Brandeis University coach Mike Kotch is no longer a part of the school’s swimming & diving program, Brandeis says. A local newspaper reports that Kotch had been put on administrative leave following a human resources investigation.
Kotch had been the program’s head coach for five seasons. He was actually hired in the summer of 2011, taking over a Division III program that had been suspended due to mechanical issues with the school’s pool facility. The program was resurrected with Kotch at the helm for the 2012-2013 season.
His name no longer appears on the team’s coaching page, with “TBA” listed in the head coaching role. A Brandeis representative said Kotch is “no longer with the University,” but couldn’t give any more detail.
But local paper The Brandeis Hoot reports that Kotch was placed on administrative leave in May, pending the results of a human resources investigation. That story cites an email from acting athletic director Jim Zotz to the swim team, noting that Kotch had been placed on administrative leave. The Brandeis Hoot story also quotes several anonymous sources who say swimmers reached out to administration to complain about “unprofessional conduct” by Kotch in the past.
Brandeis recently fired basketball coach Brian Meehan based on complaints about his conduct and allegations that he made racially-charged remarks to his players. The Brandeis Hoot report says that that incident brought “formal investigators” to Brandeis, and that swimmers reached out to those investigators to complain about Kotch, though swimmers reference in the Brandeis Hoot‘s report say Kotch’s behavior was “not on the same scale as the whole basketball coach situation.”
More specifically, a letter drafted by the swim team as a group complained that Kotch would make inappropriate remarks about athlete’s weights, that it was “tradition” for the team’s coaches to go out drinking while the team was on training trip and that “while intoxicated, Kotch messaged the swim team group chat making fun of a person who had recently been kicked off the team,” according to The Brandeis Hoot.
The school didn’t have any further information on whether Kotch resigned or was fired, and would only say that they hoped to be able to announce a replacement soon.