Megan Oesting Out After 9 Months as Head Coach at SwimMAC Carolina

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:

178
Leave a Reply

Subscribe
Notify of

178 Comments
newest
oldest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Jim McGovern
1 year ago

Does anyone know how to get in touch with coach Megan? Please do not post her contact information in response to this comment, but If anyone who is reading this board knows her and can pass my info to her with a note that I’d like to connect, I’d be grateful to learn fact from speculation and opinion littered across this thread. Just want to do some diligence with my daughters’ success in mind.

[email protected]

RetiredMACparent
1 year ago

I’m just here for the comments

O My
1 year ago

Curious why Spellman is no longer at ICE? Also a quick search shows that he also had issues when IFLY started their team. Apparently anytime a new team is started it needs to be approved by him before hand. I would say that he definitely knows what is going on in Iowa, at least his twisted version of the truth.

Iowa swim parent
Reply to  O My
1 year ago

He is never wrong, just ask him. My main issue is that he is constantly complaining that anytime his kids leave that they were poached when in fact the families just found a better fit somewhere else. Why does a kid changing teams have to become a federal case. Just wish all parties well and move on with your life. Focus on those that want to be there!

DP Spellman
Reply to  Iowa swim parent
1 year ago

Actually, I was happy when problematic parents left. I didn’t complain except when I found direct evidence that there was shenanigans or something going on behind my back or my staff was being undermined. I even had dinner and drinks occasionally with coaches from IFLY and other clubs. People leave teams for all kinds of reasons and many times those are valid (pool time, pool space, training philosophy, headsets or no headsets, pool locations, etc.).

I’ll let the achievements of my staff and former athletes speak for themselves.

If you ever want to comb through some of the documents I attained from the University of Iowa, the Iowa Board of Regents, or any copies of the various emails… Read more »

DP Spellman
Reply to  Iowa swim parent
1 year ago

Also, Rod Lehnertz (University of Iowa VP of Finance & Planning) still owes the Iowa City Eels a public apology for his past actions.

DP Spellman
Reply to  O My
1 year ago

Actually, here are the main reasons:

1. Continuing frustrations with the Iowa City Department of Parks & Recreation over various issues. There was a lot of turnover with employees which lead to a big lack of communication and consistency with how the Eels were treated. I don’t think the new Parks & Recreation Director really knows what to do with Mercer Park or City Park pools nor values having a community based swim club running out of them. The lack of planning since the departure of Chad Dyson was very confusing and concerning.

2. I wanted to be paid my market value for my experience and talents since I have two kids in college, two pet frogs, and… Read more »

MAC Parent
1 year ago

and on the subject of disfunction. Was any other parent irked by the MAC’s handling of Olympic Trials? Wave 2 swimmers got the royal sendoff, were handed over the team’s instagram account for posting throughout the week.

Wave 1 swimmers? Current MAC swimmers at Wave 1, a scant mention. MAC swimmers in college? basically ignored. I found out by luck – catching them on TV and recognizing some of the names.

Complete botch job and missed opportunity for the club to showcase MAC’s post-age group successes.

Let’s get our stuff together, team!

MAC Family
Reply to  MAC Parent
1 year ago

Irked? They are owed an apology. After the thousands of hours and dollars spent by families and the swimmers plus volunteer hours and fundraising over the years, I’m sure it felt great to be largely ignored.

Former MAC
Reply to  MAC Parent
1 year ago

MAC has done an exceptionally poor job of celebrating the success of both the senior division as well as how alumni are now doing. In my mind this is a symptom of the disfunction and not due to an individual coach. It is especially troubling since it’s an Olympic year and this is a Golden opportunity to advocate for swimming and Swimmac.

NM Coach
1 year ago

After reading this entire thread…3 things stand out:

1) this is the FIRST time Guerra DID NOT comment on the GOAT!!! You let me down!

2) when it comes to the landscape of Iowa swimming…DP Spellman knows EXACTLY what he’s talking about!!!

3) whether Megan was a good fit or not does NOT negate the fact that this program has had incredible coach turnover for the past few years…so I wonder where the root of the problem lies (hmmmm?)!

Guerra
Reply to  NM Coach
1 year ago

This was an excellent recap! I did make a GOAT reference, but it was in another sport…”Nature Boy” Ric Flair – Whooooo!!!

DP Spellman
Reply to  NM Coach
1 year ago

Cornfields, soybeans, big windmills, livestock, a couple nice lakes, some swimming pools, two excellent skateparks (Davenport & Des Moines now), decent whiskey and beer distilleries, Slipknot, a Butter Cow, Maytag Blue Cheese, Hawkeyes, Cyclones, Panthers, and a few land mines here or there……
overall not a bad place to live!

MidwestNative
Reply to  DP Spellman
1 year ago

Idiots Out Wandering Around…. Oh, and WarriOORS! WarriOORS! WarriOORS! WarriOORS! WarriOORS!…. Do they still do that?

That high school is literally my own reference for Iowa swimming

If you Ames at nothing, you’ll hit it every time!

DP Spellman
Reply to  MidwestNative
1 year ago

Are you from Nebraska? 😂

Yup
1 year ago

Wandering in the desert….twisting in the wind….

Samuli Hirsi
1 year ago

Why is this so hard? Have one person lead with his/her vision three seasons and take stock. Make plans and give targets, it is very simple.

Noah
1 year ago

I know people who work for MAC who have said the second she arrived things have gone downhill. Is more interested in running the organization as a business, to make money and cut costs, as opposed to a team, to help improve athletes and garner success as a program. Having her leave is going to benefit the coaches and athletes and hopefully help them retain some of the people who were planning on leaving after she screwed things up

Coach
Reply to  Noah
1 year ago

Part of the problem is that the staff and the board had two entirely different ideas as to what the team needed before hiring Megan. Before their next head coach hire, I hope they all sit down in a room together to collectively decide which direction to go. Otherwise, there is a greater chance that this cycle will continue.

Guerra
Reply to  Coach
1 year ago

Good point, Coach!

Coach
Reply to  Guerra
1 year ago

Getting the Guerra stamp of approval is almost as impressive as getting a Ray Looze stamp of approval!

Guerra
Reply to  Coach
1 year ago

Haha! You’re a cry for help…or maybe I’m the one that’s a cry for help!

Guerra
Reply to  Noah
1 year ago

I understand what you’re saying, but what direction did the board want her to go in? They had David Marsh and although the program was competitive at the highest levels of the sport, they got rid of him because of financial issues. I have to wonder if MAC is still having financial issues from the Marsh era and have to believe things haven’t gotten better because of Covid. With property, assets, payroll, etc., SwimMAC has to be a multi-million dollar business. This is no joke and they need to have people on the board with professional business acumen. I really have to wonder if 20% of the board has any success or experience in business. Maybe Megan was screwed over… Read more »

Last edited 1 year ago by Guerra