LSU Associate Head Coach Steve Mellor Announces Resignation

LSU associate head coach Steve Mellor announced his resignation from the program on Friday, ending his second stint with the Tigers that lasted just over six seasons.

Mellor, who was hired as an assistant with the program in January 2015 after a brief stint at LSU in 2011-12, announced the news via Instagram, saying that the decision was a very difficult one and that he is prioritizing “my integrity and personal mental health.”


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A post shared by Steve Mellor (@steve85mellor)

“We get one go at this thing called life, and swimming has been at the center of mine for two decades, so as you can imagine this wasn’t a professional decision that came easy,” Mellor wrote in the post.

“Fortunately, having invested so much time in the building of myself, the person I am, the man I am, and of course the husband and father I am, it is in fact easy to know when I need to do what it is right for me and my family.”

Mellor also thanked all of the swimmers and coaches he’s worked with over the years before offering a glimpse into his reasoning and what might come next.

“In making this decision I have prioritized my integrity and personal mental health,” he said. “I have always loved my job, and I have preached and reinforced the need for us all to do something we love regularly with the athletes I have had the privilege to work with. At this juncture of my life, I have opted to be the example to those athletes and remain true to my belief system by deciding to find something new.

“With daddy daycare runs taking effect on Monday and with new opportunities already in the pipeline, it is time to begin writing the next chapter.”

During his second stint with the team, Mellor spent six seasons as an assistant coach at LSU, beginning in January 2015, and was promoted to associate head coach in July 2020.

In the 2020-21 season, Mellor helped Brooks Curry become the LSU swimming program’s first-ever Olympic gold medalist, attending the U.S. Olympic Trials in Omaha with Curry where his fourth-place finish in the men’s 100 freestyle qualified him for the U.S. Olympic team in the men’s 400 free relay. The American men’s team went on to win gold in Tokyo in the event.

During the collegiate season, Mellor helped the Tiger men to their highest NCAA finish since 2003, placing 18th with 68 points. This included Curry becoming the first LSU swimmer to earn All-American status in three different events at the NCAA Championships.

In 2019-20, Mellor helped Curry to new school records in the 50, 100 and 200-yard freestyle as a freshman, winning the SEC title in the 100 free.

A native of Stockport Chesire, England, Mellor was a former British National Team swimmer and was a rare three-year term captain with the NC State Wolfpack in the NCAA from 2004-2008. After completing his eligibility at NC State, he went on to become the head coach of the school’s affiliated Wolfpack Aquatics.

After his brief initial stint at LSU in 2011-12, Mellor coached at Creative Aquatics and Nationwide Swim Clinics in England before rejoining the Tiger program in 2015.

Mellor was retained by new LSU head coach Rick Bishop, who was named to the position in June after longtime head coach Dave Geyer resigned after 16 seasons with the Tigers, including 11 as head coach.

With Mellor’s resignation, LSU currently has one associate head coach in Jon Sakovich, along with two assistants, one volunteer assistant coach and two graduate assistants.

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23 days ago

Met him briefly this summer and seems like a great dude, this isn’t a good look for Bishop

Coach Cwik
23 days ago

Working with Rick would be a mental strain on anyone.

Reply to  Coach Cwik
22 days ago

That’s what we said.

23 days ago

Maybe he thought that he should have gotten the nod after having been there for so long.

23 days ago

Surprise retirements before NCAAs(when he was at Michigan) and now an associate head coach stepping down? Yikes

JP input is too short
23 days ago

*I’m leaving to prioritize my integrity* is… ominous?

Remember Me?
23 days ago

Maybe Bishop cutting swimmers from the roster, on deck, during a practice didn’t sit well with Mellor?

Reply to  Remember Me?
23 days ago

I bet it is related. Swimswam should do a story on the roster cut. The kids were devastated.

Reply to  swim4fun
23 days ago

tell us about it

Reply to  swim4fun
22 days ago

What happened?

Reply to  PVSFree
22 days ago

Heard some kids were abruptly cut from the team.

Chas E
Reply to  swim4fun
22 days ago

So what!? Rick should clean house and get the people he wants in there.

Swimmer Steve
Reply to  Chas E
22 days ago

If the kids are putting in any sort of meaningful work and are showing up on time and engaged they should certainly not be at the will of Rick whether to be on the team or not. Those kids committed to the school and the school committed to them an opportunity to swim.

If kids aren’t performing or have other problems then sure cut them, but Rick shouldn’t clean house just to clean house.

Reply to  Swimmer Steve
22 days ago
Reply to  Swimmer Steve
22 days ago

Same thing happened to me my first year. New coach came in and wanted to “make a statement”, and cut a bunch of us freshmen. First year was a complete waste of my time and money and tough on the mental health.

Ended up transferring and scoring my next year at a new university proving the coach wrong.

Things worked out, but that coach was a real POS and it showed later when he faced suspensions for treatment of other athletes.

Mad kudos to Steve Mellor here.

Reply to  Chas E
22 days ago

Fine. If Bishop wants to cut people that’s his prerogative. Cutting athletes that boost the team GPA, are well behaved, and are great teammates is a tough loss for the program.

However cutting these athletes in the middle of practice in front of their teammates, 2 hours before the deadline to resign from the university, is inhumane and degrading. They are worth more than that.

Reply to  swim4fun
22 days ago

I did not hear about this

Reply to  Dan
22 days ago

The cut swimmers were pulled individually during practice into the glass coaching booth, facing the team the coaches cut them. Cruel way to do it.

Reply to  swim4fun
21 days ago

SwimSwam should do an exposé on explicitly Rick Bishop lol

go bleu
Reply to  usetaswim
19 days ago

Including the culture at his previous program… one where a captain leads a team bonding weekend where underclassman had to pay for a weekend trip to OSU so the captain could Netflix and chill with a boy. Isn’t that what every D1 swimmer dreams of – spending the weekend in a neighborhood in Ohio and advised not to leave the house at dark… the mental health impacts, “optional” practices, no training trips, weekends with teammates = heavy drinking and resulting in injured athletes, internal investigations…

Reply to  Remember Me?
22 days ago

Who was cut?

Reply to  Curious
22 days ago

4 freshman a few juniors and I believe 1 senior

Reply to  Remember Me?
19 days ago

That’s not the case. Steve kicked swimmers out of the pool too this year…pretty low level coaching tactic. Not sad to see him go, only wish he’d done it before the season started.

23 days ago

Something happen with him and Bishop? Seems strange he would leave abruptly, unless there was issues with he & Bishop.

23 days ago

This “resignation” has to be due to his relationship with Coach Bishop.

About James Sutherland

James Sutherland

James swam five years at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, specializing in the 200 free, back and IM. He finished up his collegiate swimming career in 2018, graduating with a bachelor's degree in economics. In 2019 he completed his graduate degree in sports journalism. Prior to going to Laurentian, James swam …

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