Former UAE National Team Coach Banned For Life by USA Swimming

In addition to the two we reported on last night, another person was recently added to the USA Swimming List of Individuals Permanently Suspended or Ineligible. Paul van Lieshout from Louisiana was banned effective February 6th, 2013, citing three separate sections to the Code of Conduct.

304.3.4 Conviction of, imposition of a deferred sentence for, or any plea of guilty or no contest at any time, past or present, or the existence of any pending charges, for (i) any felony, (ii) any offense involving use, possession, distribution or intent to distribute illegal drugs or substances, or (iii) any crime involving sexual misconduct.

304.3.5 Any sexual contact or advance directed towards an athlete by a coach, official, trainer, or other person who, in the context of swimming, is in a position of authority over that athlete.

304.3.15 Any other act, conduct or omission not provided for above, which is detrimental to the image or reputation of USA Swimming, a LSC or the sport of swimming.

VanLieshout has previously been the head coach at the Catholic University of America from 2005-2008, and Howard University from 2008-2009. According to his Linkedin profile (as well as this article from Reach For the Wall) from March of 2009 through December of 2010, he was the National Team head coach of the UAE Swimming Team, one of the better middle-eastern programs, and since then has worked with the Alexandria Sporting Club in Egypt. As recently as December, Tweets made from his Twitter account indicated that he was still coaching in Egypt.

USA Swimming, though they were limited in details they would give about vanLieshout’s membership history, did state that there was only one Paul vanLieshout in their membership database, and that he was a member of USA Swimming from 1994-1995, 1997-1999, 2002-2005, and 2010. There are press releases from when he was hired at the Catholic University of America that indicate that he was the National Training Group coach for the Rockville-Montgomery Swim Club.

He has a long history with the Egyptian Swimming Federation, including a previous stint as their national team coach. VanLieshout has always been an outspoken coach. In an article in the Milwaukee Journal, after getting his first major college head coaching job, VanLieshout was quoted as saying “Before I got here this was a terrible, terrible program…I came from UW-La Crosse and I had my first meeting with the kids, and I honest to God thought about going back. Their attitude was poor. Their work ethic wasn’t there. They had absolutely zip for confidence in themselves. It has taken me a good year and a half to turn that around.”

Ceci Christy is working on tracking down records from Louisiana, which we have confirmed he lived for a while (this is where the ban is reported from on USA Swimming’s list). We have spoken to the Athletics Director at Howard, his last employer in the United States, who said that there were no problems and no complaints during VanLieshout’s time there.

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About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

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