Arizona head coach Frank Busch has been named the new National Team Director of the USA Swimming National Team, according to the Arizona Daily Star. Based on the timeline that USA-Swimming laid out at the beginning of December, we knew the decision was imminent, but otherwise there was very little information leaked out about who was applying for the position. This secrecy was something that USA-Swimming was very concerned about, as it could be embarrassing for currently employed coaches who sought the position.
Busch has accomplished just about everything that can be accomplished below the National Team level. He has coached NCAA Champions, he has coached Olympic medalists, he has revived the careers of swimmers like Amanda Beard, he has won USA-Swimming team National Championships, and within the past few years has rounded out his resume with his first ever NCAA Team National Championships. He has been the head coach for a World Championship, and had ties to 15 swimmers at the Beijing Olympics. In 22 seasons at Arizona, he has won 6 NCAA Coach of the Year awards. He will now take over as the leading coach of the USA-Swimming National Team, and will work with individual coaches of swimmers in the program on preparing and perfecting swimmers’ training.
The job opened up when former National Team Director Mark Schubert was fired last year, for as of yet still undisclosed reasons. That case is still in the beginning of litigation as to whether USA-Swimming violated the terms of Schubert’s contract.
The timing is a bit awkward, as Venezuelan star Albert Subirats just announced that he would be moving back to Arizona to train with his former college coach. There are plenty of candidates to replace Busch as the coach of Arizona, though his top assistant, Greg Rhodenbaugh, departed after last season to take over the Missouri program. Rick Demont is the current second-in-command in Arizona, and is the name that will most commonly be thrown around for successor.