Ohio State drops the ball

Ohio State drops the ball

Post by Mike Bergstro » Sat, 12 Jul 1997 04:00:00


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
lightly.

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....

Ranting,
Mike Bergstrom

 
 
 

Ohio State drops the ball

Post by E. Anne G. Dida » Sun, 13 Jul 1997 04:00:00

Dear Mike:  With whom have you spoken other than Jim M?  What do the other
team members say?  Why was firing the solution?  Did Jim overreact when
told of the complaints? Was he insubordinate to the AD?  Since OSU is
unlikely to publicly comment on a personnel matter, who else has a
complaint about the firing and why? What facts are you failing to tell us?
Before I complained to OSU, I'd want to know a lot more. An old
Buckeye-Robert H. Diday, Jr.  p.s. I have a little experience with
university politics and I'm sure that  the complaints about workouts were
not the reason for the firing. Either the AD has a friend he wants in the
position, or the AD doesn't care for Jim, or Jim did something else we
don't know about. AD's have too much power in my view, and most coaches
don't enjoy the same protections the faculty are given, i.e. tenure, a
right to a hearing, etc.  Perhaps at Ohio State the coaches have to kiss
*** to ensure their jobs!

 
 
 

Ohio State drops the ball

Post by Greg Earhar » Mon, 14 Jul 1997 04:00:00

Quote:

> 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 agree.  It is a shame that they did away with him.  He had more fun on
the deck at meets than any other coach I've had the pleasure of coming
across, and he's highly regarded by other coaches as well.

Quote:
> 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.

I don't know about particulars.  One reason cited seems to be that there
were only some eight swimmers on the team by Big Ten.  In a world of
proportionality and gender equity that simply doesn't cut it for many
and it's unfortunate.  This is particularly disappointing because of the
great job he did come conference time.  Their 394 points and 5th place
finish is pretty amazing considering the size of the team.

Quote:
> 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.

Believe me, we know...

Greg

Greg M. Earhart               http://umn.edu/~earh0002
------------------------------------------------------
Midwestern Higher Education Commission    612-626-8288
University of Minnesota Women's Swimming  612-626-0316
------------------------------------------------------


 
 
 

Ohio State drops the ball

Post by Nancy Morri » Tue, 15 Jul 1997 04:00:00

I don't know anything about the Jim Montrella situation at OSU, but from
what I understand, he is not the only women's sport coach to feel the
wrath of an athletic department experiencing some real problems.  Ohio
State is among the worst offenders of Title IX. 80%  of the
administrative positions in the athletics department are held by men.  
I wonder if there is more to the story here, and we aren't hearing it?  
Not to say Mr. Montrella has done anything wrong, 17 years is a long time
to coach at one school-he must be doing something right-but maybe there
is a move to shake things up, someone wanted him out, and this situation
presented itself at an opportune time for the athletic department to take
advantage of it, and blow it out of proportion.  It sure seems like a
minor incident to fire a successful coach over.

Quote:
>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.

<snip>
Quote:
>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?

 
 
 

Ohio State drops the ball

Post by Mike Bergstro » Thu, 17 Jul 1997 04:00:00

The e-mail address of Mr. Andy Geiger, Athletic Director is not published.

The address is:

Mr. Andy Geiger
Department of Athletics
Room 224 St. John Arena
410 Woody Hayes Drive
Columbus, OH  43210-1166

Mike