For the 2nd time in the 2019-2020 academic year, Western Illinois University has lost their head swimming and diving coach. The job last opened up on September 10th, when the prior head coach Greg Naumann was terminated due to a “lack of control and responsibility to ensure the principle of student-athlete well-being.” Naumann had been the head coach for 10 seasons and was named the 2019 Summit League Men’s Coach of the Year after leading his team to 4 school records.
Naumann was replaced in November by WIU alumnus Scott Johanssen, but multiple members of the women’s swimming & diving team tell SwimSwam that they were informed of Johanssen’s departure from the program on January 30th, with only 20 days to go until the team’s conference championship meets. One athlete said that they were not given more details, but that director of athletics Danielle Surprenant told them that “it was a personal matter” and that Johanssen would no longer be working with the team.
SwimSwam has reached out to the WIU Athletics Department for more information, though when Naumann departed in the fall, they responded that they do not comment on personnel matters (although prior press releases about personnel matters in other coaches belie that claim). SwimSwam has also filed a Freedom of Information Act with the university for more information on Johanssen’s departure.
Johanssen, who was a team captain at Western Illinois in 1983, is a veteran coach who among other stops was the head coach at Augustana College in Illinois from 2008 until 2014. There he was twice named as the conference coach of the year.
Alex Peach, who is in his 2nd season as a graduate assistant for swimming, is currently leading the program the swimmers tell SwimSwam. WIU finished their regular season on February 7th at Iowa and are now preparing for the Summit League Championships that run from February 19th-22nd in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Johanssen is still listed as the team’s head coach on its website.
Naumann’s contract was for $3,935 per month, with a 10 month term, meaning a salary of about $39,350 over the course of a season. That makes Western Illinois one of the lowest-paying head coaching jobs in Division I swimming.