Northwestern NCAA Qualifier Jamie Brennan Enters Transfer Portal After Coaching Change

Northwestern swimmer Jamie Brennan has entered the NCAA Transfer Portal a few weeks after head coach Katie Robinson stepped down to take an associate head coaching job at Stanford.

While this is outside of the allotted 60-day window for swimmers to enter the transfer portal after the conclusion of championship season, one of the few exceptions to that new rule is in cases where the head coach of a program leaves – as was the case here.

That means Brennan should be immediately eligible to compete again this fall if she does choose to transfer – and the NCAA qualifying swimmer should receive a lot of interest.

In her freshman season at Northwestern, Brennan earned a pair of Honorable Mention All-America awards from the CSCAA.

She qualified individually for the NCAA Championships as well, though she added time in both the 200 free (1:49.14 – 60th) and 200 IM (2:00.91 – 60th) at the meet.

A highly-touted recruit out of high school, Brennan showed big drops in her freshman season with the Wildcats, both in her individual events and as a relay contributor:

HS Best NCAA Best
50 free 23.20
22.06 (rolling start)
100 free 49.75
48.73 (rolling start)
200 free 1:49.19 1:45.95
200 IM 1:59.31 1:56.87

Her 17.5 individual points at the Big Ten Championships ranked 9th for Northwestern.

Her success carried into long course, where at US Nationals two weeks ago, she swam a new personal best of 2:16.84 in the 200 IM for 32nd place, and 26.05 in the 50 free in a Time Trial. That 200 IM time moves her closer to the US Olympic trials standard of 2:16.09.

Brennan is the daughter of Cynthia ‘Sippy’ (Woodhead) Brennan, one of the greatest age group swimmers in American history. Woodhead won a silver medal in the 200 free at the 1984 Olympic Games and was also a three-time World Champion and six-time Pan American Games champion. Those three World Championships were won at the 1978 event when she was only 14-years-old.

Sippy (Woodhead) Brennan broke 7 World Records and 18 American Records in her decorated career. She attended USC for college.

In high school, Jamie Brennan, a native of Los Angeles, was a four-time CIF-Southern Section Champion individually, winning the 200 IM and 100 fly as a senior and the 100 free and 200 free as a junior. She is also a three-time USA Swimming Futures Champion, winning the 50 free, 100 free, and 200 IM in long course in 2021.

Entering the NCAA Transfer Portal does not require an athlete to change schools; instead, it gives them the opportunity to discuss the possibility of transfer with coaches at other programs. We’ve seen a handful of examples in recent seasons where swimmers have entered the portal before ultimately deciding to stay put.

Brennan is the first Northwestern swimmer to enter the portal since the change was announced.

Northwestern has not yet named Robinson’s replacement.

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11 months ago

While this appears unrelated to other Northwestern sports teams, holy cow their athletic department is a dumpster fire right now. They fired their head football coach for hazing allegations of the players and lack of institutional control (somehow retained the assistants though), then just this morning I saw the baseball coach was fired for similar reasons (well, bullying by the coach, not hazing by the players). The Northwestern swim coach left for probably a better job at Stanford…it just seems like that dog in the fire meme at Northwestern, “Everything is fine.”

While that’s not related to swimming per say, this swimmer hitting the transfer portal is going to likely be just one of many student athletes at northwestern heading… Read more »

Happy Slappy
Reply to  jim
11 months ago

Not even in the same stratosphere

11 months ago

I’d guess she’s headed to SMU. I mean, who wouldn’t?

11 months ago

Braden, any rumors on applicants for either the Northwestern or Kentucky jobs?

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder/co-owner of He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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