Rumor Mill: LSU Pursuing Top Power 5 Assistants to Fill Head Coaching Position

Reports from around the country are that the LSU Tigers are pursuing assistants from some of the top collegiate programs in the country to fill their vacant head swimming & diving coaching position.

Without a strong base of alumni within the collegiate coaching ranks, like we’ve seen in other openings, like the one at conference rivals Auburn, the LSU job is a more wide-open proposition. The job came open two weeks ago when Dave Geyer, who had been with the program for 16 years, including 11 as head coach, resigned.

Among the names that have reportedly had conversations with the LSU athletics director about the job include Ohio State associate head coach Matt Bowe, University of Florida associate head coach Steve Jungbluth, and Indiana associate head coach Cory Chitwood.

Of that group, the one with the strongest LSU ties is Chitwood, who spent the 2012-2013 season as an assistant at LSU – his first full-time collegiate coaching job.

Current LSU athletics director Scott Woodward is an LSU alumnus, but was not at LSU during Chitwood’s prior stop there. At the time, he was serving as the athletics director at the University of Washington, where he was responsible for cutting the men’s and women’s swimming & diving programs.

Update: One more name that has had talks with LSU is Ron Aitken, who is currently the head coach of the Sandpipers of Nevada swim club in Las Vegas. That program, which focuses mostly on 18 & under athletes, is one of a handful of clubs recognized as a Gold Medal Club nationally. The program produces multiple NCAA Division I athletes every year. He has coached with the Sandpipers since 1994 and also is the head coach of state power high school Bishop Gorman. A 1992 graduate of UNLV, Aitken doesn’t have any college coaching experience.

Woodward has been pitching around the country that he’s ready to spend to bring in a coach who will improve the level of the program. The former head coach Geyer had a base salary of $115,000 for the 2019-2020 fiscal year. That spending, though, is not expected to include a new pool. While LSU has an 8-lane, 50 meter indoor pool with a separate diving well, though it doesn’t have the same sense of scale or flash as some top programs in the conference like Georgia, Texas A&M, or Auburn.

According to USA Today, LSU ranked 10th in the NCAA in the 2018-2019 school year in revenue, pulling in almost $158 million. That came out to almost $9 million in profits.

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1 year ago

Well, we all know what the outcome is now, don’t we? And he wasn’t even on the radar.

1 year ago

Why not pursue Power 5 head coaches with connections to the LSU program? Matt Leach has seen pretty good success his first few years at Washington State, PAC12 Champion and NCAA qualifiers. Phenomenal coach and great human being- could be someone to look at. Spent time as a GA and assistant at LSU from 2004-2009!

1 year ago

The pool really needs to be part of the equation. Without that, recruiting is going to be difficult. There are many high schools that have better facilities. Not sure you can get a quality coach if you handcuff them.

Reply to  DadCoach
1 year ago

Agree 110%

1 year ago

If this rumor is true,LSU should strongly consider Ron Aitken.
This organization supposedly is a knowledgeable training power-house on par and superseding many college programs.
Consistently producing national & international swimmers under the age of 18 who would score, or have the potential to score at conference & NCCA’s
Have to think Aitken would make an impact in the SEC within a short time. Choose wisely LSU.

Reply to  Wallace
1 year ago

I don’t know Ron, but seems he is very distance oriented with most of their success in those events?!? Will that approach work in SEC and NCAA?

LSU Tiger
1 year ago

@BradenKeith What are your thoughts on Steve Mellor for head coach?

1 year ago

No way lsu only made 9 million in profit

All the costs/perks/fluff and still big money leftover

Fuzzy math

Reply to  Doconc
1 year ago

i do not think that they want to make profit, as they are not a for-profit university, that is why they spend so much

1 year ago

Bobby Guntoro. Former NC State associate HC & sprint coach. LSU > UNCW. He’s pulling in some solid talents with no scholarships in Wilmington

1 year ago

Peter Verhoef at Bolles. He has gotten them turned around quickly, built a pool, and has experience with high performance from his time working for Marsh and his own career.

Reply to  TurnKey
1 year ago

But has he taken Bolles to another level?

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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