David Marsh to Take Head Coaching Role at UC San Diego

A credible source tells SwimSwam that David Marsh, the former head coach of SwimMAC Carolina, will be taking over the head coaching position at the University of California San Diego. Marsh will make the move to San Diego after serving for several years as both the head coach and CEO of SwimMAC as well as a performance consultant with the Queens University team that he helped launch. Marsh’s collegiate coaching experience also includes a stint at Auburn as the head coach, where he won 7 men’s NCAA team titles and 5 women’s NCAA team titles between 1990 and 2007.

Marsh officially parted ways with SwimMAC back in May, but continued to coach the Team Elite program. He says that a Team Elite program will remain in Charlotte, and that he will be launching a Team Elite – West program in San Diego. He’s had plenty of success with the pro team, including qualifying 5 swimmers for the 2016 U.S. Olympic team, which led to him serving as the women’s head coach for Team USA at the 2016 Rio Olympics. In total, he’s coached 49 Olympians from 19 different countries.

Marsh on the move to San Diego:

“I’m thrilled to join the UC San Diego family. UC San Diego is an amazing academic institution with a rapidly developing athletic program, an amazing aquatic facility and an unparalleled location which tells me there’s incredible potential.”

“The Swimming & Diving teams have an outstanding history and the sport has a strong presence throughout the San Diego community. In meeting and talking with Director of Athletics Earl Edwards, members of the coaching staff and many of the current team members, I was struck by the pride and commitment. This is a department and University that is building momentum and I look forward to contributing to the next steps of what I see as a bright future.”

Marsh has one daughter, Alyssa, who swims for Duke in North Carolina, and another, Maddie, who is still in high school; plus a son Aaron who runs cross country at Queens. David Marsh joins a UCSD program that stands as the Pacific Collegiate Swim and Dive Conference champions for both the men and women. In 2017, the women finished 16th at the Division 2 NCAA Championships, while the men finished 19th.

UCSD is in the process of attempting a transition from Division II to Division I, though they hit a sticking point this spring when the Big West Conference rejected their application for membership. The student body has approved the expenditure to make the move, however, and the school’s public statements remain confident that it will happen. The men’s team placed 19th and women’s team 16th at last year’s NCAA Championship meet.

Update: Here’s a full press release from Marsh’s agent:

2016 Head U.S. Olympic Women’s Coach David Marsh is thrilled to announce his new position as the head Men’s and Women’s Swimming & Diving Coach for the University of California San Diego, effective immediately for the 2017-2018 season. Says Marsh, “I am very excited to take the helm at the UC San Diego program and build on what is already established to take both teams to the next level and beyond. The facilities at UC San Diego are as great as I’ve seen anywhere in the world. When I met with The Triton swimmers and divers, I was inspired by their enthusiasm as true student-athletes in every sense of the phrase.”

UC San Diego, whose men and women both won their ninth consecutive Pacific Collegiate Swim Conference team championships in 2017, is coming off a 16th (women) and 19th (men) place finishes at last spring’s NCAA Division II Championships. Coach Marsh will be looking to improve those standings by growing the program and enhancing swimming in the greater San Diego area.

This will coincide with the launch of Team Elite West, while simultaneously keeping a training base for Team Elite at Queens University of Charlotte. Says Marsh, “Charlotte has been a wonderfully supportive community for the Team Elite athletes. It’s important to me that we have a base there while giving the swimmers an option to train in Southern California.”

Team Elite recently formed as a USA Swimming Club Team, launching their website to highlight athletes from the United States, Brazil, Japan, Spain, The Netherlands, and Israel, forming a truly global training base for amateur and professional swimmers around the globe. In 2016, Team Elite placed more athletes on the U.S. Olympic team than any other program. If Team Elite were a country, they would have placed third in the medal standings at The Rio Olympics.

Says UC San Diego Athletic Director Earl Edwards, “Whenever you have an opportunity to add a coach of David Marsh’s stature, you look at it seriously. In David, we are getting a coach with a stellar record of success who understands and embraces the culture of our program and the University. I feel he will bring with him a combination of experience, energy and creativity that has the potential to help elevate not only the Swimming & Diving team but our entire program. We have an outstanding coaching staff in place at UC San Diego and David Marsh will certainly fit in well.”

