Western Connecticut State Cuts Men’s and Women’s Swimming

Western Connecticut State University is cutting its swimming and diving programs after the 2023-2024 academic year, effective in May.

The NCAA Division III school, which competes in the Little East Conference for swimming, announced its plans to discontinue the programs in a statement earlier this month.

The decision came after a full review of the school by all campus departments.

“Athletics has gone through thorough multiple reviews of its programs over the past seven years,” University President Manohar Singh said in the statement. “Results of the most recent reviews made it evident that at this moment we will not be able to continue men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams going forward.”

Western Connecticut State’s athletics department and university staff said they remain committed to supporting the impacted student-athletes throughout this transition, providing a variety of resources for students to seek guidance.

“The student-athlete’s contributions, not just in the pool but in the classrooms, labs, and in the community, are celebrated as valued members of our community,” said Athletic Director Lori Mazza. “Our top priority right now is to provide support to each affected student.”

Western Connecticut swimming had five male swimmers and four female swimmers on its roster for the 2023-2024 season.

The men’s team placed 5th out of five teams at the Little East Conference Championships, while the women placed 9th out of 10 teams.

Despite Western Connecticut cutting their swim programs, the state still has some positive news to share in relation to the sport. University of Bridgeport, about 20 miles away from Western Connecticut, just announced plans to reinstate their swimming and diving programs in the fall of 2025.

Western Connecticut State will continue to support its eight other sports programs for both men and women.

In addition, Mazza announced just a few days later that the university will introduce seven new sports teams to the athletics’ roster over the next two years, suggesting that the decision to cut the swim programs had little to do with finances.

The new teams include women’s golf, men’s and women’s ice hockey, and men’s and women’s indoor and outdoor track and field. All teams are expected to reach NCAA status by the 2026-2027 academic year.

The school began the women’s swimming program in the 2012-2013 season, while the men’s program kicked off for the 2018-2019 season.

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Hannah Benenati
1 month ago

This needs more attention. Lori Mazza never respected the program, the athletes, or the coach. It is a total shame. I swam for Western Connecticut during my time at West Conn (during COVID). We worked hard when other teams weren’t working at all. We worked hard in the pool, on deck and in the classroom but it was never appreciated. I am ashamed of my schools athletic department. I have already spoken to school officials but my frustrations are still present.

Yes it was a small team but we were a family and I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way.

Coach Jill Cook was the best coach I could’ve asked for, she was never showed enough appreciation… Read more »

Mark Rauterkus
1 month ago

Get more kids on the team! Recruit and make it more fun.

Lyn Sheaffer
1 month ago

The athletic director should be terminated
The team was NEVER supported good luck now! New president I wonder can he even swim?? I would love to know what the price ticket is for the new team’s last I heard west conn was Millions in the hole!!!!!

1 month ago

The weirdest thing is the university just a few days later announced they would add womens golf, mens and womens indoor and outdoor track and field, and mens and womens ice hockey. Clearly was not a financial decision to cut the swim teams.

Reply to  juddy96
1 month ago

Just 9 athletes may have been the bigger issue.

Happy Slappy
Reply to  juddy96
1 month ago

Not enough interest, probably stemming from not enough support or total misunderstanding of the sport.

Hannah Benenati
Reply to  juddy96
1 month ago

This is the most frustrating part as a former member of the swim and dive team. Unfortunately it was a financial decisions, and more current teams are at stake and academic programs have been cut but it doesn’t make sense as to why they’re adding new teams.

1 month ago

So they can all drive 50 minutes south to Bridgeport?

1 month ago

Add 1, Minus 1 for Connecticut…

1 month ago

Weird day for connecticut swimming