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Sports

Litzinger resigns as head swim coach, retires from coaching

| Tuesday, October 5, 2021

The University of Notre Dame announced Monday that Mike Litzinger had resigned from his position as head swim coach at Notre Dame and that he intends to retire from coaching. This would have been Litzinger’s sixth season coaching at Notre Dame and his 20th season as a collegiate swim coach.

“Making changes in the leadership of one of our programs is never easy, especially at the start of the competitive season,” vice president and James E. Rohr director of athletics Jack Swarbrick said. “But recent events convinced Mike and me that a change in the direction of our program was necessary.” 

The University has given no specific reason for his resignation. The announcement Monday also noted associate head coach Aaron Bell is no longer with the Irish. The dive team at Notre Dame will remain under the leadership of Mark Bradshaw, who has been with the University since the summer of 2020.

Litzinger and the University were sued for gender discrimination in May. Former assistant coach April Jensen alleged Litzinger had created an “intolerable” work environment by discriminating against her due to her pregnancy. Litzinger reassigned Jensen’s coaching group when she returned from maternity leave, which Jensen alleges is equivalent to a demotion. A federal judge dismissed the lawsuit Sept. 27 after both parties appeared to reach an out-of-court settlement last month, the South Bend Tribune reported

Prior to coming to Notre Dame, Litzinger was the head women’s coach at St. Bonaventure University from 1989 to 1996 and assistant men’s coach at Ohio State from 1996 to 2000. Then, he headed up both the men’s and women’s programs at the University of Utah from 2000 to 2007. Lastly, before coming to Notre Dame, he was associate head coach at the University of North Carolina from 2011 to 2015 after joining the Tar Heels in 2007.

Though originally scheduled for their first dual meet against Cincinnati this weekend, Notre Dame will not be competing. The team will be taking a step back in order to develop an interim plan as they grapple with this shift in leadership.

“A national search for the next full-time leader of Notre Dame’s swimming program will begin later in the year,” the release said.

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