Northwestern University will combine its men’s and women’s swimming & diving programs under one new coach. A job opening for “Director of Swimming and Diving (Men’s/Women’s) is already listed on the school’s site.
Observers could already see hints of that intention earlier this spring, when both the men’s and women’s head coaches resigned within two days of one another – women’s coach Abby Steketee on April 11 and men’s coach Jarod Schroeder on April 13. At the time, the school said it was “exploring all options” with regard to combining the programs.
Dual-gender combined programs have been on the rise in the NCAA lately, and Northwestern is the fourth Big Ten program to combine in the past 7 years. Minnesota combined its programs under Kelly Kremer in 2011, Michigan under Mike Bottom in 2012 and Ohio State in 2017 under Bill Dorenkott.
Northwestern was previously one of just two teams in the Big Ten to have separate men’s and women’s programs. Purdue remains the only Big Ten school with separate programs, the men under Dan Ross and the women under John Klinge.
Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio State, Wisconsin, Penn State, Iowa, Michigan State and Northwestern will now all field combined programs. Nebraska, Rutgers and Illinois only field women’s teams with no men’s swimming & diving program offered at those schools.
There’s no word yet on the coach who will eventually lead Northwestern’s program.