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:

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Mac
23 days ago

Enter Mike Parratto and Bruce Gemmel.

Guerra
Reply to  Mac
23 days ago

Coaches, Word to the wise…. If you are interested in taking this job and moving your family, hire a sports contract lawyer (no matter what the cost) to negotiate an iron-clad contract. It is worth the money because these people have shown themselves to be unstable liars and will turn on you with no warning…

Jane
Reply to  Guerra
23 days ago

Oh, it’s the same everywhere, in every club. Being a competitive swim coach is cutthroat and doesn’t pay enough. Parents and Boards are a nightmare now and it’s just not worth it. They take away your individuality and blame you for anything that goes wrong. If you’re a woman? Even worse. Kids were the only good thing about the job.

Guerra
Reply to  Jane
23 days ago

I’m amazed that any head coach at MAC can actually focus on the “coaching athletes” part. In reality, the pay is incredibly low for the enormous responsibility and lack of job security, and there really aren’t enough hours in the day for a head coach to properly manage the program. It must feel like you’re their indentured servant 24/7 and the quality of life must be terrible. And forget spending any quality time with your family if you have one. The whole organizational structure of MAC needs to be overhauled.

Harper
Reply to  Guerra
20 days ago

Guerra who are you ? How you know about parents, kids and board in swimmmac ? You should know before you say anything

Tom Jones
Reply to  Guerra
23 days ago

What did it cost to buy her out of her contact? 50,000 60.000 we will never know the BOD cost the club money again. Board Chair think he in judge and jury when it come to safe sport issues. The membership should only know what is capable go and what he has done ,The Board has to go.

Guerra
Reply to  Tom Jones
22 days ago

You have to wonder if Megan even had a contract, and if she did, was there even a severance package? A lot of times people make the mistake of being seduced by programs like MAC and not only don’t do due diligence, but fail to protect themselves (ie contract, severance pay). That’s why hiring a sports contract lawyer/agent is vital in this situation. If someone the caliber of Gemmell or Parrato, I would demand a $250,000.00 severance buyout for any reason besides being banned by Safesport.

QwestLove
Reply to  Guerra
21 days ago

Word on the street is that they’re paying out her contract to the tune of 300k+ so long as she doesn’t say anything negative about the club.

And this is why SwimMAC continues to get good coaches to go there, even knowing how disastrous the board is. Because it pays.

Tom Jones
Reply to  QwestLove
19 days ago

Brandi Jones the ED is a MAJOR problem she lives very close to the Board Chair he says jump and she says how high. She can’t be trusted she is not strong enough to be truthful to anyone

SwamMACer
Reply to  Tom Jones
16 days ago

Problem is, both Brandi AND the board lack the vision necessary to lead their way out of a paper bag. Poor leadership – no leadership. Sad, sad, sad.

AThomas
Reply to  Tom Jones
22 days ago

For what it is worth: If you google “I-990 search” you can pull up the tax return for any nonprofit that has filed. MAC included. I think it is helpful to know that the financial activities of most clubs are not as hidden as BODs might hope. (this is not directed one way or another at MAC. I have no idea what is going on there).

OhioSwimmer
Reply to  AThomas
17 days ago

Interesting tip!!

Coach
Reply to  Tom Jones
22 days ago

You mentioned safe sport issues- if you have a concern, report it to Safe Sport (not your board president).

Jeff
Reply to  Mac
23 days ago

Mike Parratto already has to deal with a dysfunctional, power hungry situation.

Nugget
Reply to  Jeff
23 days ago

Care to elaborate? As far as I was aware, Mike Parratto has a pretty sweet gig up in Minnesota

swimapologist
Reply to  Nugget
23 days ago

Yeah…a sweet gig that he was going to leave for SwimMAC to work under Megan.

He’s been lying to everyone about it, but it was going to happen. Not sure what the plan is now that Megan was out.

WHKIRCH
Reply to  swimapologist
23 days ago

If he was planning on leaving, that also probably means that Regan is still going to Stanford as planned.

Admin
Reply to  WHKIRCH
23 days ago

With NIL opening up, I can’t imagine why she wouldn’t go to Stanford…

It rarely has worked out in US swimming history for a teenage female athlete to stay home and train with their home clubs, regardless of how much success they had there, instead of going to college. At some point, I hope the “establishment” learns from the mistakes of previous generations. Especially with it being much less of a money issue now.

Swimmer
Reply to  swimapologist
23 days ago

What is your source for this information?

Swimmer
Reply to  Jeff
23 days ago

The owner?

Coach
Reply to  Mac
23 days ago

Why would they fire her with a month left in the season? If the rumors are true about Parratto and/or Gemmel, the timing makes even less sense.

