Mike Litzinger Resigns As Notre Dame Head Coach, Team Cancels Weekend Dual Meet

Mike Litzinger has resigned as the head coach of Notre Dame’s swimming & diving program and plans on retiring from the sport, UND Director of Athletics Jack Swarbick announced Monday.

In addition to Lizinger’s departure, associate head coach Aaron Bell is also no longer with the team.

“Making changes in the leadership of one of our programs is never easy, especially at the start of the competitive season, but recent events convinced Mike and me that a change in the direction of our program was necessary,” Swarbrick said.

Swarbrick did not elaborate on what those “recent events” were.

The school was sued by former associate head coach April Jensen earlier this year in federal court. She alleged that Litzinger treated her discriminatorily when after she told him that she was pregnant in 2019.

The case was formally dismissed by a judge last week at the mutual request of the involved parties. While no settlement agreement was announced, a mutual request for dismissal often implies an out-of-court settlement.

An attorney for Jensen told SwimSwam on Monday that he “cannot comment.”

Athletes who spoke to SwimSwam on the condition of anonymity say that they were informed in a team meeting on Monday afternoon of Litzinger’s departure, shortly before the official announcement by the school. Bell resigned shortly after.

Athletes say they were surprised by the announcement and were not given any specific reasons for the decision.

The Irish had a home dual meet scheduled for this weekend against Cincinnati, but the team will no longer be competing following Litzinger’s departure.

“We will instead use this week to develop an interim plan designed to allow our student-athletes to compete this year,” Swarbrick added.

Litzinger was named the head women’s coach at Notre Dame in April 2015, and assumed the role of head men’s coach one year later.

Prior to joining the Irish, Litzinger was an assistant coach at the University of North Carolina under coach Rich DeSelm for eight seasons.

Bell has been an associate head coach at Notre Dame for the last five seasons, joining the staff in June 2016 after spending five seasons at Virginia Tech.

Mark Bradshaw remains in place as the team’s head diving coach in his first season.

The school says it will begin a national search for a full-time leader later this year.

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Sid Frisco
1 year ago

More to come out west.

1 year ago

The question is why did Bell leave?

Last edited 1 year ago by Woof
Reply to  Woof
11 months ago

Anything else come out on bells departure?

1 year ago

How quickly did it take for daddy to call ND AD to find a landing spot for Sam Busch. After all he tricked Craig Littlepage, another ACC AD to take his other boy, for a position he was clearly unqualified to hold.

Time For Barta To Go
1 year ago

Here for the comments.

* turns on popcorn maker *

Fun Guy
1 year ago

Shane Tusup seems like a perfect candidate to fix a culture issue.

Nate The Great
1 year ago

I wonder if they have called Ted Lasso yet.

Sid Frisco
Reply to  Nate The Great
1 year ago

Or Roy Kent

1 year ago

I wonder if Brian Barnes is in a position to come back short term as interim until they can find a suitable permanent (as permanent as college coaches can be anyway) coach to fill the position. Finding a head coach at that level in October isn’t going to be easy.

Reply to  SwimCoachDad
1 year ago

He’s currently an associate head coach at NC State, so, seems unlikely he’d leave there in October to go back to Notre Dame.

Dazed & Confused
Reply to  SwimCoachDad
1 year ago

Kate Kovenoc, Barnes’s assistant coach at ND for many years, has turned around the women’s program at Brown.

Time for change
1 year ago

These Alpha coaches need to remember it isn’t the 1990s. You are seeing them “retire” or “resign” all over the place. That’s because their behavior is a walking lawsuit and we don’t need to put up with it.

Kudos to ND for getting rid of toxic masculinity.

Reply to  Time for change
1 year ago

So what part of the program are you in?

Remember Me?
Reply to  Time for change
1 year ago

No serious athlete wants to swim for a Beta

turtle soup tonight!
Reply to  Remember Me?
1 year ago

Don’t you coach 12-year olds? Super weird thing for an age group coach to say.

Ledecky will go under 8 minutes in the 800
Reply to  Time for change
1 year ago

The fact that this has so many downvotes worries me

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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