Updated since original publishing.
Former Team USA National Swim program and World Swimming Championships head manager, Susan Petersen Lubow, passed away last Monday at the age of 61 after suffering from pancreatic cancer.
Petersen Lubow was the head manager for the United States’ 1998 World Swimming Championships squad in Perth, Australia, and was also named head manager of the country’s Short Course World swim team when USA hosted the event in 2004. Petersen Lubow also served in the roles as head and assistant manager of the USA National Swim program throughout the summers of 1993 to 1995.
Receiving a bachelor’s degree from Springfield College in 1975, Petersen Lubow was inducted into the school’s Athletic Hall of Fame in 1991, as well as the New York Metropolitan Swimming Hall of Fame in 2009. She was an All-American swimmer in the 200 IM and medley relay while at Springfield. (The Island Now)
Petersen Lubow also served as the athletic director at the United States Merchant Marine Academy (USMMA) for 25 years, the first woman to hold the position at any of the United States Federal Services Academies. In another first, she served as head coach for the men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams, representing the first woman to be appointed as a head coach of a varsity men’s team at any service academy.
“Sue was a legend in collegiate athletics, as the first female athletic director of a federal service academy, and she helped pave the way for all future female athletic directors,” current USMMA Athletic Director Mo White said.
The USMMA’s site published additional comments from USA Swimming Executive Director, Chuck Wielgus and USA Swimming National Team Director, Frank Busch.
“This is extremely sad news. I’ve known Sue since she was a star swimmer at Springfield College, when I was a graduate student there. Then, through her active involvement with USA Swimming and in NCAA Swimming, we were able to work together over the years. Sue’s whole life was dedicated to student-athletes and she saw the athlete as a whole person. She understood the balance between athletics and life in general and exhibited that in her own life with the way she dealt with others. We will all miss her dearly.” – USA Swimming Executive Director Chuck Wielgus
“Sue was a truly remarkable and wonderful person. I’ve known Sue since the early 1990s when we were on the NCAA Swimming Rules Committee together. Sue was able to sit in a room with a variety of coaches – including some Division I coaches with strong personalities – and, through patience and persistence, she was able to work through some of the challenges and finished off everything in a positive way. Sue will be missed, she cared deeply about and was a great ambassador for the sport of swimming. She was dedicated to transforming our sport to make it better. She listened to everybody, not making knee-jerk reactions, and then made decisions for the good of our sport.” – USA Swimming National Team Director Frank Busch
At her own hall of fame induction ceremony, Petersen Lubow said of her honors, “Maybe I did break through barriers and overcome obstacles to give young girls a chance of following their dreams. I just never looked at myself in that light.”