Mel
Reply to  Coach
23 days ago

Parratto and Gemmel both have crappy situations. It’s the devil you know vs the devil you think you might know. Look elsewhere.

Swimmer
Reply to  Mel
23 days ago

How are their current situations crappy? They are the head coaches at their clubs. What more could they ask for? The clubs still have talented swimmers even after someone like Regan leaves.

Curious
Reply to  Swimmer
19 days ago

What are the rumors about Gemmel? Please share.

Yaboi
23 days ago

And the North Carolina meat grinder continues

Coach
Reply to  Yaboi
23 days ago

The announcement from the Board of Directors is very unprofessional and lacked class.

4606
Reply to  Coach
23 days ago

Seriously. 2nd in the club excellence program doesn’t seem nearly good enough. Not sure what coach would read that and feel like they would be set up for success taking that job

Swimmac parent
Reply to  Coach
23 days ago

Right decision for her and several board members to step down as well. From inside knowledge she had ZERO conversations with several of the most successful swimmers on the team over her entire 9 month tenure. She had made negative commentary about swimmers that made it to her own son’s snapchat ( who incidentally left to train in California after trials). She lost Eric (strength coach) and Sean left on his own volition. Can’t really put all the blame on her. The activist board members that were responsible for her hiring are rumored to have stepped down too. We have high hopes that the tradition and strong leadership from Russ and Kathy will keep the ship going and bounce back… Read more »

Coach
Reply to  Swimmac parent
23 days ago

That may be true, but there is nothing wrong with saying “We have decided to go our separate ways” and then talked about the future.

Awsi Dooger
Reply to  Coach
23 days ago

I don’t always agree with you but I do here, in a big way. No need whatsoever to throw in that cultural line. It smacks of low class. The Houston Texans did the same thing last fall and suffered for it via media scrutiny. They fired highly regarded communications director Amy Palcic and somehow brainstormed that they needed to announce it was, “not a cultural fit.”

Anti-Illini
Reply to  Swimmac parent
23 days ago

And there is that parent. That one parent all the coaches know is that parent.
PSA: don’t be that parent

kng
Reply to  Anti-Illini
23 days ago

Anti-Illini: correct. And most of what swimmac parent said isn’t true. It has hints of truth, but isn’t the truth.

Alum
Reply to  Swimmac parent
23 days ago

Eric was the best thing to happen to that program

Swimcoach
23 days ago

Word is that they both “declined”

Last edited 23 days ago by Swimcoach
Sea Creature
Reply to  Swimcoach
23 days ago

Who is “they”?

Ghost
23 days ago

Maybe the Board needs to be fired??! They keep hiring the wrong people?

BPK
Reply to  Ghost
23 days ago

The Ramboyzzzz need to be on the board!!!!

RYT
Reply to  Ghost
23 days ago

This. Current president has no idea what SwimMAC represents or how competitive swimming works or how large clubs are run.

swimapologist
Reply to  RYT
23 days ago

I mean….

Isn’t this kind of how SwimMAC has always operated? Nobody I’ve spoken to was surprised by this at all. I think this is exactly the kind of bizarre, overbearing, and chaotic move that SwimMAC has been about for a while. I’m not old enough (and there wasn’t enough scrutiny) to know what they were like once upon a time, but over the last 10 or 15 years…chaos and bad decision making has kind of been their MO, hasn’t it?

Applesandoranges
Reply to  Ghost
23 days ago

Maybe it’s just a bad board.

Thoughtandswam
Reply to  Applesandoranges
23 days ago

No Maybe about it

Luxos
Reply to  Ghost
23 days ago

The board is 100% incompetent.

Lola Davies
Reply to  Ghost
23 days ago

The Board has been an issue since it came under “leadership” of the previous Board Chair. He had a an ego and thought he was the answer to everything with no experience in the sport of swimming. He made poor decision after poor decision leading to David Marsh leaving Terry Fritch leaving and he still sits on the board and hired a head coach unqualified to run the club. Eric Lane leaving was a devastating blow to the dryland program. Peter Verhoef was smart to leave when he did. The former Board Chair also failed to listen to parents, coaches and swimmers and this is the result, massive failure of a once club of excellence. He also pushed for the… Read more »

Alum
Reply to  Lola Davies
23 days ago

David marsh doomed the club… left everything, debt and bad board, to deal with what was left behind

NC Swimz
23 days ago

When the story is written, I believe many of these will reveal themselves as contributing factors to the past nine-month dumpster fire at SwimMAC;

1.       A board comprised of too many parents who on the surface, were there to serve the club but in reality, were there to look out for what’s best for their swimmer. Too many personal agendas at play
2.      A board that simply “knew best.” Didn’t look to the past or seek enough outside counsel to support their thought processes
3.      A board that did not listen enough to the existing coaching staff enough with regard to what was working and what wasn’t
4.      A board that put “Diversity and Inclusion” as the top hiring criteria as opposed to… Read more »

swimapologist
Reply to  NC Swimz
23 days ago

This is a really confusing comment to try and follow, because it doesn’t read as though you’re a SwimMAC outsider, even though you state you are.

