Coach Mark Schubert Details His New Elite Training Group at Saddleback El Toro

In the SwimSwam Podcast dive deeper into the sport you love with insider conversations about swimming. Hosted by Coleman HodgesGarrett McCaffrey, and Gold Medal Mel Stewart, SwimSwam welcomes both the biggest names in swimming that you already know, and rising stars that you need to get to know, as we break down the past, present, and future of aquatic sports.

Coach Mark Schubert recently stepped down from Mission Viejo, then eleven days later he accepted a position heading a new elite training group at Saddleback El Toro (SET) Swim Team. He’ll be with good company. Two-time water polo Olympian, and two-time swimming Olympic gold medalist, Brad Schumacher, is the director of SET Aquatics. Brad had his to say:

“Mark Schubert is recognized nationally, and to work directly on the development of an elite environment is directly in line with our 5 year strategic plan. Our mission is to provide the resources necessary for elite athletes to reach the next level, and Mark is a foundational piece of our strategic plan.”

In this podcast Mark unpacks what he’s doing at SET Aquatics, and he dips back into his history discussing his coaching philosophy. I traveled the world with Mark for ten years on the USA Swimming National Team back in the 1980s and 90s, but I’ve never talked to him about his Mission Viego dynasty years. I was dumbfounded to learned he took over the program at the tender age of 23 back in 1973.  Mark discusses his genesis story, nearly going into the legal profession, and how his father told him he’d never make a living as a swim coach.


Music: Otis McDonald


Opinions, beliefs and viewpoints of the interviewed guests do not necessarily reflect the opinions, beliefs, and viewpoints of the hosts, SwimSwam Partners, LLC and/or SwimSwam advertising partners.

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2 years ago

The first book I ever read on swimming was on Schubert and the rise of Mission Viejo. It’s out of print now, but it’s called “Champions” by Daniel Chambliss. Well-written, fantastic read if you can find it.

2 years ago

I am going to say it Mel you look like a Saint with the gold around you!

Gold Medal Mel
Reply to  Swam
2 years ago

Ha….secretly my goal all along…

cynthia curran
2 years ago

Well, Mission Viejo hired him because they wanted to have national caliber swimmers like Long Beach and Huntington Beah did which dominated swimming in the area in the early 1970’s. Shirley Bashashoff was a hard working swimmer before she join Mark Schubert under Flip Darr. Later on Flip Darr got Irvine Nova started with some Natonal swimmers before David Salo. Mission Viejo was growing like a weed in population in the 1970’s, so Mission Viejo wanted to get world class swimmers like the other programs in the area. Some like Peggy Tosdel and Valarie Lee actually live much closer to Mission Viejo than Long Beach or Huntington Beach. He confirm about the story of Mary T Meagher swimming Lake Mission… Read more »

Reply to  cynthia curran
2 years ago

You used a lot of words to say nothing.

Reply to  Supafly23
2 years ago

About 2/3rds of the way through it i thought she was getting to her point. I was wrong.

Reply to  Swimpop
2 years ago

These are my favorite comments. The ones where people ramble on and on and make no sense.

About Gold Medal Mel Stewart

Gold Medal Mel Stewart

MEL STEWART Jr., aka Gold Medal Mel, won three Olympic medals at the 1992 Olympic Games. Mel's best event was the 200 butterfly. He is a former World, American, and NCAA Record holder in the 200 butterfly. As a writer/producer and sports columnist, Mel has contributed to Yahoo Sports, Universal Sports, …

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