Yesterday, the head coach of Notre Dame Women’s Swimming, Brian Barnes, announced he would be resigning from his position, effective immediately, for personal and family reasons. This announcement came only a week after last year’s assistant coach, Kate Kovenock, was named the new head women’s coach at Brown.
There was speculation as to who would take over the program, but sources tell us a new interim head coach has been named and an announcement from the university is expected later today. Two independent sources who learned of the news first-hand, but asked not to be named because the official announcement had not been made, told us that Tim Welsh has been named Interim Head Coach of the Notre Dame Women’s Swim Team.
Tim Welsh announced his retirement at the end of the 2013-2014 season after 29 years as head coach of the men’s swim team. He is currently the second longest-serving coach in Notre Dame history. Welsh has coached at Notre Dame since 1985. From 1985 to 1995, he coached both the men’s and women’s programs. He finished his career with Notre Dame as the head coach of the men’s team.
As the women’s coach, “Welsh’s teams posted a 93-50-1 (.649) dual meet record, winning Midwest Collegiate Conference titles in each season from 1987-95. His teams also claimed the Eastern Intercollegiate championship twice. The first title came in 1990 and the second in 1995, when the last women’s program Welsh coached finished with the best record in school history, 14-1. During his 10 years at the helm of the women’s program, Welsh sent 11 swimmers to the NCAA Championships, including three-time All-American Tanya Williams. In that span, every Irish women’s University record was broken.” (UND.com)
The University of Notre Dame released their official statement naming Tim Welsh as the Interim Head Coach as they search for a long-term replacement.
“I feel confident that Tim will be able to step into this interim role at Notre Dame and make it as much of a seamless transition as it can be for our women’s swimmers,” says Notre Dame Vice President and Athletics Director Jack Swarbrick. “Tim knows the program and, just as important, he knows and understands Notre Dame.”
“In one sense I had been looking forward to stepping away from the day-to-day challenges of coaching, and yet I truly look forward to this assignment,” says Welsh. “I’ve obviously worked closely with Brian the last half-dozen years, so I have a familiarity with the team. The program has made great strides in recent years, and I hope I can help lead that group to continued success.”