Head Stanford men’s swimming coach Ted Knapp is stepping down from his position after 35 years in Palo Alto, the school announced Monday.
Knapp graduated from Stanford in 1981 and joined the coaching staff as a volunteer assistant in 1984. He took over as head coach for Skip Kenney in 2012. Under his watch, 28 Stanford swimmers combined for 70 individual national championships, and the program won seven team championships (1985, 1986, 1987, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1998) and 33 Pac-12 conference championships, most recently back-to-back titles in 2016 and 2017.
“I would like to thank Ted for his 39 years of service to our men’s swimming and diving program as a student-athlete, assistant coach, associate head coach and most recently as our Goldman Family Director of Men’s Swimming for the past seven seasons,” said Athletic Director Bernard Muir. “Since his first season as a member of the coaching staff in 1984, Ted has earned a reputation for developing champions not just in the pool, but in life, and has overseen Stanford’s status as one of the highest-performing programs in the nation academically.”
The school says it will begin searching for his replacement immediately.
“I’ve had the extreme pleasure of coaching at Stanford for 35 years,” Knapp said. “During that time, I’ve been surrounded by so much great support within the department and the university. That support, combined with the amazing quality of student-athletes I’ve had the pleasure of coaching, has made this experience a true honor. I especially want to thank my wife, Laurie, who has been through every moment of this journey with me. I couldn’t have had a better partner. I also want to thank Skip Kenney for the incredible opportunities and successes he allowed me to share with him over the many years we spent together on the pool deck. I am confident that my replacement will possess the experience, passion and focus to successfully lead this program and plan to assist with the transition however I can.”
In addition to his NCAA duties, Knapp was involved with national teams both in the U.S. and abroad in numerous capacities over the past two decades. He was the head men’s manager to the 2008 U.S. Olympic Team, and was the men’s manager for both the 1998 Goodwill Games in New York and the 2002 U.S. Junior Team, which competed in Rome. He was named assistant manager to the U.S. team at both the 2005 and 2007 World Championships.
In the 2013 Dual in the Pool, Knapp was an assistant coach for the competition in Glasgow, Scotland, as Stanford’s Eugene Godsode competed. Knapp also served as an assistant on the U.S.’s 2015 Pan American Games team.
With Stanford’s announcement, there are now 14 Division I head coaching positions vacant this offseason:
- The carousel began turning with the resignation of Cleveland State head coach Paul Graham a week before the Horizon League Championships.
- Southern Illinois head coach Rick Walker is retiring after 32 years at the helm of the Salukis’ program. His decision was announced in early February, though he finished out the season.
- Saint Francis University coach Kyle Almoney resigned on February 20th.
- In late February, Youngstown State head coach Ryan Purdy stepped down after he and the school couldn’t agree to terms on a contract for him to take over the newly-announced men’s program, in addition to his existing duties with the women’s team.
- Colgate coach Andy Waeger resigned from his position at Colgate after the team’s conference championship meet. He was there for 5 seasons.
- UNC head coach Rich DeSelm announced his resignation on March 4th, after a cancer diagnosis. We’ve heard rumors that the university is considering splitting the program into male and female teams.
- Evansville parted ways with head coach Brent Noble in mid March after just 1 season.
- Matt Bos resigned as the head coach at IUPUI in late March after his wife took a big job in Minnesota.
- Chris Ip was announced as ‘out’ at Brown, without explanation, in late March.
- No fooling: on April 1st, C. Robb Orr announced his retirement after 40 years at the helm of the Princeton men. The rumor on this one is that the school is not leaning toward combining programs.
- Alabama head coach Dennis Pursley announced his retirement on April 10th.
- Gardner-Webb is seeking a new head coach following Scott Teeters’ departure after just 1 season.
- Last Monday, Illinois State head coach Scott Cameron resigned after 4 seasons to pursue other opportunities.