Men’s swimming star Andrei Minakov enters transfer portal

April 26, 2023, 11:53 p.m.

Just over a month after he helped guide the Cardinal to an eighth-place finish at the 2023 NCAA Division I Men’s Swimming & Diving Championships, redshirt sophomore and 2022 NCAA Champion Andrei Minakov has entered the NCAA transfer portal.

As first reported by swimming publication SwimSwam, Minakov — a Tokyo 2020 Olympian and the Cardinal’s sole individual medallist in the last two seasons — entered the portal on Tuesday listed as “Do Not Contact.” This specification means that potential suitor programs and coaches are prohibited from contacting Minakov directly, and only the swimmer himself can initiate contact with a possible transfer destination. Minakov shared the news on his Instagram story, but has yet to comment further on his decision.

Men’s swimming star Andrei Minakov enters transfer portal
Minakov shared the news that he had entered the transfer portal on his Instagram story on Wednesday. (Screenshot: ALEX DAKERS/The Stanford Daily)

Speculation over where Minakov could land has soared through the swimming community since the news broke earlier today, with SwimSwam describing the Russian Olympian as “the biggest name to enter the NCAA Transfer Portal so far this offseason.” After all, with an NCAA title in the 100-yard butterfly and a bronze medal in the 100-yard freestyle last year and two more seasons of NCAA eligibility remaining, Minakov could be a substantial asset to any number of teams hoping to contend for a national title.

Should Minakov choose to leave the Farm, it would also present a significant blow to the squad of head coach Dan Schemmel, who could not be reached for comment on Wednesday. The holder of multiple Stanford records, Minakov was utilized on each of the Cardinal’s five relays at this year’s national championship meet, and his fourth place finish in the 100-yard butterfly was the closest the team came to an individual NCAA medal this season.

Merely entering the transfer portal does not guarantee an athlete’s departure from their current program. Just last summer, for example, Cal’s Isabelle Stadden chose to stay in the Bay despite having previously entered the portal to “explore [her] options.” There thus remains a chance the Cardinal could retain one of its star swimmers in Minakov — but that prospect is still an “if,” with the Olympian now the master of his own destiny.

Alex Dakers is a staff writer in the sports section and a first-year masters student studying Journalism. He is from the Cayman Islands (and more recently, an undergrad in the UK). You can catch Alex in the gym, at the pool or trying to find somewhere to watch the Premier League games — if he can wake up early enough to watch them! Contact him at sports 'at' stanforddaily.com.

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