Says Marsh, “I am so excited to work with and recruit athletes to UC San Diego, while giving the Team Elite athletes room to grow both personally and professionally. Our family will be relocating to my wife’s home state of California and we could not be happier. Let’s go!”

David Marsh coaching a swim camp (courtesy of Team Elite)

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Dawgpaddle
5 years ago

Coach Marsh will definitely get UCSD moving quickly. This man does not mess around. He is the MASTER of magic dust. I predict we will see amazing things happen there.

Masters swimmer
5 years ago

Very exciting news for us local folks. Hopefully we’ll see some big name elite swimmers at some of our local masters meets.

Marcl
5 years ago

What’s up with the caption on the bottom picture? Didn’t know there were 8 year olds on Team Elite…

shortswimmer
5 years ago

they have some money, but what will staffing looking? yet another key resource if Marsh is to grow this program.

princessleia
Reply to  shortswimmer
5 years ago

right now they are talking about 2 assistant coaches. only. and a diving coach.

Justkeepswimming
Reply to  shortswimmer
5 years ago

The team has amazing assistant coaches who hopefully will stay on.

Joel Lin
5 years ago

And in other news, Marsh’a pro group moves to La Jolla.

Marsh is indeed a fabulous coach, but now his second ace-in-the-hole is the venue. If I recall, UCSD’s facility is perched above the cliffs overlooking the Pacific. It doesn’t suck.

Kaez
Reply to  Joel Lin
5 years ago

As someone who lives in San Diego, I can tell you that it does not overlook the Pacific, its situated in a canyon, hence the name Canyonview Aquatic Center. Not a terrible facility but it doesnt have a view

BaldingEagle
Reply to  Joel Lin
5 years ago

UCSD has two pools. I’ve only seen the old pool, when it was the only one. It didn’t look over the ocean, but instead into a canyon (“Canyonview Pool”). It is very close to Miramar MCAS, “Top Gun,” so lots of Marine and Navy aircraft will be flying over.

Two great 50m pools near each other, which means that there won’t be the constant struggle, during long course season, of having 50m lanes, or having more lanes available to average rec/lap swimmers. Designate one pool as LC, the other for all the other programming: a few lanes for laps, a few lanes for the diving boards, a few lanes for polo, and everyone will be happy.

DLswim
Reply to  Joel Lin
5 years ago

No Pacific Ocean view, but a fabulous facility nonetheless. Two side-by-side 50 m pools on campus, with a dedicated gym, not to mention that UCSD is a great academic institution. I predict UCSD will be a swimming power (top 25 DI) within five years.

Stallion6
5 years ago

Not a bad retirement gig

Attila the Runt
Reply to  Stallion6
5 years ago

He is 59. Why not slide into it?

Wahooswimfan
5 years ago

Hard to understand why anyone would want to leave North Carolina for San Diego?

JanMichaelVincent
Reply to  Wahooswimfan
5 years ago

Clearly you have never been to San Diego

Wahooswimfan
Reply to  JanMichaelVincent
5 years ago

I have been, but I’m a Virginia fan – just poking a bit of tongue in cheek fun at our rival state – of course anyone with the chance to leave North Carolina would jump at the chance!

Justkeepswimming
Reply to  JanMichaelVincent
5 years ago

I take that as sarcasm. San Diego is the best.

CraigH
Reply to  Wahooswimfan
5 years ago

There are 143 breweries in San Diego county. There are fewer than 50 in the Charlotte-area.

Taa
Reply to  Wahooswimfan
5 years ago

Maybe in his spare time he wants to hang out at blacks beach. Its actually not San Diego its La Jolla and its a highly desireable area right on the coast. It has two 50M outdoor pools side by side. The biggest downside will be the housing cost.

Taa
Reply to  Taa
5 years ago

I forgot the other downside is the taxes and all the homeless people everywhere but at lease the weather is good year round

Justkeepswimming
Reply to  Taa
5 years ago

There aren’t homeless people everywhere. Not too many in La Jolla. And the taxes are worth it to live in paradise. Can’t take your money with you.

About Lauren Neidigh

Lauren Neidigh

Lauren Neidigh is a former NCAA swimmer at the University of Arizona (2013-2015) and the University of Florida (2011-2013). While her college swimming career left a bit to be desired, her Snapchat chin selfies and hot takes on Twitter do not disappoint. She's also a high school graduate of The …

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