Out of the pool! ASU fires swim coach Tierney-Walker

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                </div>  Spring cleaning continues in the Arizona State athletic department.  The latest head coach to get broomed is the school’s swimming & diving coach, Dorsey Tierney-Walker. Her dismissal follows that […]<!-- AddThis Sharing Buttons below -->
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Spring cleaning continues in the Arizona State athletic department.  The latest head coach to get broomed is the school’s swimming & diving coach, Dorsey Tierney-Walker.

Her dismissal follows that of Herb Sendek, the head men’s basketball coach who just completed his ninth year in charge of the program. ASU Athletic Director Ray Anderson announced Sendek’s dismissal exactly one week ago after Sendek failed to meet Anderson’s expectations for the program.

Tierney-Walker put in six seasons and was unable to match the success she enjoyed during her seven years at Indiana University and, most recently, as co-women’s head coach for four years at Auburn.  The Tigers won two national championships and two SEC Conference titles while Tierney-Walker was there, and she won a couple of Big Ten Coach of the Year awards while at Indiana.

Her athletic career included 16 All-American honors in college, four gold medals at the Pan-Am Games, and was an Olympic Trials finalist twice.  She became just the second head coach at ASU to be put in charge of both the men’s and women’s swimming teams, the fifth head coach for the men and the sixth for the women.

The men’s team finished in fifth place at the Pac-12 Championships this season, while the women came in seventh.  That middle-of-the-pack result has been pretty constant during Tierney-Walker’s tenure.

But the future was looking hopeful for the men’s program going forward.  The 400 medley relay team that set a new school record is sophomore-dominated, while junior Thibaut Capitaine broke his own school record this season in the 100 breast, and sophomore Tadas Duskinas set a new school mark in the 100 fly.

The 309 overall points scored by the men’s team is the most since Tierney-Walker took over the program in 2009.

Assistant coach Dan Kessler was reportedly named as the interim coach while Anderson begins a national search for a permanent head coach.  So now someone else will be brought in to add some additional talent to what will be returning next season and begin the process of building a program that will be able to compete with the nation’s best.  At least that is the goal Anderson puts out there every time he makes a coaching change.

“Our athletics department, university, and community expect our swimming program to compete for individual, conference and national titles, and produce All-Americans and Olympians,” he said in a short statement posted on the ASU website.

The wording was similar to that used when Sendek was dismissed from the basketball program, just a much briefer statement overall.  As with Sendek, Anderson announced that Tierney-Walker “will not be retained” for next season and thanked her for her service to the school.

Anderson,a former NFL executive who was hired in January of 2014, is getting pretty good at this house-cleaning business.  In a little less than 15 months, he has replaced the school’s head wrestling coach (April, 2014), the head baseball coach (June, 2014), and now the head basketball and head swimming coaches.

And, if history is any indicator, it won’t take him long to find a replacement for the last two.  It took him one week to find a new wrestling coach and 15 days to replace his baseball coach.

It’s interesting that the University of Arizona also has a new head coach for its swimming & diving program, as Rick DeMont just finished up his first full season in that capacity.  DeMont, who had been with the Wildcat program for 25 years, was elevated into that position after serving as the interim head coach following the resignation of Eric Hansen midway through the season.  He’s in charge of both the men’s and women’s programs.

The Wildcat men and women both finished in fourth place at the Pac-12 Championships.  But more importantly, DeMont beat ASU in the final regular-season meet last year, when he was officially handed the reins to the program – and then dominated the Sun Devils when they met this season.

That should be a good place to start rebuilding when Anderson finds a new head coach.