David Marsh’s Initial Thoughts on His Move to UC San Diego

Many found it an odd decision for David Marsh, one of the most accomplished coaches in the history of the sport, to take the job as Head Coach at UC San Diego. In fact the university itself was surprised he made the move, but they are glad he did.

Although it is a NCAA Division II school (which has applied to moved to Division I) Marsh sees almost unlimited potential both at the school and in the swimming community as a whole.

The Environment

A combination of the weather, healthy lifestyle and its natural aquatic environment he feels that San Diego provides a swimmer with a supporting environment that will encourage excellence.

Marsh feels that this environment is the perfect one for swimmers at any level from age group swimmers to college athletes to professionals.


The facilities at UC San Diego are top notch with two outdoor 50 meter pools side by side and an indoor 6-lane 25 yard pool on campus. There are also several 50 meters pools in the surrounding area and of course there is the ocean.

The university also has one of the best weight rooms he has ever seen.

The School

Going to UC San Diego Marsh knew the quality of the academic, but has been taken aback by some of the programs. He feels that with such a strong focus on academics it provides a healthier balance for the swimmers on the team. His job now is to have them start to think about swimming in a different way so the athletes can excel in both realms.

With the swimmers having such a strong focus on academics Marsh finds that their ability to learn and implement new skills has been outstanding. He is also excited about how much trust they have already put into him and his staff and their willingness to make changes.


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Is Swim Swam trying to help Marsh with his recruiting at UCSD?


Marsh knows how to market himself and his program. There has been a ton of swimswam articles on him lately, but swimswam will write about any well known coach/swimmer who makes themselves available for interviews. I’m sure they’d write about other well known coaches just as much if they talked to the swim media more.


He is just one of the best to interview . I would be super stoked to interview Marsh , any day , any time .



Suggesting that Swim Swam is writing articles to help David Marsh recruit seems a bit snarky. He is a great recruiter and understands that being available to the media is helpful to his goals at UCSD. David Marsh’s move to UCSD is the most surprising move by a top tier swimming coach in decades. Why a twelve time NCAA Champion coach would choose to move to a relatively low ranked Division II college has many people asking, “Why?” No one, except Dave Marsh knows for sure, but to the best of my understanding it has to do with “quality of life” issues. In short, he would rather live in San Diego, in a beautiful environment, surrounded by an athletic department… Read more »


I totally agree and he stated in a recent video that it feels the Area offers so much more for the development of his swimmers . I would have moved too to the West Coast just for the Ocean and the weather .


Enjoy the access while you have it

Happy Parent

I have to say, we are MORE THAN thrilled to have him here. Can’t wait to meet him. And he’s right about all of it. Especially the tacos and sushi part.


I think there is plenty of opportunity to move the UCSD swim program into a major regional player in the swimming world, but only time will tell. For one thing, there are limited opportunities for Men’s swimming in particular at public universities. Only Cal and UCSB have swim programs in the entire UC system, and there are limited opportunities in the CSU system as well (Cal Poly, Bakerfield). San Diego State only has women’s swimming, so the entire San Diego region (along with Orange County, etc) can be combed for quality swimmers who might not quite make top tier programs.


Ucla and UC Davis have women’s teams


UC Santa Cruz has a D3 team…

Brian Jones

University of San Diego has a D1 women’s program.

About Jeff Grace

Jeff Grace

Jeff is a 500 hour registered yoga teacher who holds diplomas in Coaching (Douglas College) and High Performance Coaching (National Coaching Institute - Calgary). He has a background of over 20 years in the coaching profession, where he has used a unique and proven teaching methodology to help many achieve their …

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