Kris Kirchner Out as Indiana Coach -- April 30, 2002
BLOOMINGTON, IN, April 30. - KRIS Kirchner was dismissed as the head men's coach at Indiana University today, according to a statement on IU's web site, www.iuhoosiers.com.
Kirchner took over the program in 1991 from the legendary James "Doc" Counsilman. Indiana has not won a Big 10 title since Counsilmasn was coaching. This year, the Hoosiers placed seventh in the Big Ten, their worst finish in memory.
Kirchner was one of three IU coaches dismissed today. The others are softball coach Diane Stephenson and women's soccer coach Joe Kelly.
Michael McNeely, the university's first-year Athletic Director, issued a statement saying: "After reviewing the progress of these sports teams, we have determined that we are not achieving the high level of success in these programs that we should and do expect. Further, there are not sufficient factors to indicate that the current direction of these programs will yield higher levels of competitive success. We wish to thank Coach Kelley, Coach Kirchner and Coach Stephenson and their staffs for their dedication and commitment to the IU program. These are very difficult decisions. We wish them the very best as all three have represented IU very well."
The search for a new head swimming coach has already begun. A university spokeswoman, who declined to be identified, commented that the search was "wide-open," and encouraged all qualified applicants to apply for the position.
Nevertheless, University of the Pacific head coach Ray Looze, a former USC standout, is reputed to be one of the leading candidates for the job. Looze has done as marvelous job in raising Pacific from a swimming nonentity to one of the nation's top 25 teams. Another candidate is Doug Boyd, an IU grad, who stepped down as head coach of Rice University last week.