in front of them. They’ve had a constant stream of great female swimmers.

Pacma
4 years 2 months ago

If Stanford considers a PASA coach, they should look at Scott Shea too. He is the senior coach at the Stanford PASA site and has developed many of the PASA swimmers who’ve moved on to outstanding college careers.

IM Monster
4 years 2 months ago

If Stanford considers a PASA coach, they should say goodbye to a good program. Not for sure, but neither Tony nor Scott have any experience coaching at the college level. They need to get a proven coach (as long as they respect academics), and I am sure it is a good enough position to attract many.

And I don’t think Lea had a choice in the timing. I’m sure she was forced out (or more likely, knew that she was about to be).

WDE
4 years 2 months ago

How does Mike Chasson, former coach of ASU sound? just to throw a name out there… Lot’s of experience, even as a previous asst at Stanford.

Tom
4 years 2 months ago

I am very excited to see who Stanford pulls in! Being the head Stanford coach must be the dream job of many coaches out there.

Nick
4 years 2 months ago

Is Pablo Morales in the hunting?

Nick
4 years 2 months ago

It’s time for a new era of swimming at Stanford. I am looking forward to next year to see how the NEW Swim Coaches can take the talented teams (M&W) to the next level.

swamcoach
4 years 2 months ago

There are many interesting and potential candidates for this job. I am sure that it was not always easy for Lea to balance a family and a “high pressure” job like Head Coach of a Stanford program. My question is why doesn’t Stanford take a “risk” and go with someone with experience but maybe not the name…bring back the past 2 assistants Shane Whildin and Chris Morgan, maybe they could bring back the glory–they know the school, they understand what is at stake.

Tom
4 years 2 months ago

The idea of combined programs is very intriguing. That would definitely signify a “new era” in Stanford swimming. What are people’s thoughts on the pros and cons of combined programs?

joeb
4 years 2 months ago

4 0f the top 5 men’s teams at ncaa’s this year were separate programs. considering there are not a lot of separate programs anymore, those stats speak for themselves…

Nick
4 years 2 months ago

How badly would this affect the recruiting (July 1 starting date) scene for Stanford without a head and assistant coaches now?

We are talking about landing Missy Franklin and other great recruits here. Stanford Athletics should do announce something soon.

duckduckgoose
4 years 2 months ago

Most Stanford-athletes “self-select” (the academics are at least as much a draw as the athletics). Swimmers who are bright enough to be admitted to Stanford have already factored in the lack of improvement of recent high-profile recruits. Tim Murphy at Harvard does a phenomenal job with distance swimmers, but that’s not the only reason swimmers choose Harvard. Stanford needs to name the right coach (values education, has a proven track record, swimmers improve under their tutelage) within 6-8 weeks or it will be a problem for 2013 recruiting. If they name an acceptable coach within that time frame, 2013 recruiting will be fine. The lack of an Athletic Director now is the bigger problem than the openings in the swimming programs.

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The most common question asked about Braden Keith is "when does he sleep?" That's because Braden has, in two years in the game, become one of the most prolific writers in swimming at a level that has earned him the nickname "the machine" in some circles. He first got his feet …

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