David Marsh Out At UCSD; Will Continue With Team Elite, Pros, Consulting

Rio Olympic head coach David Marsh will no longer be the head coach at the University of California – San Diego. Instead, he’ll focus on his work with Team Elite, his coaching of pros and new consulting jobs.

Marsh confirmed the news to SwimSwam in an interview, which you can view above. Marsh talks about his experience coaching at Auburn and wanting to give more detailed focus to professional and post-grad swimmers. He left Auburn to move to North Carolina, where he started Team Elite, a training hub for professional swimmers, while coaching for the SwimMAC club.

Marsh says he moved out to San Diego in order to take the next step in creating that professional hub. He says that while he’s seen the collegiate program improve at San Diego, balancing his work with professional swimmers with his college duties has been difficult.

“When I moved out here for the UC – San Diego job, I was very excited about the facilities and the setup,” Marsh says. “As it’s turned out, it hasn’t been exactly what I’d hoped for.

“We haven’t been able to get to an agreement. I haven’t made traction with the school on some of the areas of Team Elite intermixing with the [college] team, of running a club team – things that I understood I would get to do when I came.”

Marsh says he’ll be running most of his new coaching opportunities out of the long course Jewish Community Center facility. He’ll continue working with Team Elite and is also launching a consulting program called Coach Marsh Consulting.

Marsh was only with UC San Diego for a little over two years – he took the job in the summer of 2017. The school will begin transitioning from Division II to Division I of the NCAA in the 2020-2021 year, which will leave them ineligible for NCAA Championship participation. The men finished 10th and the women finished 6th at the 2019 NCAA Division II Championships in 2019. That was the men’s highest finish since the 2013-2014 season, while the women placed 3rd as recently as 4 years ago (and have placed in the top 10 in all but one season since NCAA swimming began in the 1981-1982 season).

His prior coaching jobs were as the head coach of SwimMAC Carolina in North Carolina, and before that he was the head coach at Auburn where he won 12 NCAA team titles. His athletes won 8 medals at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games for Team USA.

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Mark Spinozzi
4 months ago

I think everyone is demonizing him and looking into this too far. Let’s face facts Marsh coached Auburn, led athletes there to the Olympics. He’s been at the Olympic Games rubbing shoulders with Michael Phelps, Bob Bowman, Ed Reese. Trying to turn around a division 2 team like he said the evolution is slow. These kids aren’t into swimming like the athletes Marsh had been around. And rightfully so. They know they don’t have much of a future in swimming. After graduating most are heading into the job market to earn a living. It’s not a good fit for a coach of his stature.

Jason Zajonc
3 years ago

Wow. People really have an opinion on marsh…and quite harsh. Is it all a farce? I might add to this fad which is all sad we blast coaches who have made an impact for good and maybe bad on our sport…coaches leave all of the time for new programs in other sports…and players …time to move on and spend tie on what matters the most and let this story be a ghost

3 years ago

And before Auburn David was at Las Vegas Gold!

3 years ago

If Marsh apologists cannot discern a pattern here that is surprising. The myriad of comments support that Marsh is a very talented coach who is focused on coaching elite professional athletes and maximizing their skills. Nothing wrong with that. He has clearly been very successful with those swimmers. His focus on those athletes leaves him with little time or desire to focus on mere college swimmers or age group club swimmers. His interest in both club and college positions appears to be driven by gaining access for his professional athletes, and perhaps defray some of the cost of such a program.
While Marsh might have hoped to obtain discretion over the pools at UCSD, he didn’t get that. Was… Read more »

Reply to  AllWet
3 years ago

Good points. My question is has he really developed and improved any swimmers? Seems like he historically has just taken really good swimmers in their prime from their universities and club programs and just brought them together on one team. The hard work is already done at that point.

Reply to  SAA
3 years ago

I think you need to take a broader view of UCSD itself, particularly if you look at the turnover in coaches over the past decade. Something must be wrong with the internal mechanisms of administration for so many coaches leaving a virtual paradise. Also, the transition to D1 is not an ideal situation for UCSD, in view of the fact that they were never more than a top 5 team at D2 NCAAs. I doubt that there were ever going to be enough scholarships to make the team a contender, let alone draw top talent to a school with notoriously tenuous leadership. They really belong at D3.

Reply to  sfsgtr
3 years ago

I don’t think anything is wrong there. Coach Macedo left to go to UCSB, a D1 school, also located in a virtual paradise, after a previous referendum at UCSD to move to D1 failed. He was (and still is) very well liked at UCSD and recruited well. Coach Perdew who was a star UCSD swimmer,but an inexperienced college coach, left to pursue other career options. They were about to hire Coach Marko (who they finally hired now) 2 years ago, when DM expressed interest (after the job application period had closed), and with stars in their eyes they chose the Olympic coach over the right coach for the team. DM leaving now was not his choice, however he chooses to… Read more »

Reply to  sfsgtr
3 years ago

What does that mean, never more than a top 5 team at D2 NCAAs? What is more than a top 5 team? They aren’t allowed to compete yet in D1 NCAAs so I guess that’s not an option yet; so really they have risen to the top of D2 and I guess those are the teams that should move up, not down. In mid season and dual meets they have beaten lots of D1 teams like UNLV and UCSB and plenty others. UCSD swimmers have qualified for Olympic Trials and Nationals and regularly make finals at long course meets full of big names. Coach Marsh and now Coach Marko had/have plenty of confidence in their improvements and abilities. There’s not… Read more »

3 years ago

This is neither here nor there, but when I met him at trials in 2016 and we were making small talk about where I was from, he could not remember the name of his wife’s hometown. Always thought that was weird.

Reply to  Kate
3 years ago

when I met with him, he could not remember his wife’s current address. Always thought that was weird.

3 years ago

Marsh still doing marsh things. Wonder which team he’ll victimize next.

Reply to  Jayz
3 years ago

Marsh haters still doing the Marsh hating.

Fly 100
3 years ago

Why did he really have to leave Auburn, back in the day? Especially, when his teams were in the midst of creating a dynasty. Rules related ?

Reply to  Fly 100
3 years ago

ABSOLUTELY ask the SEC Commissioner who forced AU to chuck him to the curb.

3 years ago

Marsh is probably a great coach. He has the hardware to prove it. But we can all agree (as even Marsh does) that Dave Marsh’s eggs of reputation are and have been securely placed for the past several years in the Team Elite basket. Thus, his main focus was and continues to be Team Elite. Fair enough. It just seems quite clear that any other job is, for him, secondary.

About Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson swam for nearly twenty years. Then, Jared Anderson stopped swimming and started writing about swimming. He's not sick of swimming yet. Swimming might be sick of him, though. Jared was a YMCA and high school swimmer in northern Minnesota, and spent his college years swimming breaststroke and occasionally pretending …

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