Ohio State University recently fired Jim Montrella, womens' swimming coach after
17 years of loyal service and numerous Big Ten championship teams including 5
straight in the early 80's. I have known Jim for several years, including two
years where I served as assistant mens' coach at OSU. Never in my life have I
met a man so devoted to "his" girls, his school and his sport. The women who
have competed for Jim over the years, including my wife, adore this man, and the
outrage from swimming alumni has been overwhelming.
The reason: 3 walk-ons, girls that were average high school swimmers, did not
want to train in the intense environment of Division I swimming. If any of you
swam in the Big 10, you know that it is one of the most powerful conferences in
the country, bit I digress. These girls quit the team and then complained to
the athletic department that the Montrellas were unfair to them! I see girls
that did not have the talent or the self-discipline, or the courage to face
their own failure, look for someone to blame, rather than accept that they are
not the queen of the world. As a result, a fine man, coach, and teacher has
been fired!!! My daughters would have gone to OSU, just because Jim was there,
because I trust him to look out for their welfare, which I do not give out
None of the remaining swimmers had been interviewed, none of the alumni had been
interviewed, but the word of three girls was taken as gospel by Andy Geiger, AD
at OSU. This firing is the latest in a series of firings that have removed 14
head coaches in the last two years! What can they be thinking?
The position was posted in the NCAA news on June 16, closed on June 20, and they
have yet to hire a coach.
Andy Geiger and the Ohio State Athletic Department should be ashamed of
themselves. Their actions were unwarranted, unfair, and unethical.
I urge all of you to flood the OSU Athletic Department e-mail with notes letting
them know that they cannot treat people that way.
Thanks to anyone who actually read this mail, because I am pissed....