Wild Speculation: Who Will Take Over For Vic Riggs At West Virginia?

West Virginia’s Vic Riggs resigned from his head coaching position after being with the program for the last 17 years.

According the public records, Riggs made $134,611.71 in 2023 and has hovered in the $130-140K range since 2018. The West Virginia men and women compete in the Big 12 Conference, which will be without Texas for the first time this upcoming season as Texas is moving to the SEC.

Let’s wildly speculate about who might take over this job.

The two most obvious choices are West Virginia alums who are currently coaching elsewhere in the NCAA, to notable success.

Pablo Marmolejo, Head Coach, Delaware- Marmolejo is a West Virginia alum as he graduated from the program in 2009 before spending the 2009-2011 seasons with the program as a graduate assistant. He graduated in 2011 with a masters in Public Administration. After graduation, Marmolejo moved to the University of Delaware working as an assistant and recruiting director from 2012-2015. He then spent a few years away from collegiate coaching as he coached club swimming with Delaware Swim Team. Then, in 2018, he arrived back at Delaware as he was hired as head coach in May 2018. So far in his second stint with the Blue Hens, Marmolejo has risen the program to be at the top of the Colonial Athletic Association (CAA). Both teams finished 2nd at the 2024 CAA Championships finishing only behind UNCW. Marmolejo helped coach Toni Sabev to the 2024 NCAA Championships as Sabev became Delaware’s first NCAA qualifier in program history.

Jason Calanog, Associate Head Coach, Texas A&M (Men)- Calanog is also a West Virginia alum as he graduated in 2007. He served as a volunteer assistant for West Virginia during the 2006-2007 season. After graduation, Calanog coached at The Bolles School in Florida from 2007-2015 where he most famously coached Caeleb Dressel. After Bolles, he arrived as an assistant with Texas A&M in 2015 and was promoted to associate head coach in 2019. Earlier this month, it was announced that Texas A&M would combine its men’s and women’s swimming and diving programs upon the retirement of women’s head coach Steve Bultman. With the combining of both programs, the situation for Calanog and the Texas A&M staff is up in the air for the time being. The Texas A&M men swam to a 16th place finish at 2024 NCAAs and were 4th (out of 10 teams) at 2024 SECs. The men’s team tied their program-high with a 10th place at NCAAs in 2021.

Payton Brooks, Head Coach/Director of Competitive Swimming, Baylor Swim Club- It’s rare for Power 5 programs to hire head coaches straight out of the club or high school ranks, but Brooks is in a bit of a different position because he’s just a couple of years removed from a trajectory in the NCAA that was going to land him in charge of a program anyway. Prior to being hired at the Baylor Swim Club in October 2022, he spent three years as an assistant coach at Virginia Tech, where the men’s team finished 11th at the NCAA Championships. He also spent a year as the head coach at D2 Alderson-Broaddus University in 2014-2015. Brooks is a West Virginia alumnus who swam for four years during the program’s heyday under Sergio Lopez. That included swimming on the 2007 Big East Championship team. He then spent his fifth year as a member of the West Virginia football team as a wide receiver, where he was the Offensive Scout Team Player of the Year.

Bonuses:

  • Wyatt Collins, Former Texas Men’s Associate Head Coach– With the arrival of Bob Bowman and now the hiring of Erik Posegay, it looks as if Collins will be looking for a new home. Collins was with the Texas men since 2014 starting as an assistant and being promoted to associate head coach in 2021.
  • Cory Chitwood, Indiana Associate Head Coach– Chitwood has been with Indiana for five seasons now and works primarily with the distance group, including Mariah Denigan who will represent the US in Open Water swimming in Paris. The connection here is having coached current senior Ivan Puskovitch who also has represented the US in Open Water competition as most recently both were at 2024 Worlds.
  • Damion Dennis, IUPUI Head Coach– Dennis has been the head coach at IUPUI since June 2019 but spent 11 season with West Virginia prior to that. West Virginia has been the longest stop in his coaching career as he has also been at UCSD, Princeton, and Michigan.

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ShamWow
1 month ago

I’m not sure why Rick West is not in this list given his experience and commitment to the program. Seems like he was the glue that held the team together. If anyone contributed to the culture of Mountaineer swimming it was Rick.

JRich
1 month ago

I’m not sure why Rick West is not in this list given his experience and commitment to the program. Seems like he was the glue that held the team together. If anyone contributed to the culture of Mountaineer swimming it was Rick.

SheCanCoach2024
1 month ago

For Penn State or WVU what about the women out there? Love hearing votes for men who are good at coaching and are alum, and there are plenty of women out there and some more than qualified than those 3 men who the nod to them being because they graduated from WVU or they can coach a handful of kids. There is more to being a head coach than the actual coaching side of that. Can the candidate manage people: team, staff, support staff, manage up; communication; are they authentic and curious or is it their way or the highway; are they comfortable with ambiguity; and can they grow these kids and staff members out of the pool who are… Read more »

ex-swim coach
Reply to  SheCanCoach2024
1 month ago

For what it’s worth, Amanda Caldwell is from Martins Ferry, OH

ForGotham
Reply to  SheCanCoach2024
1 month ago

I’m going to need people actually proving themselves on this list, not just a list of women that are coaching at big schools. In reverse order:
Florida state is bad, Tulane is bad, Dyer hasn’t proven herself yet she’s not been head coach long enough for me to see what she’s capable of, TCU is bad, miami ohio has been getting better I’ll give Hollie a nod on this list, Georgia tech is underperforming, agreed on Juncker, I rarely ever see Ashley talked about but this could be a good role for her, Blaire isn’t leaving UVA for WVU unless she’s got family or her husband gets a job that’s too good to pass up, murslack not even close… Read more »

Jeah
Reply to  SheCanCoach2024
1 month ago

who is Blaire husband?

Barbossa Andrew 🐍
1 month ago

None other than Peter Andrew

Facts
1 month ago

Bryce Bohman

Inthedeep
1 month ago

What about Tyler Fenwick??? Have not heard his name in a while and it seems like it’s time for him to step up…

ForGotham
Reply to  Inthedeep
1 month ago

The downvotes apparently speak for themselves

Soapy
1 month ago

Hopefully Ric Viggs! If I had to guess it’d probably be be Ric Viggs

Coach
Reply to  Soapy
1 month ago

And his right hand man Wick Rest

Sussybaka4769
Reply to  Coach
1 month ago

Yes Riv Viggs is very not bad. Positively gooded when coaching. Maybe good experience possibly. But gooder than most anyways haha. 👍🏼

Coach
1 month ago

Exciting times to be a Mountaineer alum

About Anya Pelshaw

Anya Pelshaw

Anya has been with SwimSwam since June 2021 as both a writer and social media coordinator. She was in attendance at the 2022 and 2023 Women's NCAA Championships writing and doing social media for SwimSwam. Currently, Anya is pursuing her B.A. in Economics and a minor in Government & Law at …

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