For the first time since leaving the pool deck almost two months ago, Germantown Academy head coach Dick Shoulberg spoke on the record to Philly.com about what he’s terming a ‘leave of absence’.
“I haven’t done anything wrong, other than being 741/2 and looking people in the eye and telling them, ‘You’re wrong,’ ” Shoulberg said to the Philadelphia Enquirer. ”
“I know I’m old. But I’m efficient and old,” he said. “My girls’ team last year broke the [national] record” in the 400-yard freestyle relay.”
On November 15th, Claire Crippen and Chris Lear were officially announced to the team as interim head coaches, marking the first time since the program started in 1969 that anyone other than Shoulberg held a title of head coach for the teams.
Neither the school or Shoulberg have elaborated on the specific circumstances (we were able to confirm the interim appointments with school officials, but little else). There have been allegations of bullying and hazing within the team, and while there has been some suggestion from Germantown alumni that this is related to Shoulberg’s absence, we have been unable to draw a link between the two from any official sources.
Shoulberg’s desire to remain a part of the Germantown program is strong based upon his comments. He also told the Enquirer that “I have no desire to ever coach anywhere but GA…I’ve been offered positions – ‘Come coach with us now.’ No. I’m GA. That’s it. I’m not changing anything in my life.”
He spoke that even if it was in a reduced role from head coach, he just wanted to continue to be a part of the program that he spent over 40 years building into one of the country’s most revered high school programs.