Former UMBC Head Swim Coach Chad Cradock Dies at 47

Former UMBC coach Chad Cradock has died, the team was told in a meeting on Sunday evening. He was 47 years old.

Cradock spent 19 seasons as the head coach of the men’s & women’s swimming & diving teams at UMBC, or the University of Maryland – Baltimore County. He was just the second head coach in program history, serving in that role from 2001 to late 2020. His tenure as the program’s head coach ended in December after a leave of absence, with the school having announced the move as both a “retirement” and a “resignation.”

UMBC has won four of the past six America East women’s titles and the past four men’s titles.

Cradock and his staff won a number of key coaching accolades cross 19 seasons, including the 2001-2002 Northeast Conference Women’s Coach of the Year (’01-’02), ECAC Men’s Coach of the Year (’01-’02, ’02-’03) and America East Men’s Coaching Staff of the Year (’03-’04 and (’04-’05). After the 2015-2016 season, Cradock was named the CCSA Coach of the Year, and after the 2017-2018 season Cradock and his staff were named Coaching Staff of the Year in both seasons.

The men’s team won 10 consecutive conference titles from 2002-2011.

Cradock and his wife Christie had 3 children.

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Whoever feels like listening
1 year ago

Americans are always making things out to be black or white, that someone is either bad or good, wrong or right. Good people can do bad things. Great people can do questionable things, Horrific people can as well do life changing amazing things. I find this “chat” rather disgusting and the timing of some of these comments highly questionable. For whatever victims there are, I am really sorry for you, and I also hope that you are courageous enough to continue to speak out against whatever happened. But I will say, this moment, for as brief it is, is not currently about you. Unfortunately a man that many had loved is gone. I do not feel sorry for you if… Read more »

Reply to  Whoever feels like listening
1 year ago

well put.

Sarah Green
1 year ago

I spent four years swimming with you. During that time you taught me to be a better team mate, friend and student. I was a shy young girl who couldnt keep eye contact. You spent time with me to make sure I could interview and make eye contact once I graduated. You made an effort with me and helped me grow up.

I was so committed to the UMBC program I stayed on campus over the summer and trained with RAC. This brought us even closer because you gave me the opportunity to coach the swim camp. We had SO MUCH FUN!! You even let me come babysit Amanda!

Chad, you helped shaped the person I am today.… Read more »

Last edited 1 year ago by Sarah Green
True Grit Also Supporting the Victims
1 year ago

To those people not directly involved in the cases/investigation question the right of those victims to speak up, and for those courageous kids (remember, most of the victims here are under 21 years old and college students age — same as YOUR KIDS —

Well, I/we won’t back down
No, I/we won’t back down
You can stand me/us up at the gates of hell
But I/we won’t back down
No, I’ll/we’ll stand my/our ground
Won’t be turned around
And I’ll/we’ll keep this man from draggin’ me down
Gonna stand my/our ground
And I/we won’t back down

(I/we won’t back down)
Hey, haters, there ain’t no easy way out
(I/we… Read more »

We’re all Human
1 year ago

I am saddened to see sad hurting people, bickering back and forth with other sad hurting people. Especially given that all of us were part of the same UMBC swim and dive family at one point or another.

Stop this.

Believe it or not, Chad was a human being, just like the rest of us. Humans are imperfect creatures by nature, capable of making great accomplishments and great mistakes alike. Chad was no exception.

The only facts I am aware of are regarding his death are these:

1) Chad resigned abruptly in December after a leave of absence and UMBC supported this.

2) There was an ongoing Title IX investigation into potential wrongdoing.

3)… Read more »

Last edited 1 year ago by We’re all Human
Reply to  We’re all Human
1 year ago

SwimSwam walking a fine line? SwimSwam knows where the line is. SwimSwam has provided a forum for discussion on a very important and timely subject. Your country and my country both have the rule of law, due process and doctrines of innocent until proven guilty. What our countries don’t have is an independent, safe, unbiased system for athletes to report abuse by coaches.
Ever sit through criminal trials of swim coaches of your own children? I have. It’s interesting and sad to watch criminal lawyers tear apart testimonies of young children who claim to have been violated.
In my experience, had regulated swim bodies paid closer attention to complaints brought forward by athletes and parents, I suspect criminal… Read more »

Andrew Eckhoff
1 year ago

This comment section is getting dark. I am not sure exactly what happened so I can only speak on my experience.

