Bakersfield Releases Coaches, Combines Programs & Encourges them to Re-Apply

CSU Bakersfield Athletic Director Jeff Konya met with members of the CSUB men's and women's swimming and diving programs, informing them of a new coaching model that will be in place starting next season. Unfortunately, much of the details of this were misreported over the weekend in published reports about the coaching futures of men's coach Chris Hansen and women's coach Pat Skehan.

Responding to the misleading reports, Konya says CSUB is not renewing the current contracts of both coaches and will have both the men's and women's swimming and diving teams coached by a single head coach or "coaching director." This new position will then assemble a coaching staff that will assist with the programs' needs.  He says both current coaches have been encouraged to apply, something that was never mentioned in previous reports.

According to Konya, this coaching model is common in Division I swimming and includes top-25 programs such as Auburn, Florida, Arizona, USC, and Virginia. All of which have one head coach for both programs.

"This is something we needed to due in order to operate more efficiently while still maintaining a quality product in the pool, Konya said. "If this is something that a top-10 team like Auburn can execute, or USC, than why shouldn't we do the same here?"

Another underreported aspect of this decision is the necessity of the move in order to maintain current funding levels for student-athlete scholarships. According to Konya, during these tough economic times, moving forward with one less head coach was much more attractive than limiting the opportunities for student athletes to pursue their education while swimming at CSUB.

"It's very similar to when corporations restructure and cut management positions in order to maintain a series of other jobs that keep the company running," Konya commented. "Without our student athletes, we are nothing, I wanted to protect that and make sure they had the same opportunities next season."
Separate Programs Remaining
Miami (Ohio)
Notre Dame
Ohio State
Southern Methodist 
Texas A&M 
Air Force Academy
Naval Academy

Division III
Ithaca College
Kenyon College
New York
Tufts University
Washington & Lee

As far as the coaches are concerned, both Skehan and Hansen were encouraged to apply for the newly-created coaching position and Konya says they will be heavily considered. Responding to earlier reports, he also said that claiming they both "won't be returning," is misleading and at this time, false.

"We haven't decided on the future yet, we know we will have some quality candidates in-house and hopefully some outside interest as well," said Konya. "We are starting the search this week and hope to have the position filled shortly so we can build on the success we had in that sport this past season while we move forward in a more efficient manner."