The State of Division I Head Coaching Positions in the 2020 NCAA Offseason

Last year at this time, we were aboard the full-fledged “coaching carousel” that saw well over 10 Divison I head coaching positions open within two weeks of the 2018-19 NCAA Championships. While this season came to an unceremonious conclusion with the cancelation of all NCAA championship events in early March, we can already take a look at what positions are open for the 2020 offseason based on what also occurred during the season.

The process of hiring (and firing) appears to have been slowed, by and large, by the outbreak of the coronavirus. It’s also likely that some coaches had planned to retire after the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and the 2020 U.S. Olympic Trials and are now left with a decision to make about continuing on one more year until the rescheduled 2021 date.

Since the season ended, no new announcements about coach terminations have been made. All of the coaches below either left mid-season or announced that they would be leaving the program mid-season.

  • USC: By far the biggest opening we know about, or likely will know about this season. Storied head coach Dave Salo announced he’s stepping down after 14 years to focus on Olympians training at USC, leaving a one of the most successful teams in the country with an opening? We already wildly speculated about who might land the gig here.
  • Pepperdine: Former head coach Joe Spahn was put on administrative leave mid-season after athletes alleged bullying and other misconduct.  The school appointed Jana Vincent as interim head coach in January. Vincent, a 15-time NCAA All-American at Washington and Florida, went on to win PCSC Coach of the Year at the 2020 PCSC Championships and seems like an obvious choice to take over on a permanent contract.
  • Western Illinois: Western Illinois was without a head coach twice during the 2019-20 season. In September, former head coach of 10 years Greg Naumann was terminated due to a “lack of control and responsibility to ensure the principle of student-athlete well-being. In January, the team learned that head coach Scott Johansson would no longer be working with them, and that his departure was “a personal matter.”
  • Cal Poly: Tom Milich, the head coach at Cal Poly since 2006, announced in January he would retire at the conclusion of the academic year. The school promoted longtime assistant Phil Yoshida to interim head coach for the time being but is still looking for a permanent option (Yoshida is a finalist in that search).
  • Wisconsin – Green Bay: Former head coach Reed Robelot resigned from his position to take over as the head coach of LSU-based Tiger Aquatics in June of last year and the school promoted former assistant coach Eddie Gillie to interim head coach for the 2019-20 season. The school is eliminating tuition waivers for swimming & diving in July 2020.
  • Siena College: Head coach of 10 years Paul Kueterman resigned from his post in early March. Kueterman was the winningest coach in program history with 59 dual meet wins and five top-five finishes at the MAAC Championships during his tenure.
  • UNC Wilmington: The school terminated head swimming & diving coach Jason Memont in early May after six seasons with the program

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8 months ago

Any opportunities to also highlight vacancies at Division III schools who need quality head coaches?

Reply to  D-3?
8 months ago

If D3 AD’s are smart they’d search for a suitable interim (assistant, other local option) and re-open searches for long-term hires in 2021.

8 months ago

Any word on coaches interested in the USC job?

Reply to  Wow
8 months ago

Pete Carroll is in the rumor mill

Awsi Dooger
Reply to  Bruh
8 months ago


Reply to  Wow
8 months ago

Lane Kiffin

Reply to  Wow
8 months ago

We are hearing Coach Adam Kable. The Auzzie who looks after former 200 BR WR holder Matt Wilson.

8 months ago

The state of D1 Head Coaching Positions in the 2020 Offseason is about the same as they will be in 2021, 2022 and 2023..fading, fading fast and PERMANENT OFFSEASON. Walmart and Home Depot will be hiring.

SoCal Coach
Reply to  Ladyvoldisser
8 months ago

I agree. College swimming’s best days are now in the rear-view mirror.

any mouse
Reply to  Ladyvoldisser
8 months ago

I hate that you said this. I hate even more that you might be right.

About Torrey Hart

Torrey Hart

Torrey is from Oakland, CA, and majored in media studies and American studies at Claremont McKenna College, where she swam distance freestyle for the Claremont-Mudd-Scripps team. Outside of SwimSwam, she has bylines at Sports Illustrated, Yahoo Sports, SB Nation, and The Student Life newspaper.

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