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.