According to the Los Angeles Times, Head Swim Coach Jeremy Kipp was placed on administrative leave. The decision comes after concerns arose surrounding abusive treatment of swimmers in the program.
The players were told Friday that Kipp would be placed on leave. The team will begin its first invitational of the season Friday guided by former assistant coach Lea Maurer, who will step in as interim head coach. Maurer was a gold and bronze medalist in the 1992 Summer Olympics and formerly coached Stanford’s women’s swim and dive.
As to the nature of the University’s concerns, the specifics of the abuse allegations remain unknown. SwimSwam.com, an online publication that provides coverage of competitive swimming, reported an incident in April 2021 in which Kipp allegedly kicked a water bottle that subsequently hit a swimmer in the face. USC launched an investigation into the incident, but did not confirm whether the incident or other details influenced the decision to put Kipp on leave.
“The well-being of our student-athletes is our top priority,” wrote the University in a statement to the Daily Trojan. “When a concern is raised about a coach or staff member, the University takes it seriously and looks into it.”
USC Athletic Director Mike Bohn hired Kipp in May 2020 to replace long-time swim coach Dave Salo, who retired in January 2020. Kipp previously coached at Northwestern and Boise State prior to his tenure as USC head coach. Kipp also served as an assistant coach to Salo from 2008 to 2015.
In his first season as head coach, Kipp’s women’s team finished fourth out of seven teams at the Pac-12 championships, and his men’s team placed fifth out of five teams.