Coach’s contract expires

Craig Skibo

UW Oshkosh chose not to renew the contract of Jon Wilson, head coach of men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams, leaving the programs without a coach. Wilson just finished his eighth season in charge of the programs. This year both men’s and women’s teams finished fifth out of five teams in the WIAC championships. Both teams have finished fifth or sixth every year since 2006. Wilson started the job in 2008. Vice Chancellor Jamie Ceman said the contract of John Wilson was not renewed, and said “we cannot discuss personnel matters.” As far as a replacement, Ceman said the University is looking. “A full search is being kicked off to fill that position with a goal of having a coach in place by late summer,” Ceman said. Sophomore swimmer Kara Atwood said she wasn’t sure why Wilson was let go. “We never really learned why exactly his contract wasn’t being renewed,” Atwood said. “So I know we’re all a little frustrated on that part.” Atwood said Wilson had always been great to her. “Jon has been with me through a couple of rough patches within my two years,” Atwood said. “And he understands if I’m not exactly myself some days.” She said getting a new coach will present challenges. “It’s a little frustrating that I now have to start over with a new coach and try to bond with someone who doesn’t know anything about me,” Atwood said. “Though this is going to be a big change, I know this has given Jon an opportunity to move on to bigger and better things.” Swim team member Sara Keller said the decision came as shock to the team because they believed Wilson’s contract was through the end of the 2015-2016 season. “At the risk of sounding cliche, our team really is one big family,” Keller said. “And by losing Jon we are losing an essential part of who we are. Each of us have our own story in regards to how Jon has impacted our lives, both in the pool and in our every day worlds.” As far as a new coach, Atwood said she wants one who doesn’t believe winning is everything. “I’m not the fastest swimmer in the world, but I do try my hardest,” Atwood said. “I want a coach who understands and appreciates that. Although I think the coach should be competitive, I want him or her to focus more on our times than what place we come in. That’s really what swimming is all about.” Coach Wilson said he has no comment to talk at this time, crediting his mother with teaching him not to say anything if he has nothing nice to say at all. “There will be a time when I will be more than willing to talk about all of this but that time is not now,” Wilson said.