Head swimming and diving coach resigns

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Abby Plouzek
Sports Editor

Todd Samland, longtime head coach for men’s and women’s swimming and diving, resigns after nearly 25 years in his position. Photo courtesy of omavs.com.

The UNO swimming and diving program announced the resignation of Todd Samland, who has been a part of the Mavericks’ team for nearly 25 years. Samland has been the only head coach in history for the Maverick team and oversaw the addition of men’s swimming and diving in 2020. Connie Claussen, a pioneer for women’s athletics at UNO, hired Samland in 1999. Samland is a UNO alumni and has led multiple athletes and teams to the NCAA tournament and the Summit League Conference tournament. 

“I want to express my gratitude to the athletic department for the support of our program over the past 24 years,” Samland said. “The athletes I have coached over the years, and their families, have truly been a blessing in my life and I cherish the relationships that have been formed over the years and look forward to staying connected to many of them.”

Samland plans to enter into the private sector for his next career step. Adrian Dowell, Vice Chancellor and Director of Athletics, spoke on Tuesday about the resignation. 

“Coach Samland is synonymous with swimming and diving in the Omaha community, and our programs performed at a high level under his leadership,” Dowell said. “On behalf of Omaha Athletics and the University of Nebraska at Omaha, I want to thank Coach Samland for his dedication to swimming and diving at Omaha, and we wish him well in his future endeavors.” 

In the 2008-09 season, Samland took a record of 14 competitors to the NCAA Division II Championships. The team placed 19th in the nation that year. In Omaha’s first year in the Summit League and second year in the NCAA Division I, Samland led the Maverick team to a third-place finish overall in the Summit League Tournament. In the Maverick men’s swimming and diving team’s first season, they saw a third place finish in the Summit League Conference Tournament under the direction of Samland. 

The Maverick swimming and diving team has remained in the upper positions academically, with the highest team GPA in the nation in the 2019 season and third highest GPA in the 2022 Spring semester. 

Jessica Hessell, alumni to UNO and four year letter-winner, has been announced as the interim head coach for this season.

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