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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willy beeman
4 years ago

Wow! I hope he gets some great recruits!

tallswimmer
4 years ago

He was not head coach of Queens

Uberfan
Reply to  tallswimmer
4 years ago

Easy to confuse when the person he trained carried Queens

alumn
Reply to  Uberfan
4 years ago

Who was that?

Connor
Reply to  alumn
4 years ago

Josa

Speedy
Reply to  Connor
4 years ago

Carried Queens? They’ve actually done better the past two years without Josa. He definitely helped get the program started but they have shown his absence has only made them stronger

Eagleswim
4 years ago

Very interesting move. Undoubtedly attracted by the location. Will be hard to build the kind of power house he’s used to out of a DII school. Wonder if he is thinking of starting a club team out of their pool, like what Brian Pajer did with AZOT out of UC Irvine a few miles north. The schools team didn’t survive, but the club is doing very well.

beachair
Reply to  Eagleswim
4 years ago

Ah, South California…

bluefish
Reply to  Eagleswim
4 years ago

UCSD is on the verge of going D1.

Greg
Reply to  Eagleswim
4 years ago

There already is a club team at UCSD, Swim San Diego

Judy Burlingham
4 years ago

Yay!!!!! We are so happy and fortunate to have David in California !!!!!!!

alumn
4 years ago

Aaron does not swim at Queens he runs cross country. Quoting another credible source Queens will still be the home of Team Elite with many of the swimmers still living here. The idea is to expand. UCSD does not offer scholarships thus as no intent on making a solid commitment to swimming so this is a perfect opportunity to service those on the team and expand Team Elite. It is a good model.

Admin
Reply to  alumn
4 years ago

They are in the process of making the move. They were rejected for membership by the Big West, but comments indicate they’re still optimistic that the move will happen.

princessleia
Reply to  Braden Keith
4 years ago

this is correct, but not clear if it really will happen. The student proposal that passed was not based on joining any D1 conference but specifically the Big West which turned them down (possibly for political reasons) . So unless the Big West changes their mind, the move to D1 is not ensured at all.

Justkeepswimming
Reply to  alumn
4 years ago

They offer scholarships. Less then D1, but D2 does have some. My kid is on the team. D3 are the schools with no scholarships. This is pretty exciting for San Diego, but who wouldn’t want to be in La Jolla at a top notch university and area?

Attila the Runt
Reply to  Justkeepswimming
4 years ago

Dean Farris, for one.

princessleia
4 years ago

his son doesn’t swim at Queens

Swammerererer
Reply to  princessleia
4 years ago

right, it says he runs cross country

princessleia
Reply to  Swammerererer
4 years ago

they changed it from the original article, sorry, didn’t see that.

John
Reply to  Swammerererer
4 years ago

The art Clé was amended after this comment

Bob
4 years ago

If he did not take Arizona, does anyone know who is interviewing?

coachymccoachface
Reply to  Bob
4 years ago

Def Busch family

cynthia curran
Reply to  Bob
4 years ago

Tucson has a good program, but we are not growing much like the area around Arizona state. Maricopia County is over 4 million and Pima just 1 million. Also, Maricopia where Bob Bowman is at grew 85,000 people in one year while San Diego grew only 25,000. Arizona could use another state college besides, AZ state, AZ, and Northern Arizona at Flagstaff Texas already developed its universities long before the exploding population growth of the last decade but not Arizona.

Bluefish
Reply to  cynthia curran
4 years ago

Just curious, why does population growth in a particular area matter??

Masters swimmer
Reply to  Bluefish
4 years ago

Bluefish, good question you asked. growing population is huge. Many students go to college near their home base or in state as evidenced by all the swimswam commit articles. I live in San Diego area and went to school at Arizona State. ASU has a huge demographic advantage. San Diego has become unaffordable, thus the less growth and lower pool of potential swimmers.

CraigH
Reply to  Masters swimmer
4 years ago

As someone who lives in the Bay Area, but travels to San Diego often for work, I always marvel at how crazy cheap San Diego is. It feels like such a steal–amazing weather, growing culture and food scene, the beach. Funny you say it’s unaffordable, it seems like the place that is about to blow up!

coach
Reply to  Bob
4 years ago

I think it’s gonna be a landscape-changer.

Ole 99
4 years ago

Does UCSD still chant “Fork You” combined with a bunch of claps and a three fingered hand jester during meets?

Nathan Smith
Reply to  Ole 99
4 years ago

They have a jester who has lost seven of his fingers? That’s crazy.

meeeeee
Reply to  Nathan Smith
4 years ago

No, he was just born that way.

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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