David Marsh Out At SwimMAC

Olympic head coach David Marsh is parting ways with SwimMAC, the club he’s led for the past decade. A joint statement from Marsh and SwimMAC termed the move a mutual agreement to “part ways.”

That’s according to a report from The Charlotte Observer today. SwimMAC gave the statement to The Observer Wednesday night, noting that the separation would be effective immediately.”

Marsh was the women’s head coach for Team USA at the 2016 Rio Olympics. He’s coached one of the nation’s most prominent professional groups at SwimMAC, while also serving as the head coach and CEO of the North Carolina-based club. The club announced he’d be stepping back from the CEO and head coaching roles earlier this year, and would be working to “redefine” his role with the club.

Marsh hasn’t yet commented about his future plans (UPDATED below with a statement from Marsh’s camp), but indicated to The Observer that he’d have more information in the next few days. The Observer also reports that Marsh plans to continue coaching in the Charlotte area and plans to keep coaching the Team Elite program out of Queens University.

The Observer report suggests that Team Elite, which houses SwimMAC’s sizable pro contingent, could be splitting off from the SwimMAC club, perhaps free to move elsewhere in the country along with Marsh. At the moment, though, the group appears set to stay in Charlotte.

The 58-year-old Marsh has been with SwimMAC since 2007. Prior to that, he’d been with Auburn University, winning 7 men’s and 5 women’s NCAA team titles between 1990 and 2007.

 

Update: Marsh and Team Elite have provided a statement. Their full press release is below:

David Marsh, 2016 Head U.S. Women’s Olympic Swim Coach and 10 years the CEO and Director of Coaching for SwimMAC Carolina, and the SwimMAC parent Board of Directors have reached an agreement to formally end their relationship.

Coach Marsh led SwimMAC to unprecedented levels of improvement and success during his tenure. The 18 & under program went from a mid-level club to one of the best and deepest USA Swimming teams in the country, staking claim in the Top three of USA Swimming’s Club Excellence Program for the last five years. At the age group level, Coach Marsh implemented a technique focused program that has now become the model for countless teams around the globe. Marsh was named USA Swimming’s developmental Coach of the Year in 2013 and 2014.

At the Senior and Elite level, Coach Marsh established and created the first USA Swimming Center of Excellence, now known as Team Elite. While medals are the goal for Team Elite in the pool, the highest calling for a Team Elite member is to be a great role model for young swimmers and other age-group swimmers throughout the community and LSC.

In 2016, Marsh placed more Olympians on the U.S. Olympic team than any program in the country, with Marsh leading the entire U.S. Olympic team to the most medals in modern history. If Team Elite were a country, they would have placed 3rd in the medal standings, putting Charlotte on the global swimming map.

Select highlights for SwimMAC under Coach Marsh’s leadership include:

2008 Olympians

  • Mark Gangloff – Gold
  • Cullen Jones – Gold

2012 Olympians

  • Cullen Jones – Gold
  • Davis Tarwater – Gold
  • Nick Thoman – Gold, Silver
  • Cammile Adams
  • Kara Lynn Joyce
  • Micah Lawrence

2016 Olympics

  • Kathleen Baker – Gold, Silver
  • Anthony Ervin – Gold, Gold, Team Co-Captain
  • Jimmy Feigen – Gold
  • Katie Meili – Gold, Bronze
  • Ryan Lochte – Gold
  • Cammile Adams

USA Swimming

  • 38 National Champions
  • 27 Junior National Champions
  • 233 Academic All-Americans

Coach Marsh commented, “I am extremely proud of the program we have developed over the past decade. My goal when I moved to Charlotte from Auburn University was to elevate the club swimming experience by establishing a Post-Graduate Training center that would serve as an inspirational and tangible experience for thousands of youngsters in the Carolinas. I also have valued many of the coaches that have faithfully and patiently employed this program to turn it into a true comprehensive “big club” model for our great sport. It has been great to grow my own family and the SwimMAC family during the last decade.”

Says Huntersville Mayor John Aneralla, “Coach Marsh has elevated the swim community in the north Meck area to unparalleled heights. His expertise and innovative approach to coaching swimming has improved the environment for swimming for years to come. However, most importantly, he and his family have integrated themselves throughout the community creating a lasting legacy beyond the swimming pool.”

Marsh’s Wife, Kristin has also greatly impacted the local swimming community by starting and developing the Pine Lake Preparatory Swimming, as well as the Track and Field programs. She recently won the All-Divisions Coach of the Year award for North Carolina. David and Kristin are proud to have spent many years raising their children in the area: Aaron, a Junior at Queens University of Charlotte, Alyssa – Sophomore Swimmer at Duke University, and Maddie a Junior in high school at Pine Lake Prep.

Coach Marsh’s immediate plans include leading Team Elite and its national caliber athletes to the USA World Championship Trials and subsequent FINA World Championships in Budapest this summer. Marsh will also launch his first ever clinic, consulting, and lesson program, bringing his talents to those beyond the athletes at MAC. Team Elite and Marsh will be launching their first clinic on June 9th – 11th in Charlotte. Please contact Amy Kosofsky below for additional details.

