How many programs in our sport will fire a coach purely based on athletic performance? I say there are ten or eleven, though in asking around coaches have a tough time coming up with more than nine or ten. While most of us have higher goals than our institutions, the simple fact is – like it or not – if you provide a good experience for your student-athletes, graduate them on time and keep out of trouble you’re going to be fine. Make your AD and institution look good in the process, you’re set.
Of course, coaches still get fired and programs still get cut. Competitiveness, something that makes our sport and our coaches great can separate us from our school's mission. Add in the fear of making tough choices (or perceived lack of support in making them) and the next thing you know, you’re in the AD’s office explaining the actions and behaviors, not the performance, of your swimmers and divers.
It is easy to blame the athletes, but who sets the tone? Right or wrong, we are responsible for: