Former Michigan HS Swim Coach Dennis Carter Banned for Life

Former Michigan High School swim coach Dennis Carter has been added to the USA Swimming public list of “Individuals Permanently Suspended or Ineligible” this week, with an official suspension date of March 29th, 2013.

This ban comes roughly 6 years after Carter was accused and sentenced to prison for having a sexual relationship with a female 16-year old student at Seaholm High School where he was the swim coach. Carter coached the powerhouse Seaholm girls’ team to Michigan Class A (big school) state championships in 1995, 1996, and 1997 (including coaching at least one future NCAA Champion.)

In a statement, USA Swimming says that Carter was a member of the organization for one year in 2006, and has not been registered since. His conviction was brought to their attention in September of 2012, and they moved forward with their process at that time.

The victim told stories at the time of conviction of her and Carter’s affair that included getting her a second cell phone number to keep their communications secret and Carter buying the victim a plastic cover to hide her license plate number.

The victim was a member of the swim team, though Carter coached her for approximately three years before the relationship became sexual.

Under Michigan law at the time, it was illegal for Carter to have a sexual relationship with a student until they were 18 years and 1 day old.

Carter plead guilty to two counts of third-degree criminal sexual conduct, with a sentence of 1-15 years in prison in addition to other fines. He serves approximately 5 years of that sentence, having been released in February of 2012 per state records.

According to the Michigan sex offender website, Carter is currently out of prison and residing in Jerome, Michigan.

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Anonymous (Verified)
8 years ago

As one of Dennis’s swimmer’s and an employee of the swim club he ran during the 1986 summer season, I can easily say that all of us knew he was inappropriate with his swimmers. We were all afraid to say anything and just tolerated his roaming hands and gross comments. Although I earned by Varisty letter in swimming my freshman year of high school, I quit the team after my sister graduated because I didn’t know how to handle his advances. He was a tough coach and made us lean machines, but we were all afraid to speak up without fear of some recourse. I am very glad young women are more able to stand up today.

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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