Georgia’s Jack Bauerle Speaks Out Regarding Suspension and Return to Coaching

University of Georgia Head Coach Jack Bauerle spoke out earlier this week regarding the NCAA investigation and following suspension that kept him off of the pool deck for much of 2014.

In a piece released through the Associated Press,  Bauerle commented on his life during the suspension, how the time away from the pool deck affected him, and how he now views the circumstances surrounding the investigation.

Many know Bauerle as the longtime coach of the Georgia Bulldogs, leading the women’s team since 1979 and the men since 1983. During that time, he has led the Lady Bulldogs to six NCAA team championships, including back-to-back wins in 2013 and 2014. Bauerle has also been a prominent figure on the national stage, serving as the Head Coach for the U.S. Women’s Olympic team at the 2008 Olympic Games.

However, that impeccable resume came under threat when in early 2014 the university began investigating a situation involving star student-athlete Chase Kalisz. The investigation centered around whether Bauerle made special arrangements for Kalisz to get into a class that would ensure his eligibility, a violation of NCAA rules.

In the piece, Bauerle spoke of the anxiety he felt being away from the pool deck: “This sport envelopes you,” he says in the piece. “You live and breathe what the kids do. Yeah, you’re coaching them, but they also become really important to you day to day.”

For the better part of 2014 Bauerle was kept off of the pool deck, and only this December did the NCAA rule that the coach “did not promote an atmosphere for compliance,” while issuing a public reprimand as well as restrictions on recruiting. Finally, given the ruling of the NCAA, Bauerle was allowed to resume his coaching role.

The investigation came as a surprise to many, as Bauerle has been known as a coach whose high standards extend to his athlete’s performance in the classroom. “It was pretty upsetting,” Bauerle said with regards to the investigation. “It got pretty offensive in some ways, being questioned about things when people know what I’ve stood for my entire life.”

Looking back on the situation, the coach noted that time has given him some perspective on the incident: “If I could go back in time,” Bauerle said, “…maybe I would have encouraged him to do it on his own…The biggest thing you have to realize, at no time was I trying to get something without doing the work. We were going to hold our student’s feet to the fire.”

You can read the AP article for the detail of the story.

1 Comment

1 comment

  1. avatar
    Deanna

    Jack Bauerle, the person, is an awesome individual. As Swim Coach, even more awesome. It is refreshing to see that he stood upright throughout, all the while enduring suffering the consequences of being withheld from the pool deck, which is his second home. Glad Jack is back.

Author: James Sica

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James Sica is the Men and Women's Assistant Coach at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He has been an assistant coach at CMU in Pittsburgh, PA (2015-2017), a volunteer assistant coach with the Harvard women’s program (2014-2015) and an assistant with the Ithaca College men's program (2012-2014).

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