Doug Rusk Transitioning Out at Longhorn Aquatics

As we get closer-and-closer to the Olympic Games, we are again seeing one of the country’s major club programs make a change in leadership, as Doug Rusk is moving on from Longhorn Aquatics later this summer.

The team spokesperson couldn’t speak further about the nature of the change, but the team’s members were notified today of the move via e-mail.

Dear Members,

Today we are announcing a leadership change in our swimming program. Effective July 3, 2012, Mike Laitala will take over as interim head coach. We wish Doug the best as he transitions from Longhorn Aquatics. The search for a new head coach commences immediately. This transition will ensure Longhorn Aquatics will remain one of the top swimming programs in the nation with the best interest of our members in mind.

Rusk had a four-year tenure in Austin, having come to town around the last Olympics. Among his more notable trainees are Georgia sophomore-to-be Amber McDermott (who is the reigning NCAA Freshman of the Year), Texas swimmer Samantha Tucker, and Stanford swimmer Annemarie Thayer.

It’s no surprise either that he swam for some of the best coaches in the country in his own career – Kenyon’s Jim Steen, Bill Rose from Mission Viejo, and the famous Doc Counsilman from Indiana.

Taking over the spot on an interim basis in July will be former Associate Head Coach and the leader of their Hill Country site Mike Laitala. Laitala is a Texas graduate and a former Olympic Trials qualifier. He’s had a couple of stops in college, including as an assistant coach at Denver, as well as volunteer gigs with the North Texas women and the Texas men.

Longhorn Aquatics joins Tucson Ford as big-time programs that now have big-time openings headed into the next Olympic cycle.

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Good luck to whoever decides to take this job.


I think Jim Henry is the heir apparent for that position.

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder of 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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