Western Illinois Terminated Swim Coach Greg Naumann, Documents Show

Western Illinois terminated former head swimming & diving coach Greg Naumann just six weeks into his season contract, university documents show. Naumann was terminated due to “a lack of control and responsibility to ensure the principle of student-athlete well-being.”

That’s according to the termination letter the school sent to Naumann on September 10. News broke in late September that the school was in the market for a new head swim coach. When we asked the school for clarification on Naumann’s status, they refused to comment. But a Freedom of Information Act request turned up public employment records on Naumann, including his contract – which was set to run from August 1, 2019 to May 31, 2020 – and his letter of termination on September 10.

The school officially offered Naumann that one-year contract back in May. Documents show the salary at $3935 a month, or about $39,350 over the 10 months of the contract. That’s the same pay that Illinois public records showed for Naumann back in 2017.

Athletic Director Danielle Surprenant wrote to Naumann on September 10, officializing his termination.

“Your employment has been terminated due to a lack of control and responsibility to ensure the principle of student-athlete well-being as outlined by the NCAA and Western Illinois Intercollegiate Athletics,” Surprenant wrote.

We asked the school to clarify what that meant, but a spokesperson only said “we cannot further discuss this personnel matter.”

Naumann had been the head coach at Western Illinois for 10 seasons and was a swimming alum from the program. We’ve reached out to him for comment, but have not yet received a response.

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ACC fan
1 year ago

What could this mean?

hookem91
Reply to  ACC fan
1 year ago

IMO program run amok with issues that the coach couldn’t get under control. Could be toxic team culture, could be alcohol, could be just about anything that the NCAA prohibits.

Snarky
1 year ago

Hell, at $39k a year he was probably delivering pizzas after practice to make ends meet and couldn’t keep the swimmers in check.

AfterShock
1 year ago

What about severance?

flygirl2021
Reply to  AfterShock
1 year ago

He was paid $3.95

Becky D
Reply to  flygirl2021
1 year ago

So they rounded up to a full hour?

PG20
1 year ago

Why do we need put this out there for the public? Let the guy go get another job where he has more support. He did good things for a program that was briefly cut right before he was hired. Now every possible employer will do a quick search and find this.

Admin
Reply to  PG20
1 year ago

You don’t think that the public, future employers, and future recruits have the right to know that he was terminated for “lack of control and responsibility to ensure the principle of student-athlete well-being”?

Adam
Reply to  Braden Keith
1 year ago

Just because they have the right to know, doesn’t mean you have to make it public. There is a reason the spokesperson won’t give you any more additional information. Writing this article only makes it harder for him to move on and improve whatever were made.

Admin
Reply to  Adam
1 year ago

The history of this sport makes it very clear that expecting people who have the right to know about coaches who behave inappropriately to find out from means other than making it public through media is a fallacy. This sport has a long and shameful history of allowing coaches to “move on” and continue to do the same things that got them fired in the first place.

I understand your perspective and the desire of this coach to keep this quiet; however, I fundamentally disagree with the philosophy that people will just find out on their own, and that’s good enough, so that the media should stay out of it.

Adam
Reply to  Braden Keith
1 year ago

It’s not a philosophy, it’s a policy. All swim teams are required to do their own background check.

Admin
Reply to  Adam
1 year ago

That is flawed reasoning on multiple levels:

1) College teams are not required to do their own background check
2) I’m not sure what kind of background check service you use for your team, but the basic “pay $50, get a report back” service doesn’t usually include employment terminations. I suspect that the vast majority of teams are using that, and not filing FOIA requests with previous employers. The reason I suspect this is because it happens time-and-time again that coaches are fired from jobs for reasons that should disqualify them from future coaching, and they get another job anyway. We still don’t know what happened, but at least now teams have the opportunity to explore this matter further… Read more »

Adam
Reply to  Braden Keith
1 year ago

1) college teams are required to perform background checks.
2) Our team uses the same background check that is required by all USA swim teams. We also contact previous employers and require reference letters.

If a company doesn’t want to take the extra steps like we do, then that’s up to them.

Finally, I Never said it shouldn’t have been published. It’s HOW it’s being published is the issue.

Meeeeee
Reply to  Adam
1 year ago

Completely agree. State universities have background checks in their job announcements. it is required.

Alex Donner
Reply to  Braden Keith
1 year ago

Yes. Look away the situation with Nick Wallcotton in NC. After college he coached at a club team, was hired and fired at a college. The college fired him with vague language like this so a young guy and his new wife could try and find a new job in the same field. Hired to coach at another club team.

He’s in jail now for statutory rape.

PG20
Reply to  Braden Keith
1 year ago

So the perspective of Swimswam is that Greg Naumann has done a bad thing that everyone should know as much as possible about and potential employers should think twice? You’re right that there’s a history in our sport of inappropriate behavior, but we know none of the details about what happened here or whether Greg’s behavior was actually inappropriate. WIU has an AD that has been in that position for a year. It’s possible Greg just didn’t get along with her or someone else, or he’s a scapegoat for something else. College coaches have it hard enough (we all know what Greg was being paid) without the media making efforts to block them from future employment. Greg Naumann is no… Read more »

Dmswim
Reply to  PG20
1 year ago

SwimSwam is a swimming news site. This is news. Do you get mad when NBC or CBS reports on the reasons a major CEO was terminated?

Adam
Reply to  Dmswim
1 year ago

I do when it is misleading, but I never said I was mad. I like SwimSwam and so do the hundreds of swimmers on our team. I wake up to this site every day and look forward to stealing every practice and pancakes set that is posted!

DP Spellman
1 year ago

I would like to hear Greg’s side of this story.
I’m sure it will include the lack of support he was dealing with each season from the Athletics Department.

cbswims
Reply to  DP Spellman
1 year ago

Airing dirty laundry only makes everything else dirty.

DP Spellman
Reply to  cbswims
1 year ago

…..but can set the record (public narrative) straight too.

Marcus
1 year ago

As someone who swam for Greg in the past, I can tell you firsthand that he doesn’t care about the “student” portion of the “student-athlete.” He forced numerous teammates of mine to miss class/tests in order to travel across the state on multi-day trips for dual meets with no concern for how this would affect their academics. This was in a D-III program, so there were no scholarship athletes, but he expected the level of commitment that can only be expected at a D-I, scholarship level.

MarcusIsWrong
Reply to  Marcus
1 year ago

This is unbelievably incorrect in so many ways.

1) You were a collegiate level athlete. Missing class for events is a given. If you don’t like that then you shouldn’t be an athlete. If you can’t manage that then you shouldn’t be an athlete.
2) Just because they didn’t want to give YOU a scholarship doesn’t mean they didn’t give swimming scholarships. My wife swam for WIU for 4 years and had the majority of her tuition paid for. But then again, she was a good student-athlete…
3) WIU athletics is D-1. All of it. Including swimming. How could you be part of the team and not know that?

About Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson swam for nearly twenty years. Then, Jared Anderson stopped swimming and started writing about swimming. He's not sick of swimming yet. Swimming might be sick of him, though. Jared was a YMCA and high school swimmer in northern Minnesota, and spent his college years swimming breaststroke and occasionally pretending …

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