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
3 years ago

Wow! I hope he gets some great recruits!

3 years ago

He was not head coach of Queens

Reply to  tallswimmer
3 years ago

Easy to confuse when the person he trained carried Queens

Reply to  Uberfan
3 years ago

Who was that?

Reply to  alumn
3 years ago


Reply to  Connor
3 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

3 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.

Reply to  Eagleswim
3 years ago

Ah, South California…

Reply to  Eagleswim
3 years ago

UCSD is on the verge of going D1.

Reply to  Eagleswim
3 years ago

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

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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