The Tulane women’s swimming & diving team is in search of both a new assistant swimming coach and a head diving coach.
The positions previously held by John Sirmon (diving) and Kosuke Kojima (assistant swimming coach) are both now unoccupied. Sources tell SwimSwam that Kojima was fired from his position, while Sirmon says that he resigned from his position.
Kojima served as the program’s assistant coach for four seasons, before which he spent a year as a volunteer assistant at Michigan. Prior to Michigan, he spent eight years as the head coach and a further three-and-a-half years as an assistant coach of the Counsilman Center Swim Team in Bloomington, Indiana.
Kojima, who has a Ph.D. in Human Performance from Indiana University, also taught undergraduate classes at Tulane.
Prior to coming to America, he attended Chuo University in Tokyo. There he was a swimmer specializing int he 200 IM, where he ranked 29th in the world in 1998.
Sirmon spent three seasons at Tulane. Prior to that, he spent three years with the Carolina Diving Academy and two years as the head diving coach of the Hoover Dive Club in Alabama. Prior collegiate experience came at Birmingham-Southern College also in Alabama.
Tulane sophomore diver Paige McKenzie finished 6th on platform at the 2022 AAC Championship meet after finishing 7th in 2021. Her 226.50 at the 2022 AAC Championship meet is the best score in program history.
The Tulane women finished 3rd out of 5 teams at the 2022 AAC Championship meet, behind Houston and SMU but ahead of Cincinnati and a revived East Carolina program.
The program has faced challenges, including its on-campus pool being closed since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in March of 2020. Two of the team’s best swimmers, All-American Lilly Byrne and AAC runner-up Christiana Williams, have both announced plans to transfer next season. The program does have reinforcements coming next season, though: Isabella Lojewski will arrive in the fall with times that already rank her among the best swimmers in program history.
SwimSwam has reached out to both Tulane head coach Leah Stancil and Kojima for more information about the departures, but neither has responded.