Chad was like a second father to me and one of the greatest men I’ve ever meet. My heart goes out to his poor wife and children who I pray are able to make it through this horrible tragedy.
I will forever cherish my time on the UMBC swim and dive team and that is mostly from Chad’s exceptional leadership and unwavering commitment to the team he loved. Who knows where’d I be if not for Chad.

I will always love you Chad, Rest In Peace. ❤️

1 year ago

There are three points I would like to make as I see this comments section spiral:

1) Lots of people who knew and loved Chad are grieving. I understand that there is anger surrounding this death. I understand that there is some energy to ‘do something about it.’ Lashing out at those who disagree with you about Coach Cradock’s legacy is not doing something about it.
2) Turning a man who took his own life into a martyr is dangerous. There is a very real phenomenon where people who are pondering suicide see other suicides and the outpouring of love and beatification drives them into the same. This is very dangerous. We saw this after, for example, Anthony Bourdain’s… Read more »

Reply to  swimcoachpsychologist
1 year ago

You must be such a successful/“good psychologist.” For goodness sake who TF do you think you are to say that he should have consulted with his “accusers” before taking his own life. You must be brain dead to make a statement like that. Cleary you know nothing about mental health to even make a ludicrous comment like that regarding suicide. Also no one is making him a martyr we are all mourning someone who made a huge positive impact in our lives, celebrating his life. Unfortunately being forced to defend him against unfounded accusations. You along with these clowns passing judgement and making accusations without a single bit of publicly available evidence, is sickening.

Reply to  swimcoachpsychologist
1 year ago

To the “swim coach psychologist”- what is “VERY DANGEROUS” is you pretending to be a professional. If you were a real psychologist, you would identify yourself; moreover, a psychologist would not be making such ignorant remarks. Your statements are inappropriate, hateful and heartless. Be a part of the solution, not the problem.

To the “victim” making up FAKE NEWS- STOP; Stop what you are doing right now. Your words are evil, you are hurting grieving heartbroken innocent children and a family that is devastated. Your negative remarks don’t do anything other than cause more pain in this world and won’t help you find peace. Take your anger elsewhere, get professional help; your life matters too.

To the Cradock… Read more »

sad person
Reply to  Swim4life
1 year ago

There’s a seven page document spelling out everything that Chad did. It isn’t fake news. 20 athletes coming forward isn’t fake news. These athletes are scared. You guys are blaming them for his death. The only person who killed Chad, was Chad. He made the decision for everyone that they wouldn’t see their day in court. It isn’t fake news. Just because you had a decent experience with him, doesn’t mean that other did too. Have some compassion. It takes a lot for someone to step forward. The only fake news is you knowing what you’re taking about.

Former RAC Parent
Reply to  sad person
1 year ago

How do you know there is a seven page document spelling everything out? How do you know there are 20 athletes involved? Are you part of the investigation team? Are you a faculty member that has seen this document? What is your credible source of proof for the statements you make?

Former swimmer
Reply to  sad person
1 year ago

How do you know there is a 7 page doc? Will that ever be released? Super interested in those details

Reply to  swimcoachpsychologist
1 year ago

Hey SwimCoachPsychologist……speaking peer to peer as I’m also a psychologist, you should know better than to weigh in on a situation where you don’t have first exposure or interface with the issue. Way to use your credentials to self-aggrandize and speak waaaaay outside of your expertise.

So sad
1 year ago

The real victims here are the three children who will never see their dad again. Rest In Peace Chad.

Lolly Errickson
1 year ago

Dear Swim Swam. You posted this information; you’ve chosen not to moderate this chat; you should be silent. That UMBC has remained silent, to me, suggests all sorts of things. This man is deserving of praise by the folks who deem him praiseworthy. Others disagree. But it is NOT your– Swim Swam– call. And, all I read into UMBC is that it likely did not take care of its athletes OR its coach– its winningest coach during a time when vulnerabilities are high. Frankly, I hold the university, UMBC entirely accountable. That our institutions both neglect athletes and turn their back on their coaches is despicable. And those of you who say you are defending the truth. I hear your… Read more »

Friend of the family
Reply to  Lolly Errickson
1 year ago

Even though I like your point that UMBC and their athletic department has let everyone down, I do believe swam swam isn’t swim swam or representing them and so they aren’t involved in the discussion!

Lolly Errickson
Reply to  Friend of the family
1 year ago

I misread that. Thank you.

RIP Chad
Reply to  Lolly Errickson
1 year ago

Lolly, I completely agree with you. UMBC and the new AD Brian Barrio are at the root of the problem. So sad that a man who was so loyal to UMBC was shown no compassion. Thank you for speaking up.

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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