After joining the club in September 2005, long-time head coach Chuck Batchelor will be leaving Bluefish Swim Club and will join SwimMAC Carolina as head coach and director of competitive swimming this coming fall.
At the 2021 U.S. Olympic Trials, Bluefish was represented by Wave II qualifications from Josh Parent, and Summer Smith, who are coached primarily out of the team’s Western Massachusetts site by Nick Rice. The club also had four other Wave I qualifiers.
Batchelor is best known for coaching three-time Olympian Elizabeth Beisel during her prep career. More accolades to Batchelor’s name include training 52 national qualifiers, 41 Olympic Trials qualifiers, and 10 swimmers who have ranked in the world top 100. Other accolades for Batchelor include:
- 2006 USA Swimming Men’s National Select Camp head coach
- 2008 USA Swimming National Junior Pac Pacific Championship team head coach
- 2009 USA Swimming World Championships women’s assistant coach
- 2011 Pan American Games women’s head coach
- 2012 New England Swimming Senior Coach of the Year
Bluefish was named a Gold Medal Club under USA Swimming’s Club Excellence Program from 2010-2013 under Batchelor and maintains the highest status, Level 4, in the USA Swimming Club Recognition program.
Like Bluefish, SwimMAC Carolina has achieved the top levels of USA Swimming’s club recognition programs. They finished 2nd nationally in the most recent Club Excellence program rankings in 2020, and have been at or near the top of those rankings for most of the program’s 21-year history (including multiple program first place rankings).
Bluefish finished 23rd in the 2020 rankings, which also earned them gold medal status. That was their second straight season back in the top tier of USA Swimming’s youth club performance rankings – after being named to the rankings in 2019, they were carried forward to the 2020 gold medal rankings because of the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.
SwimMAC is one of the nation’s most decorated clubs, having produced multiple Olympians and World Record holders in its history. At the 2021 Olympic Trials, they were represented by several athletes, including Grace Rainey, Tim Connery, Baylor Nelson, and pro Madison Kennedy at the faster Wave II meet.
This is now the third full-time head coach (and fourth head coach including interims) that SwimMAC Carolina has employed in a year. A few months into the COVID-19 pandemic in August 2020, then-head coach Terry Fitch stepped down from his role as head coach. He assumed the position in February 2017, succeeding 2016 US Olympic Team head coach David Marsh.
At the time, Eric Lane was named interim head coach effective immediately.
Batchelor has a history in North Carolina: he is a University of North Carolina alumnus, having graduated in 1993 with a degree in studio art.
Here is the original message sent to Bluefish Swim Club announcing the move:
We are announcing that Chuck Batchelor has accepted the Head coach/director of competitive swimming at SwimMac Carolina. Chuck and Christie will not be returning to coach this upcoming season. After 16 years at the helm we are heart broken to be leaving Bluefish and all of the families we love dearly. These have been some of the best years of our lives and would not change a thing. That being said we are super excited about this new adventure.
We are working hard to ensure Bluefish continues with its prime directive of being, athlete well being and development first. We are talking to some quality people to take over the day to day running of operations, with exceptional coaching and leadership. Our first priority is for each swimmer and family to be taken care of and second that Bluefish continues to be the premier swim club, by every metric, in the North East.
with sincere appreciation and gratitude,
Chuck & Christie