Last week, we reported that LSU Head Swim Coach Adam Schmitt resigned his position at LSU. There was no immediate reason given for his resignation, although his teams seemed to underperform for their talent level.
Recent comments made to the LSU student newspaper The Daily Reveille, however, indicate that the teams had simply lost confidence in their coach.
At the end of the 2010 season, associate athletic director of student services Miriam Segar met with several of the team’s athletes to get their feelings on the coach. Senior captain Sean LeNeave made the following statement, by email, that sums up the results of those findings.
“For the program to excel further, it was in the team’s best interest to have a head coach that everyone trusted, subscribed to and believed in. Unfortunately, the majority of the team no longer saw that in Adam (Schitt).”
A statement like this is a kiss-of-death for any collegiate coach in any sport. But maybe even more-so in a sport like swimming, where athletes have to accept that they will not be competing at their best for the majority of the season. In fact, for half of the season they actually expect to see their performance decline, and must trust that there is a long-term plan in place for them to succeed in March.
As for a potential replacement, LeNeave says that the team members unanimously throw their support behind assistant coach David Geyer. (Editor’s Note: Shortly after posting of this story, it was announced that Geyer had in fact been selected to head the program.)
“The team in its whole entirety has the most confidence and respect for Dave as a coach and a person,” LeNeave said. “He is the one to hold most of the team together in hard times. He teaches the necessary discipline without going a step overboard. His passion is the swimmer and their best interest, and he has showed that to every single athlete who has been under him.”