Former Penn State Coach and NCAA Champion Ed Bartsch Dies

After a long bout with heart complications, former Penn State swimming & diving assistant coach Ed Bartsch died early last week (Monday, June 18th) at the age of 75.

Bartsch spent seven years at Penn State as an assistant coach, from 2001-2008, leading the distance group. Most recently, he worked as an assistant with St. Andrew’s Aquatics from 2008-2014 in Boca Raton, Florida.

“Bartsch had an unequivocal passion for coaching and was adored by all of his swimmers”, wrote former Penn distance swimmer Chris Sullivan.

While with the Nittany Lions, Bartsch’s distance swimmers rewrote the team record books, and he helped the women’s program to their first Big Ten Championship titles in 2002, 2005 and 2006. Under Bartsch, Sullivan broke school records in the 1000 and 1650 freestyle at the 2007 Big Ten Championships, and another one of his swimmers – Nikki Collins – was a two-time All-American and a school record holder in the mile.

Prior to joining Penn State, Bartsch led the Villanova Wildcats men’s and women’s teams, with the women winning back-to-back Big East titles in ’95 and ’96. He also led the Philippine Olympic team at the 1992 Games in Barcelona, producing eight national records. Prior to this, he led Team Trojan, based out of Los Angeles, from 1989-1992, where his swimmers won seven gold medals in the 1991 Southeast Asian Games, three silver medals at The World Student Games and four U.S. Swimming Individual National Championship Titles, including one world record.

Along with his impressive coaching career, Bartsch found a ton of success decades earlier while competing. In 1963 he won the NCAA title in the 200 back and the Pan Am gold medal in the 100 back, while also captaining Michigan’s swim team in 1965.

Leave a Reply

5 Comment threads
0 Thread replies
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
5 Comment authors
newest oldest most voted
PSU Swammer

Great coach and a great man. He will be missed

Chris Sullivan

Thanks for sharing!


Thanks for sharing this. Great coach, mentor and human being!! We’ll miss you, Ed

About James Sutherland

James Sutherland

James formerly competed for the Laurentian Voyageurs in Sudbury, Ontario, specializing in the 200 free, back and IM. He finished up his collegiate swimming career in February of 2018, placing 11th at the OUA Championships in the 200 IM, and graduated with a bachelor's degree in economics in May. He …

Read More »

Want to take your swimfandom to the next level?

Subscribe to SwimSwam Magazine!