Former U.S. National Team Director Mark Schubert Announces Retirement

Former U.S. National Team Director Mark Schubert told his staff at the Mission Viejo Nadadores that he was retiring from coaching on Thursday morning. It was announced to the team later in the afternoon.

Schubert is planning to stay on with the club until December, and the club says that a search for a new head coach has begun.

Schubert has been one of the most recognizable figures on pool deck at USA Swimming competitions for nearly five decades, holding the role of National Team Director from 2006 until 2010 and also serving on eight consecutive U.S. Olympic team staffs from 1980 until 2008 (though the Americans ultimately did not attend in 1980).

Schubert has most recently served as the head coach of the Mission Viejo Nadadores since 2016, the same club he got his start with from 1972 until 1985.

In late August it was announced that Schubert was resigning from his position on the American Swimming Coaches Association (ASCA) Board of Directors one year early, citing “personal reasons.”

During his first stint in Mission Viejo, Schubert coached a small army of Olympians that included Shirley Babashoff, Brian Goodell, Mike O’Brien, Sippy Woodhead and Dara Torres, winning 44 national team titles and multiple ASCA Coach of the Year awards.

He then moved to the Mission Bay Makos Swim Team in Florida for a few years before jumping into collegiate coaching, leading the University of Texas women to a pair of NCAA team titles in 1990 and 1991. He followed up by coaching the University of Southern California women to their first-ever national title in 1997.

During Schubert’s career, his swimmers won 49 individual NCAA titles to go along with a trio of team titles.

At the Olympics, Schubert was first named an assistant coach of the combined men’s and women’s teams in 1980, and after serving as an assistant at the next two Games, he was named the head women’s coach in 1992 after his back-to-back NCAA titles in Austin. He was again an assistant in 1996 before being named head men’s coach in 2000 and head women’s coach in 2004.

Along with the swimmers he coached to the Olympics while at Mission Viejo, Schubert also led names such as Brad Bridgewater, Janet EvansLindsay BenkoLenny KrayzelburgKlete KellerErik Vendt, Jessica Hardy, Larsen Jensen, Ous Mellouli and Kaitlin Sandeno to the Games.

In total, Schubert’s athletes have won at least 20 Olympic medals (including 12 gold medals), broken at least 21 World Records, and broken at least 97 American Records.

After leaving USC in 2006 to take over as National Team Director, Schubert took a paid leave of absence from the role in September 2010 before ultimately being terminated from the position.

Schubert and USA Swimming signed a nondisclosure agreement as part of the settlement. According to a report from the OC Register in 2018, the late Chuck Wielgus, former USA Swimming CEO, said in a deposition that Schubert was terminated for “erratic behavior,” particularly at the 2010 Pan Pacific Championship in Irvine.

Schubert went on to become the CEO and head coach at Golden West Swim Club in California before landing at Mission Viejo again five years ago.

While at Golden West Swim Club Schubert got into a legal scuffle after a former Golden West coach, Dia Rianda, sued him for wrongful termination, saying she was fired after she complained to USA Swimming about inappropriate behavior by a different coach, Bill Jewell. Jewell was eventually banned by USA Swimming for three years, and the suit between Rianda and Schubert was settled out of court.

In 2016, Schubert succeeded longtime Nadadore head coach Bill Rose, who announced his retirement earlier that year. The club is currently interviewing to hire an executive director to oversee all of their programs, including swimming, diving and water polo.

Some of the prominent swimmers who have represented Mission Viejo in recent years include 2020 U.S. Olympians Michael BrinegarZach AppleHaley Anderson and Annie Lazor, along with 2021-22 U.S. National Teamers Will Gallant and David Heron, though in some of those cases, the representation did not reflect the athletes’ regular training sites.

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Ugly is my alibi
1 month ago

Congratulations coach. Enjoy your retirement

SoCal coach
1 month ago

POV: you’re just here for the comments

SUNY Cal
1 month ago

How old is he?

Ghost
Reply to  SUNY Cal
1 month ago

72

I_Said_It
1 month ago

Come for the article…. Staying for the show.

2Fat4Speed
1 month ago

Hmmmm, did not ever realize he was still in the sport…

Picture looks like Bill Rose
1 month ago

Picture looks like Bill Rose

Raymond Woods
Reply to  Picture looks like Bill Rose
1 month ago

The new picture is Mark

SCCOACH
1 month ago

Swimswam getting really good at the “happy retirement/RIP” articles with the little tidbit about the coach being a scumbag at the end of all of these.