David Marsh: Emily White for Whitesmith Entertainment – [email protected]

Team Elite: Amy Kosofsky – [email protected]

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Dawgpaddle
4 years ago

Could he be moving back to the SEC?

Full circle
4 years ago

Dynamo?

James Newtron
Reply to  Full circle
4 years ago

Polar opposite training philosophies

Terrible Idea
Reply to  Full circle
4 years ago

Marsh at Dynamo would be a terrible fit. David only wants to coach pro’s. Being a head coach/CEO of a large multiple site team that operates as one cohesive whole is a difficult job. One that David has shown he cannot do. Marsh nearly ruined SwimMac financially by using club resources to support team elite, as well as expanding the coaching staff to an unsustainable size. The team barely survived the budgetary hole David put them in. Don’t get me wrong he is one hell of a coach, but he isn’t interested in the day to day management that being CEO of a team like Dynamo entails.

DMFAN
Reply to  Terrible Idea
3 years ago

Y’all know he was HC at Dynamo at one point, don’t you? Does anybody on here REALLY know DM like those close to him? Most likely not.

Ashley
4 years ago

Please don’t forget Cammile Adams-two time Olympian

Ashley
4 years ago

Please don’t forget Captain Cammile Adams! Two time Olympian 2012 and 2014

GrantJ
Reply to  Ashley
4 years ago

What events did she swim in Sochi?

Pau Hana
Reply to  GrantJ
4 years ago

Ice Fly

Huh
4 years ago

A lesson to all coaches young and old: even as the US Olympic Team Head Coach, you are never safe from the omnipresent parents Board of Directors.

MAC circa 1977
Reply to  Huh
4 years ago

No one can ever deny DM is a good guy and probably a pretty good coach, but the average SwimMAC parent wouldn’t know it. Politics is important, and Dave certainly may be a victim of not understanding that. The SwimMAC program was and is about age group and senior level swimmers at its core. Over the last several years, DM was more concerned about attracting top talent for team Elite, than developing it. No, the direct impact to our swimmers comes from our coaches on deck, the real moral owner’s of the program. Over the last 7 years, I can count on one hand the number of practices I’ve seen DM on deck helping teach those coaches. That’s the base… Read more »

Mardo4
Reply to  Huh
4 years ago

Personally sorry to see him completely separated from the club. I found he elevated the program and attracted both great coaching and swim talent. He will be missed.

Chlorinated
Reply to  Huh
4 years ago

This comment is so far removed from the truth. The Board saved the club from unbelievable financial peril almost two years ago. Marsh is incredibly charismatic and a joy to be around but being a CEO requires far more than charisma. It requires a working knowledge of financial fundamentals. As with almost all swim clubs, it is volunteer driven. Adding in a significant number of non paying elite swimmers puts a financial strain on a swim club, even one as huge as MAC. MAC was highly successful before Marsh and will remain so after this event. The club and Marsh need to move on and do what is best for the kids, not Marsh, not the elites, but the hundreds… Read more »

Huh
Reply to  Chlorinated
4 years ago

It’s really quite a general, and very true statement.

He was one of two US Olympic Team head coaches. Fact. MAC operates under a parents based Board of Directors. Fact. The employment agreement has ended. Fact.

While I can’t prove it, because I don’t have “inside” knowledge as you seem to, I don’t think David Marsh was hired by the MAC BoD due to his financial prowess. You referenced “charisma” and it’s quite likely this was a contributing aspect to his hiring, in addition to his name and accomplishments. He has offered the 18/U athletes hope that our sport can continue past college, he put it right in their backyards! His work with Queens, behind the scenes or… Read more »

completelyconquered
Reply to  Huh
4 years ago

The parent board is failing and nobody wants to coach for teams that have them.

Johnj
Reply to  completelyconquered
4 years ago

Agreed. The parent board model is intrinsically flawed on multiple levels. Many great coaches forced out of clubs and the sport due to misguided parents.

Huh
Reply to  Johnj
4 years ago

Yes too many great coaches pushed out the door. Once coaches figure out how to split themselves into 4 equal pieces, they may have a chance of sustained employment through parent board models. Now if only USA Swimming would stop promoting parent boards as the way to operate…

MAC circa 1977
Reply to  completelyconquered
4 years ago

It’s precisely the parent run board that INSURED SwimMAC will make it to its 40th anniversary this August. USA Swimming likes it because it creates an ACCOUNTABILITY structure. Hard concept for many people to understand. It also creates an enduring culture of success and protects the swimmers. I can name ten coach owned/privately-owned programs for every one team-owned program that had molesters on deck. As for creating Olympians, SwimMAC has always been about creating exceptional young people first, where becoming an Olympian was a by-product of that culture. It was the hope for there to be a way to bridge that to an Elite program, not supplant it. For HUH, you just don’t know what you don’t know. The board… Read more »

Huh
Reply to  MAC circa 1977
4 years ago

You don’t get David Marsh by “compensating” him as a COO. And in your model, who’s the CEO? You’re not following. USA Swimming is unfortunately sometimes best at deflecting. Sexual predators have no baring on this conversation, it’s something you’re using to try to have an upper hand. It didn’t work.

