Swimming & Diving team ready to dive into fall season


Jordan McAlpine

Omaha swimming & diving head coach Todd Samland looks on during a meet. Samland, who has been the women’s head coach since 1997, will also be the first head coach in men’s program history this fall. It’s the only Division I men’s program in the state of Nebraska. Photo courtesy of Omaha Athletics.

For the first time in school history, this fall, a group of men will be able to swim with an Omaha logo on their cap. Both the Omaha women’s and men’s swimming & diving programs will kick off their 2021-22 season in early October.

“I am excited to get started with both programs this fall,” head coach Todd Samland said through a press release. “We’ve put together a challenging schedule to prepare us for the Summit League Championships in February. We’ve got a strong returning group on the women’s side with some fresh faces that will impact the program.

“It will also be a great opportunity to see where our men line up and get the program ready for its first season of competition.”

Samland, who has led the women’s program since the start in 1997, is entering his 25th season at the helm. This winter, he’ll be able to say he’s the only head coach of a Division I men’s program in the state of Nebraska. His inaugural roster will be made up of 21 swimmers and three divers. Omaha will be the fifth Summit League school to field a men’s swimming & diving team.

Both programs will open the season with the Midwest Shootout on Oct. 2. That’ll take place at H&K Pool and feature Augustana, College of St. Mary, Midland, Nebraska Wesleyan, South Dakota State, Nebraska-Kearney and St. Mary. Both the Omaha men and women will also travel to Air Force on Oct. 15.

It’s the first two of seven meets for the men and 10 for the women respectively this winter. Both programs will also compete in the Rochester Invite from Dec. 3-5 and Coyote Invite on Jan. 28 and 29 in Sioux Falls.

The conference slate gets underway on Nov. 13 as both the men and women will host South Dakota State at H&K Pool. Both will have three regular season conference meets before the Summit League Championships. Those will be held Feb. 16-19 in Fargo, N.D.