Tennessee Assistant Jen Woodruff Steps Down

Tennessee women’s assistant coach Jennifer Woodruff has decided not to return from her maternity leave, and will step-down as Matt Kredich’s right-hand assistant in Knoxville, he confirmed Thursday.

Woodruff was surely set to be a huge piece of the continuing effort to combine the Volunteers’ men’s and women’s programs before next season, but there will be few hard-feelings on deck as she is choosing to spend more time with her new son Carter, who was born in March.

The 7-year assistant is regarded as one of the top assistants in the country, with more-than-one recruit we spoke with naming her, specifically, as a reason for their commitment.

She will still be around the program, as she and her husband Chris, who is the associate head coach of the men’s tennis team, aren’t going anywhere in the immediate future. When Ashley Jahn is officially made a part of the staff, the group will be her, Bret Lundgard from Army.

There will still be two more assistants added to the staff.

Woodruff will still be around, as her and husband Chris, the associate head coach of the men’s tennis team at Tennessee, aren’t going anywhere in the immediate future.

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joeb

Jen is a great coach. I am sure she will be missed. This is a great example of why we don’t have enough great female coaches in the sport. When they have a family, too many stop coaching.

Josh Christensen

“Too many stop coaching”
“Fall into the same trap”

So much negativity over a person putting family first. Guys, it’s just swimming.

Chris DeSantis

I hear you Josh, I think what people are trying to say is that it’s sad for swimming that someone great like Jen has to choose. Would love to have a culture in swimming where a great coach could stick around AND be there for her newborn child.

joeb

Exactly. Why do women have to quit their coaching career but men don’t?

Chris DeSantis

That questions deserves more than a few sentences.

1. Because America at large doesn’t have legal protections for women in the workplace (like guaranteed maternity leave). I don’t know about Tennessee specifically but I know that my place of work has no maternity leave.

2. Because coaching, and coaching swimming is a profession dominated by old men who in general (there are some exceptions) don’t care about this problem or don’t see it as a problem.

I could go on, but at this point you already probably realize I’m a Scandinavian socialist.

Josh Christensen

It seems like there is just a certain level of time commitment that is required to be a top assistant coach, especially at a place like Tennessee. Each person has to decide if they want to try and balance that with raising their family or if they want to move in a different direction. When you say swimming is dominated by old men, this is true, but I’m not sure it has anything to do with this situation. Is Woodruff staying at home with her child because she couldn’t land a head coaching job? Doubtful. So, what changes would you guys like to see that would allow women (or men) to be able to have more family time and still… Read more »

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder of SwimSwam.com. 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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