My point is that the parent board model is deteriorating, particularly with the current state of protectionism and selfishness that is rampant in our society. In recent history, (since the early 2000’s) MAC has been through some stand up coaches in our sport. The Gibsons and Mr. Hogan didn’t have the coverage we have today.

MAC CIRCA 1977
Reply to  Huh
4 years ago

Yawn…
This is pointless. You are clearly star struck while the rest realize the emperor has no clothes.

Huh
Reply to  MAC CIRCA 1977
4 years ago

So sorry you’re tired. The new suit of clothes was promised to and is now worn by your BoD.

Huh
Reply to  MAC circa 1977
4 years ago

Coach/Board power struggles rarely involve ACCOUNTABILITY and most often involve CONTROL. precisely the problem.

Johnj
Reply to  MAC circa 1977
4 years ago

You must be a parent on a board as everything you said is pretty much incorrect and not worth a further rebuttal.

Alumn
Reply to  MAC circa 1977
4 years ago

This is the biggest load of BS. Excuse me while I put on my boots and wade through. As a parent we were sold that the board change by the past president (Richard Pocat) and the corrupt BD. Our understanding was that it would help BD run the dry side and free up David to Coach the Elite. Are you saying that the families were misled? If so I will be in the office to seek reimbursement. Please call it as it is…The egos of the board could not handle the attention that Coach Marsh received representing SwimMAC and the USA. And prior to David SwimMAC did have success however not at the level, or consistency. Come on MAC Circa,… Read more »

Mardo4
Reply to  Alumn
4 years ago

Yup. ^

Water fowl
Reply to  Huh
4 years ago

These are very good and valid points. I would encourage you to look at the bios of the board before unilaterally throwing them under the bus. Or, visit MAC someday before you throw all the parents under the bus. MAC had a very high value before Marsh and that value almost completely went away. That’s a lot to give up for charisma. Wondering if your beloved club will be open when you drive up to drop off your kids is a sobering reminder that swim clubs everywhere, regardless of coaching firepower, have to be very careful with money.

Gulf Coach
Reply to  Water fowl
4 years ago

Looks like Terry Fritch strikes again. Hope the people with bios on that board have done their homework on him.

ObservantOne
Reply to  Gulf Coach
4 years ago

Yes! TF is no good! He’s got a history of this at other clubs and with the Gibson’s. He’s sneakier than BD I think. A lot of good coaches currently leaving SwimMAC because of TF. Fact.

Alumn
Reply to  Water fowl
4 years ago

Interesting, being an elite alumni I paid dues and I know my teammates did as it was a topic of discussion. I have read bios and agree this is a board with an agenda. Elite contributed at high level with high performance dollars and clinics for kids and masters.

The board has a vision that differs from high performance. The statement even says that they no longer want to be cutting edge!

Stop the BS coaches get fired after nationals and now games because they were out of sight for a time period thus the saying out of sight out of mind!

Huh
Reply to  Water fowl
4 years ago

You’re missing the point. Bios should identify the people, in a parent board structure, responsible for ensuring financial solvency. That’s supposed to be the value of this structure. CEO provides vision, culture, direction…

MAC before Marsh
4 years ago

“Coach Marsh led SwimMAC to unprecedented levels of improvement and success during his tenure. The 18 & under program went from a mid-level club to one of the best and deepest USA Swimming teams in the country, staking claim in the Top three of USA Swimming’s Club Excellence Program for the last five years.”

“Mid-level???” Well this is some revisionist nonsense. They won Junior Nationals the season before Marsh showed up full time! While Marsh brought success to SwimMAC in the form of attracting established Olympic world class talent to train and compete under the SwimMAC banner, developmentally SwimMAC was a big time club churning out top level talent well before Marsh and will continue to do so well after.

Rev
Reply to  MAC before Marsh
4 years ago

SwimMac was Silver Medal in Club Excellence Program for 2017

N P
Reply to  Rev
4 years ago

That’s because they didn’t have an 18 & under athlete achieve a “gold” standard time. Otherwise, they would have been in the top 5 clubs (#2, I believe).

Rev
Reply to  N P
4 years ago

So therefore they were a silver medal club and not gold

ObservantOne
Reply to  Rev
4 years ago

Because if you recall- Marsh was out in 2016 dodo. Terry Fritch was in charge at the time of this Silver medal status. I was there. And twice MAC has lost AG Champs in NC under Terry.

Flybkbrfr
4 years ago

USA SWIMMING has a couple positions open

2Fat4Speed
Reply to  Flybkbrfr
4 years ago

Too Soon! Lol

Hugh Janus
4 years ago

And the swirling vortex of BS begins.

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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