ASCA VP Megan Oesting Leaving Bend Swim Club to Become Malaysia’s Technical Director

Megan Oesting resigned as head coach of Bend Swim Club on Sunday to take over as technical director of the Malaysia Swimming Federation (MAS).

Oesting will begin her new role with MAS in February along with new Malaysian national coach Eric Anderson, who has guided Denmark’s top swimmers since 2021. They replace former national coach Chris Martin, whose contract was not renewed after Malaysia placed 6th out of 11 countries at the 2023 SEA Games last May with just one gold medal.

In regards to her departure from Bend Swim Club, Oesting said she was stepping down because she could “no longer serve the organization under its current leadership.” Former age group coach Heather Thomas was elevated to interim head coach until the club’s board of directors decides on a permanent staffing solution.

“Although my time in Bend has presented significant challenges, the coaching staff has elevated the performance of the Bend Swim Club to unprecedented levels of success,” Oesting said.

“I am deeply grateful for the friendships I’ve developed here, so although it’s hard to say goodbye, I am elated about the opportunity to guide Malaysian Swimming,” she continued. “The leadership team there is creative, innovative, and forward-thinking and the position is perfectly aligned with my passions and expertise. Coach Eric and I have complementary strengths and backgrounds that will prove instrumental in our united efforts and I’m thankful for MAS vice president Marilyn Chua‘s foresight in assembling a team that will thrive on the synergy of our unique abilities. I am eager to begin this collaboration with such talented and well-rounded individuals for the benefit of Malaysian Swimming.”

Oesting, who was elected vice president of the American Swimming Coaches Association (ASCA) last September, will also take on another new job with TEAM Eugene as a long-term consultant in addition to her work with MAS. She’s the second big name to join that program over the last couple years along with four-time Olympic gold medalist David Berkoff.

“I have so much respect for executive director Britta Wyatt and competitive director Dave Berkoff,” Oesting said. “Britta is an ambitious and progressive leader who is constantly leveling up pivotal aspects of the organization. Hiring Dave demonstrated a clear commitment to excellence as he brings not only a deep understanding of the sport at its highest levels but more importantly a depth of character demonstrated consistently over his time as an athlete, coach, and father. His efforts have already made a significant impact on the TEAM’s performances and continue to elevate the TEAM as a whole. I am thrilled to support TEAM Eugene as my State-side partner and look forward to an impactful long-term relationship with the organization.”

“TEAM is super pumped to be working with Megan,” TEAM Eugene executive director Britta Wyatt said. “We’re looking forward to learning from her expertise and technical development skills.”

Oesting came to Bend from SwimMAC Carolina in 2021, guiding the Oregon-based group to silver medal status in USA Swimming’s club excellence program for the first time ever. She only spent nine months at SwimMAC Carolina during the COVID-19 pandemic, but she still helped their 13-14 boys set a national age group (NAG) record in the 4×200-yard freestyle relay (6:55.16).

Prior to SwimMAC Carolina, Oesting also coached one of her swimmers to a NAG record at the Eastern Iowa Swim Federation from 2016 to 2020. In 2019, Mason Turner took down the 11-12 boys 500 free record that had stood since 2008 with a time of 4:41.26.

Oesting herself is a former UCLA All-American and a former National Junior Team member, representing Team USA in both Paris and East Berlin in the early years of the FINA World Cup Series. She eventually qualified for the 1991 Pan American Games, where she won gold on the 400 free relay and individual silver in the 100 free in Cuba. She reached a peak ranking of 18th in the world in the 100 free.

Oesting’s son, Diggory Dillingham, is also a National Junior Team member who is currently taking a gap year from USC to train for the Paris Olympics this summer. The fastest 50 freestyler in the high school class of 2023, he signed to join the Trojans’ roster this upcoming fall. Before he arrives in Los Angeles, Dillingham will join Oesting in Malaysia until Olympic Trials this summer.

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Disappointed
24 days ago

My kid had been swimming since she was four and loves to compete. We moved from a program done right in the midwest to Bend. She loved Shane. Megan killed my kid’s desire to swim. One of the top swimmers in the Western United States is still on “break” from the sport largely due to the coach. My kid’s experience was if you were a dual sport athlete you were viewed as less committed. If you were not part of her top of the top group you were unimportant. For example, we attended an AGR on our own (and unattached) because she (and the club) were too busy with the more important few that weekend. My daughter was belittled for… Read more »

Greg B
2 months ago

Please answer these questions. Is it always everyone else that is causing problems or is it Megan? If you are continuously being asked to move on, should Megan not look in the mirror or continue to blame others? Her own son has been suspended from swimming with their last two programs. Is Diggory this way because his mom is setting a good example? People need to open their eyes and see the truth.

