Kaitlin Sandeno Steps Down as GM of DC Trident, Ending Groundbreaking Role

Kaitlin Sandeno DC Trident by Mike Lewis D5D_6799
Photo Courtesy: Mike Lewis / ISL

Kaitlin Sandeno has stepped down as general manager of the DC Trident.

Sandeno was one of the original GMs in the International Swimming League (ISL), one of the few front-office females in professional sports. She confirmed she is stepping down from her role.

She also hired Cyndi Gallagher as head coach, making the Trident the only all-female led team in the ISL.

DC finished sixth in season one, ninth in season two and eighth last year.

Kaitlin Sandeno is one of the first American female GM in professional team sports. Susan Spencer was the general manager for the Philadelphia Eagles from 1982-85 when her father owned the team. At that time, the role didn’t include choosing players, but she was in control of the team’s spending. That has changed with three female GMs in the WNBA. Penny Toler is the current GM for the L.A. Sparks, while Cheryl Reeve is the GM and coach for the Minnesota Lynx and Alisha Valvanis is GM of the Seattle Storm. Tina Andrew, born in South Africa, and the mother of U.S. swimmer Michael Andrew, also is one of the general managers of the ISL.

The Trident have struggled with continuity the past few years as Kaitlin Sandeno’s squad has seen a lot of turnover.

In their inaugural season, the Trident had Katie Ledecky, Cody Miller, Zane Grothe and Siobhan Haughey leading the way.

Ledecky hasn’t been back in the ISL since the first season, first preparing for the Olympics, then recovering from them, the past two seasons. Miller missed the second season after he and his wife had a baby. Haughey signed with Energy Standard after the first season, a huge point swing heading to another team. In the second season, Amy Bilquist joined the team and had a huge impact, but retired from competitive swimming following that season.

Zach Apple has been the only three-year event-winning contenders Kaitlin Sandeno’s Trident have tried to make up for lost points every year, drafting Ryan Hoffer and adding Ali DeLoof, Jay Litherland, Anna Hopkin and Zsuzsanna Jakobos this season to a team that had Linnea Mack, Zach Harting and Andreas Vazaios.

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