On the heels of veteran track and field coach Willy Wood's resignation comes another coaching shakeup in a storied CU program. Diana Caskey, head of women's swimming since 1992, has announced her intention to take a leave of absence.
Assistant coach Michael Sabala, who's been with the program since the 06-07 season, will take the reins as acting head coach next season. He shared a statement by Caskey with swimming blog swimswam.com:
“I love coaching at Columbia University. I love coaching our team. Taking this leave of absence is the best thing for my family and me at this time. I am healthy, I am well, and I am grateful to be able to give my full attention to my family in the next six months. Dr. Murphy, our Director of Athletics, has been very supportive in helping create this leave opportunity for me and I am tremendously grateful to have her support and guidance.”
The women's swimming program is coming off of what was arguably one of its most successful seasons ever. While it couldn’t capture that elusive Ivy title, the squad went undefeated in head-to-head competition, winning the dual meet championship and posting definitive victories over conference foes Princeton and Harvard in the process.
Caroline Lukins, CC '13, one of the program's top swimmers ever in the butterfly, has been hired as an assistant coach.
Columbia won't be the only swim team in the Ivies adjusting to a new coaching lineup: Peter Brown, the head coach of (you guessed it) Brown's men and women's teams announced his retirement about a week ago, and at Harvard, Kevin Tyrell was promoted to permanent head coach.