Parent
Reply to  Greg B
2 months ago

I agree with you.

Parent
Reply to  Greg B
2 months ago

I agree with you!

Coach
2 months ago

Good luck to Britta and Team Eugene.

Daniel
2 months ago

Best of Luck

Last edited 2 months ago by Daniel
Yet another swim fan
2 months ago

Eric Anderson, who has guided Denmark’s top swimmers since 2021.

Correct me if I’m wrong, but to my knowledge he has been a club coach, with one swimmer on the national team. That sentence makes it sound like he was in charge of the national team or something similar.

Malaysian
2 months ago

As a swimmer under the guidance of Chris Martin for the past few years, all I have to say is most, if not all of us here are so glad he left. Very smart guy, but a shame that “humble” doesn’t exist in his dictionary. Our team was split the moment he arrived, constantly and aggressively trying to brainwash everyone into believing that being a “team” in the sport of swimming is stupid and that everyone should just care for themselves. He cultivated a toxic culture and environment where no one could speak up without facing the consequences of being a target for his bullying. I witnessed firsthand how my teammates got bullied to the point of quitting the team… Read more »

Shogun
Reply to  Malaysian
2 months ago

With the exception of a few, almost every coach mentioned on this site at one point or another is labeled as abusive or bully or targets…Maybe they are to some degree, or maybe things like disagreement, holding athletes accountable, being direct along with stern constructive criticism get construed as abuse among other labels? The sport of swimming seems soft (swimmers love to point the finger and assign blame/deflect) compared to other sports. Given the low pay, horrible hours, and potential accusations from parents/swimmers/employers, its a wonder anyone wants to coach swimming. No idea if Megan or Chris are truly bad coaches, but just offering a different perspective based on the comments on coaches in many articles.

Justhereforfun
Reply to  Shogun
2 months ago

Perfect example of availability bias here. The types of coaches that often get mentioned on this site are usually 1) Coaches performing extremely well/coaches of well known swimmers, or 2) Coaches going through a scandal of some sorts, but does that mean we label 50% of coaches as bad coaches? I don’t think so. There are thousands and thousands of good coaches out there that don’t get mentioned at all on this site

Shogun
Reply to  Justhereforfun
2 months ago

That seems like a slightly slanted interpretation of my point. According to the comments section on this site in particular, more than 50% of coaches named in articles (for whatever reason- good swimmers, scandals, etc) are labeled as abusive, bullies, harassers, annoyers…I never said 50% of all coaches are bad coaches or are even labeled as such.

Spouse of a Board Member
2 months ago

I’ve gotten to know Megan quite well over the last few years having so many conversations around so many topics including those mentioned here.

It would be rare for a person to reject the aggressive nature that SwimMac had for her and what they offered her. Going off memory the Iowa pool, that she needed to make money and coach, was closed for 6 or 7 months after she left for NC. She tried the NC gig and it didn’t work out. I believe the entire board changed over shortly after her departure (USAS involved with that?).

What I can accurately talk about is the situation here in Bend. She immediately leveled up the entire program. Proof there is… Read more »

Greg B
Reply to  Spouse of a Board Member
2 months ago

This is the problem. Silver medal status over mental health. The club had yers of success. Olympic trail qualifiers, senior and junior national swimmers, swimmers that made jr national teams, swimmers that attended Texas, usc, auburn and many others. If you think fast swimming is more important than creating healthy and happy swimmers then you are part of the problem.

swimmer
Reply to  Spouse of a Board Member
2 months ago

I Swam for the Bend Swim Club for about 25 years, swimming for both coaches prior to Megan. I swam for Megan only a handful of times coming back on breaks from college because I couldn’t stand what I saw the club become. You may think it “leveled up” but not by the metrics you should care about. It’s not all about how much you personally like someone it’s about what they do for your kid.

BSC Board
Reply to  Spouse of a Board Member
2 months ago

The Board of the Bend Swim Club wishes to note that none of the comments made here regarding the article are the comments of this Board or its directors/members. We wish Coach Megan all the best with her opportunity in Malaysia, and the Bend Swim Club looks forward to the coming months when it will conduct a national search for our new long-term coach, and to continue to elevate our Club program and its athletes. 

The Bend Swim Club Board of Directors

Admin
Reply to  BSC Board
2 months ago

Bet.

Dalaeb Cressell
2 months ago

I mean good for her to get a better job just seems like someone who burns more bridges than she creates and leaves in the dust? I’m an outsider but something seems off about her situation.

About Riley Overend

Riley is an associate editor interested in the stories taking place outside of the pool just as much as the drama between the lane lines. A 2019 graduate of Boston College, he arrived at SwimSwam in April of 2022 after three years as a sports reporter and sports editor at newspapers …

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