Less than a year into her tenure as head coach, Megan Oesting has left SwimMAC Carolina. She was hired during the pandemic in November of 2020 to replace Eric Lane, who acted as interim when Terry Fritch announced his resignation in August after three years in the position.
In a statement sent out to the team, SwimMAC’s Board of Directors cited that they would be parting ways with Oesting due to differences in “management and cultural styles.” Oesting’s arrival allowed SwimMAC Carolina to try out a new structure when it came to coaching. Instead of only coaching the most senior swimmers – as previous coaches had done – she was involved with each of the team’s groups. She believed that forming relationships with every swimmer could help unify the team and allow its participants to feel passionate about the sport. The change was ultimately not what the club was searching for, and they decided it would be best to move on from Osteing’s approach.
The club, one of the largest in the country, ranked 2nd in the 2021 USA Swimming Club Excellence Program.
She offered her own words after the separation:
I want to thank SwimMAC for the opportunity to work with their swimmers and families. I wish the organization and its members only the best in the next chapter. I hope to continue to contribute to the sport of swimming through my position on the ASCA board, and coaching again sometime soon.
Oesting serves on the Board of Directors of the American Swimming Coaches’ Association (ASCA). She joined the board in 2020 and her term expires in 2023.
Before moving to North Carolina, Oesting founded the Eastern Iowa Swimming Federation in 2016. In the four years she was there, her swimmers broke over 40 Iowa state records, posted Top 100 All-Time swims, and broke National Age Group Records. She was named the 2019 ASCA Fitter and Faster Age Group Coach of the Year.
Oesting herself was a successful swimmer. She is a former UCLA All-American and a former National Junior Team member, representing Team USA in both Paris and East Berlin in the early years of the FINA World Cup Series. She eventually qualified for the 1991 Pan American Games, where she won gold on the 400 free relay and individual silver in the 100 free in Cuba. She reached a peak ranking of 18th in the world in the 100 free.
Kathy McKee and Russ Kasl will fill the role with help from team Executive Director Brandi Jones, as they search for a new head coach. McKee is postponing her plans for retirement to assist the team through this next period. She has been a coach at SwimMAC for 22 years.
Full announcement from the Board of Directors:
Over the past few months, we have heard from you and we empathize that there has been increasing concern from families regarding the forward direction of our competitive team. While our swimmers are still finding success in the pool, and our aquatic programs are in high demand, we know that having clarity for coaching and team management is equally critical to ensure the long-term success and growth of SwimMAC.
During this period, we have come to recognize that, because of differing management and cultural styles, it is appropriate for SwimMAC and Megan Oesting to part ways. To achieve a more immediate state of stability for the team, Kathy McKee and Russ Kasl have agreed to step in together to provide ongoing administrative and operational leadership for the team, in partnership with our Executive Director, Brandi Jones. As mentioned in a communication last week, Kathy has committed more than 45 years to the sport of swimming, including 22 years as a SwimMAC coach. She was named Age Group Coach of the Year by the American Swim Coaches Association (ASCA) over four different years and also inducted into their Hall of Fame. Russ has been with SwimMAC for 19 years, coaching across all of our divisions. His consistent leadership has helped our swimmers to reach their goals, including some who were invited to join the Junior National Team.
We appreciate Kathy’s willingness to postpone her retirement and continue on with SwimMAC as a leader and mentor for our team. Kathy, Russ and Brandi will connect with our families near the end of next week to present their direction for the competitive team. As always, we appreciate your support of SwimMAC and our coaching staff and look forward to providing a foundation for our swimmers and families to continue to grow and be successful. Please feel free to reach out with any questions.
SwimMAC Board of Directors