Dave Salo Named U.S. Head Coach for 2021 Short Course World Championships

In addition to announcing a 28-swimmer roster for the 2021 Short Course World Championships, the United States has also announced a 5 person coaching staff that will make the trip to Abu Dhabi for the meet that runs from December 16-21.

The staff will be led by Dave Salo, who is currently working in his role as head coach emeritus at Irvine Novaquatics. He will lead a staff of collegiate assistant and club coaches, as has become a tradition for this meet. While most major U.S. staffs are made up of collegiate head coaches, who are the head coaches of the programs producing most of the team members, the timing of this meet makes it hard for collegiate head coaches to disappear for 10 days.

That provides a valuable opportunity for up-and-coming coaches, though, who might be the next generation of long course World Championship or Olympic coaches.

2021 U.S. Short Course World Championships Staff:

There is 1 female, Virginia associate head coach Blaire Bachman, among the staff of 5.

The staff, much like the roster, has shrunk since 2018. In 2018, there were 6 coaches at the meet, including separate head coaches for the men’s and women’s teams.

The head coach Dave Salo has a ton of international coaching experience on his resume. For the U.S., he was the head coach of the US at the 2015, 2013, and 2005 World Championships, and the 2001 Goodwill Games. He has also served as an assistant at the 2012 Olympics, 2010 Short Course World Championships, 2004 Olympics, 2003 World Championships, 2002 Pan Pacific Championships, 2000 Olympics, and 1999 Pan American Games.

He is currently the head coach of the Tokyo Frog Kings of the ISL, and has served on international staffs for a number of other countries as well.

Much of the staff, however, is green as international coaches. These are the biggest international appointments for Collins and Bachman. Quevedo has competed at the Olympics and Pan American Games and has served on a number of other countries’ international staffs, though this is his biggest U.S. staff so far.

The exception is Marchionda, who has a long resume on a number of U.S. staffs, thanks primarily to his work with butterflier Claire Donahue. Donahue is now on his staff with the TAC Titans, where together they coach another butterflier, Claire Curzan. Marchionda was an assistant at the 2019 World Junior Championships, the 2014 Short Course World Championships, and the 2012 Short Course World Championships.

Open Water Staff

Ron Aitken, head coach of the US Short Course World Championships, and Cory Chitwood, an assistant at Indiana, will accompany the roster of 8 open water swimmers for the Marathon Swim World Series 10K stop that will be held in conjunction with the pool swimming meet.

The open water and pool teams will travel together to the UAE.

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9 months ago

I thought a coach needed to have a swimmer make the team in order to be on staff (let alone be a head coach)? USA Swimming’s decision makes zero sense.

9 months ago

Baffling decision making here. So two questions:
1. Bachman-Collins-Chitwood have never been head coaches anywhere and they make staff? (If I am wrong correct me)
2. When was the last time a Club Coach was designated as a Head Coach for an International team such as this?


Reply to  Buckeyeboy
9 months ago

#1 – It’s pretty common to have a lot of college assistant coaches on staff for big meets that aren’t the Olympics or LC Worlds, and especially SC Worlds. In 2018, UGA assistant Brian Smith was the women’s head coach. Chitwood was an assistant coach on the 2018 team, as were Stephanie Juncker and Lance Asti.In 2016, Cal assistant Yuri Suguyiama was the men’s head coach. Assistants on the 2016 team included college assistants Rick Bishop, Tanica Jamison, Mark Ganloff, Brian Smith, and Mike Westphal. Wyatt Collins was on the staff for the 2019 WUGs and 2018 Pan Pacs.

#2 – Looks like Dave Marsh, then head coach of SwimMAC, was the men’s head coach in 2014. But I… Read more »

Reply to  Buckeyeboy
9 months ago

Actually Blaire Bachman has been a head coach before.5 years at Brenau and named women’s swim coach of the year for NAIA.

I win, you lose
9 months ago

USA Swimming really out here sending their B team to worlds lol

Reply to  I win, you lose
9 months ago

Dressel and King had their chance but they declined

Reply to  Swimmer
9 months ago

Maybe they actually got paid by the ISL

9 months ago

Lol this sports coaching cycle is worse than the nfl. What a joke. And Salo isn’t even the worst one

Reply to  coachymccoachface
9 months ago

Fire everyone at USA Swimming who did this and I’ll do their combined jobs for 90% of their salaries.

Scotty P
9 months ago

Meanwhile the Coleman Stewart article sits right above this on the mobile site.

"I was watching Squid Game"
9 months ago

Great to see USA swimming make all the right calls…

PK Doesn't Like His Long Name
9 months ago

Unless I’m mistaken, being a head coach at SC Worlds counts for the eligibility to be a head coach for the Olympic team that cycle, correct? If so, downsizing to 1 coach who didn’t put anyone on the Olympic team nor this team (please correct me if wrong, it’s possible I missed someone) seems like a pretty big missed opportunity for new blood.

Chas E
Reply to  PK Doesn't Like His Long Name
9 months ago

Agreed. Salo has not been relevant in years (I actually thought he had retired). With no swimmers on this team or his last US team, put some one on who had at least earned it by qualifying a swimmer for this team or having someone on the US National Team.

Reply to  PK Doesn't Like His Long Name
9 months ago

SC Worlds coaching did not towards the eligibility to be an Olympic head coach for Tokyo. The Olympic head coach candidates came from the list of coaches who were a head coach at one of these meets:

  • 2014 Pan Pacs
  • 2015 World Championships
  • 2015 World University Games
  • 2015 Pan American Games
  • 2016 Olympic Games
  • 2017 World Championships
  • 2017 World University Games
  • 2018 Pan Pacs


Last edited 9 months ago by Robert Gibbs
9 months ago

I know college head coaches aren’t taking this job in the middle of their seasons, but they really didn’t have anyone with a swimmer on the team to take the roll? Salo’s group in Orange County is a bunch of foreign swimmers with failed drug tests and he tried to draft a bunch of ineligible swimmers for the ISL. Doesn’t inspire confidence.

cynthia curran
Reply to  oxyswim
9 months ago

Is he coaching Teague O’Dell or just the has been foreign swimmers.

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder/co-owner of SwimSwam.com. He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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