Dick Shoulberg Reinstated at Germantown Academy as CoachEmeritus [Updated]

Legendary coach Dick Shoulberg
has been reinstated as coach emeritus of the Germantown Academy
swim team, according to an announcement that was sent out to
the team and alumni of the team by Head of School Jim Connors on
Monday afternoon.

Dear Swim Families, I promised
when we talked last month that as soon as I was able to give more
definitive information about the status of Coach Shoulberg, the
swimmers and then you, their families, would be the first to
receive it. I met this afternoon with the Varsity Coaches and then
with the coaches and the team. In our meeting, I reviewed the
contents of the attached message and spoke a bit about how this
change would likely play out in the weeks and months to come. This
message comes on the heels of that meeting and the statement is
attached. The message shares that Coach Shoulberg has informed me
that he will officially retire from GA at the close of the 2014-15
school year. Until then, he will remain on and serve the GA
community in the role of Coach Emeritus. Although he will step away
from day-to-day coaching and many administrative duties, he will
participate in the search for a permanent head coach and continue
to be involved with the program and its future. You will begin to
see Coach Shoulberg on campus, beginning after winter break, as he
settles into his new role as Coach Emeritus. We will be circulating
the attached message to the GA Parents today, so some of you will
receive another email. I hope that this information is helpful. All
best wishes for a happy holiday season, Jim Connor Head of

Shoulberg was put on a leave of absence earlier in the fall semester, with Claire Crippen and Chris Lear assuming interim roles over the women’s and men’s teams.

There has been no specific public comment by either Shoulberg or Germantown over the reasons for the leave of absence, though it coincided with allegations of  student hazing by and of members of the team. Shoulberg said in an interview almost two weeks ago that “[he hasn’t] done anything wrong” and that he had “no desire to ever coach anywhere but [Germantown Academy].”

Other than his brief leave, Shoulberg has been the only head coach in the 43-year history of the illustrious Germantown Academy swim program. Crippen and Lear are still listed as the “acting head coaches” on the official Germantown Academy school teams’ sites, and they are expected to continue in those roles during this transitional period.

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7 years ago

That Jim Conor is no good. Luckly I hear he is stepping down. Good ridence.

George Raffile
7 years ago

Coach mentored my son Sean and started him on his own coaching career. I think very highly of him and wish him nothing but the best.

Mark "Shark" Tornetta
7 years ago

I agree with Hoss – without DS, the pool at GA is just a hole with water in it.

Hoss MacVaugh
8 years ago

He is a legend and should be treated as such. GA has benefited immensely from his association with the school.

Jeff M.
8 years ago

I have known Coach Shoulberg for almost 50 years and have the utmost respect for him as a person first, and coach second. While i’ve been impressed by his accomplishments on deck, I am more impressed with him as a person. I am dismayed he is being treated so poorly, although this seems to be the way in the “great” sport of swimming, that coaches are used and later discarded with little to no thanks. Don’t get me wrong, I still feel strongly that the sport is great, it’s just that the people controlling it are doing it and those deepely involved a great disservice. It saddens me to write this comment.

Joe Momma
8 years ago

You guys are missing the point: DS being granted emeritus status with a definite departure date does NOT mean that he is back; it means that he was put out to pasture and is being paid for the next year by an administration that needs to save face. Please do not kid yourselves about what this means for DS.

I feel bad for DS because this is no way for him to retire, and his forced retirement / emeritus status was not of his own volition. What happened to the swimmers was disgusting but what is happening to DS is also disgusting. It would have been far more noble for GA to pay him a two year severance than grant… Read more »

Reply to  Joe Momma
8 years ago

I agree. This is not the win that everyone is after. I hope that GA at least holds true to their word here and allows Dick to have a strong influence on the direction of the club going forward.

Susan Heon-Preston
8 years ago

YIPPEE! Glad to hear Coach Shoulberg is back!

Rob Sleamaker
8 years ago

This is fantastic news! …and about time.

Perhaps Mr. Connor could learn something from the age-old story of the Native American grandfather who tells his grandson that there are two wolves fighting inside all of us: the wolf of fear and anger, and the wolf of love and peace.”Which wolf will win?” asks the young boy. “Whichever one we feed,” replies the grandfather.

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder/co-owner of SwimSwam.com. He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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