Germantown Academy Hires Jeff Thompson As New Head Coach

It’s been a nervous few months for the alumni of the proud tradition that is the Germantown Academy swimming program, but on Thursday, they officially have their new coach. Jeff Thompson, the head coach of the Terre Haute, Indiana club team since 1997, has been chosen as the new head coach, according to The Intelligencer.

Those close to the situation tell us that there were other candidates for this job with greater national profiles, but ultimately Thompson was chosen for the opportunity to build a resume of his own at Germantown.

In Thompson’s time with the Terre Haute Torpedoes, the best-known swimmer to come out of the program is Louisville breaststroker/freestyler Addison Bray. Bray, who will be a senior this coming fall, earned an All-America honor by finishing 14th in the 200 breaststroke at this spring’s NCAA Championship meet.

The Intelligencer says that the decision was unanimously voted upon by a search committee and the former head coach Dick Shoulberg, who has been named the “coach emeritus” for the time being.

Shoulberg went on hiatus early in the 2013-2014 season at Germantown amid much mystery, but also amid much controversy. He was reinstated in December, but as “coach emeritus” until the end of the 2014-2015 season.

Germantown Academy in Ft. Washington, Pennsylvania (outside of Philadelphia) has a legendary swimming program that has produced several Olympians, including 1988 silver medalist David Wharton.

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Jim F
6 years ago

GA gets crushed at Interacs for the first time in 40 years. Thompson continues to run the program into the ground. The joke is on GA at this point.

Jim F.
7 years ago

Thompson is a total fraud who fired long time loyal coaches Chris Lear, Caroline Boland, Coleen Boland (GA grad), and was quick to say good buy to assistant coach Kerri McIlvain (GA grad). All long time successful and trusted coaches at GA and GAAC. Thompson also ushered Shoulberg out the door as soon as he brought his used car salesman buddy Donny Brush in from Indiana. No wonder the GAAC is on life support. GA swimming went from a force to a joke in a matter of months.

8 years ago

@H2Opinion, you are correct. Wharton’s Olympic silver medal was in Seoul in 1988.

8 years ago

I believe David Wharton was the 1988 Olympic silver medalist behind Tamas Darnyi.

8 years ago

Big score for GA and Jeff Thompson. Sounds like this was Dick Shoulbergs choice and appears Shoulberg will be a key component along with coaches Crippen and Lear who did a great job over the season.
Best of luck to Jeff in his new role

Rich S
Reply to  Mike
2 years ago

Most of GA’s best swimmers have chosen to transfer to the club where shoulberg coaches, and some swimmers have transferred from GA altogether, to other schools.
5 years later, the program is a shell of its former self.

8 years ago

Great choice Germantown Academy
Jeff is a great fit into the school and swim program and has the ability to help the program mend after very public rocky year.

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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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