Guerra
1 month ago

Mark is the most complex individual that I’ve ever met in the sport and I personally had a love/hate relationship with him over the years. There were definitely good times and bad, but today I’m choosing to fondly remember his greatness and the brilliant career he had in coaching. Congratulations, Mark!

Ugly is my alibi
Reply to  Guerra
1 month ago

Feel the same way. Can’t believe it’s so unpopular to wish a man well

swimmin’
Reply to  Ugly is my alibi
1 month ago

He coached my mom as an age group swimmer and shes had nothing but bad things to say about him. Hes led so many young girls into eating disorders over his obsession with weight. Needless to say we are not a fan of him in our household

Cynthia curran
Reply to  swimmin’
1 month ago

Well, that is a problem, think of Eva Merrill, another swim team whose career was ruin by an eating disorder.

Ugly is my alibi
Reply to  swimmin’
1 month ago

Im sorry your mother went through that. I personally did not see that in my time with Mark, though I cannot be certain it didnt. Perhaps he worked to become a better person.

Guerra
Reply to  Ugly is my alibi
1 month ago

It’s a younger and less tolerant group that doesn’t like him and public perception wasn’t good to him in the last ten years. I can understand, but those of us that are older and saw Mark coaching in his prime, can’t help but appreciate him for his passion and accomplishments whether we liked him or not. From humble beginnings in Northern Ohio and Eastern Kentucky University, Mark always did it his way and he reached incredible heights as a coach and touched many of his athletes lives in a positive way.

Alex Dragovich
Reply to  Guerra
1 month ago

“Younger and less tolerant”…🙄no.

Less willing to put their heads in the sand in the face of abuse, yes.

NM Coach
Reply to  Guerra
1 month ago

I believe one of his first jobs…GOING WAY BACK…Akron Firestone!

Swim3057
Reply to  NM Coach
1 month ago

Mark actually swam at Akron Firestone as a high school swimmer under a great coach in Dick Wells who later started the Indian River dynasty. Mark coached at Cuyahoga Falls in the same part of Ohio.

NM Coach
Reply to  Ugly is my alibi
1 month ago

IT IS INCREDIBLE how many down votes a comment section produces when you congratulate someone or wish them well!

SwimmerNotSwammer
Reply to  Guerra
1 month ago

and I’m choosing to remember the abuse he foisted upon dozens of children

Col. Trautman
Reply to  Guerra
1 month ago

Guerra, care to elaborate or give examples of both the love and the hate?

Guerra
Reply to  Col. Trautman
1 month ago

It had to do with a couple of swimmers I had that swam for him and how they were treated. One great and the other not so good.

Cynthia curran
Reply to  Guerra
1 month ago

Mark S was helped by the Billionaire Don Bren who created the plan community of Mission Viejo in the late 1960’s. Hougins in those days was a lot cheaper than in either La County or Northern Orange County. So, thousands moved to Mission Viejo. this give Mark a lot of swimmers to work with in the early days.

CATFISH
Reply to  Guerra
1 month ago

I wish Guerra would tell us who he actually is. Whoever he is, it’s a crafty play to hype up one program and coach the way has and trash so many other longtime members of the swimming community. I understand he’s not explicitly trashing Schubert the way he has to so many, but you can read the undertone here.

Coach Ryan
Reply to  CATFISH
1 month ago

Unlike most on here he actually uses his real name.

Admin
Reply to  Coach Ryan
1 month ago

No he doesn’t. He just took his troll to the next level by making a fake Facebook account to back it up.

Guerra
Reply to  Braden Keith
1 month ago

I’m hurt 😢by this characterization of my creativity and contributions to this site…

Coach Macgyver
Reply to  Guerra
1 month ago

Smear campaign. No contributions.

CATFISH
Reply to  Braden Keith
1 month ago

Brayden. Blink twice if Guerra is actually Ray Looze.

Guerra
Reply to  CATFISH
1 month ago

I really like Mark. He’s a complex man and very hard to read and get to know, but a great swimming coach. Mark made some mistakes, but I choose to believe he has a heart of gold and I respect him for the good he did.

Sherlock Holmes
Reply to  CATFISH
1 month ago

Breaking News…Guerra IS the “GOAT Coach”, Ray Looze! ! Pretty crafty, Ray.

Dynamite
Reply to  Guerra
1 month ago

How is Mark complex? I think he’s pretty cut and dry. Seriously complex?
I would love to know it what way is he complex?

About James Sutherland

James Sutherland

James swam five years at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, specializing in the 200 free, back and IM. He finished up his collegiate swimming career in 2018, graduating with a bachelor's degree in economics. In 2019 he completed his graduate degree in sports journalism. Prior to going to Laurentian, James swam …

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