I wish people wouldn’t say “no dog in the fight” here as though that somehow makes their opinion more credible. If you’re not a SwimMAC insider, than your above analysis is, essentially, meaningless, right?

This reads to me as though you’re basically mad that they hired a female coach.

I don’t know what went on at SwimMAC, but Megan was qualified regardless of her gender. She built a powerhouse club that was breaking NAG Records from the ground up in 4 years in frickin’ Iowa.

Swimmmer
Reply to  swimapologist
23 days ago

Dude. All of her top swimmers at EISF were from other clubs…

Just Wondering
Reply to  Swimmmer
23 days ago

How big is EISF?

swimmmmer
Reply to  Just Wondering
23 days ago

currently, 0 swimmers

Last edited 23 days ago by swimmmmer
Kingkong
Reply to  Swimmmer
23 days ago

That isn’t true. Every top swimmer was coached by her as AG’ers at some point or in its entirety.

DP Spellman
Reply to  Kingkong
22 days ago

That’s not accurate. Quite a few started with other clubs in the Iowa LSC.

Truther
Reply to  Kingkong
19 days ago

Not accurate AT ALL. Her top age groupers were developed by other clubs and poached to join EISF.

MAC Parent
Reply to  swimapologist
23 days ago

Seems like the post is more in indictment of the board overall, not about hiring a female – at the bottom of the post it states she seemed well qualified! More importantly, let’s give Megan some credit. She stepped out of her comfort zone, took a professional risk and moved her family half-way across the country to step up to this challenge. Let’s give her the credit for being bold and taking a risk. It didn’t work out. Sometimes that happens. Best of luck to her and her family. How many of us would take that risk?

As far as the “Diversity and Inclusion” statement – Corporate America is all about Diversity and Inclusion these days and building a diverse… Read more »

Coach
Reply to  MAC Parent
23 days ago

What you say may be right, but the wording of their membership letter did not help their cause.

Last edited 23 days ago by Coach
Tom Jones
Reply to  NC Swimz
23 days ago

You are right about the toxic BOD you should only no the truth. They were told that she was not capable of coaching a club SwimMac size. Board Chair ,Vice Chair and Sec were the problem .Secretary stepped down ,VP stepped down but it not leave the board . They all need to go there egos will stand in the way.THEY ARE TOXIC.PEARENTS NEED TO STEP UP ITS YOUR PROGRAM

Dmswim
Reply to  NC Swimz
23 days ago

So you know nothing about the situation and you admit Megan is a credentialed coach, but then jump to the conclusion that she was a “diversity and inclusions hire? This is why more women don’t go into coaching.

Ghost of TAR
23 days ago

Wow. I wonder if Warren Perry or Brad Kline might be viable options for the next Head Coach…

BPK
Reply to  Ghost of TAR
23 days ago

If they were smart they’d recruit Jonah Turner from Raleigh. He’s lead Cardinal Gibbons to a dynasty and is on TACs board

Ghost of TAR
Reply to  BPK
23 days ago

Dang! That would be sick!

Kitajima Fan
Reply to  BPK
23 days ago

Lol no. High school coaches in NC have no bearing on the level of the team

Ghost of TAR
Reply to  Ghost of TAR
23 days ago

Apparently Kline has no interest. I’d be all in on Perry…

Swimcoach
23 days ago

Absolute brutal parent group! No coach worth their salt would coach in that environment! Brutal!

Swim4YourLIfe
23 days ago

Long overdue and sadly, at the cost of many members and staff. She was greatly underqualified and in way over her head, which was apparent on day 1.

Luxos
Reply to  Swim4YourLIfe
23 days ago

Agree. She can be a good coach, but she is bad at management and leadership. REALLY bad.

AFlyer
Reply to  Luxos
23 days ago

Disagree. She built EISF from ground up and made a successful team from nowhere. It won’t happen without both good coach skills and management capabilities.

DP Spellman
Reply to  AFlyer
23 days ago

This is not an accurate statement. CRAA had success in Iowa well BEFORE the EISF model was introduced to that area.

EISF numbers also initially grew out of Megan’s private technique lesson program with former members of IFLY, ICE, and local YMCA teams. This played out for over two years.

GeauxCanada
Reply to  DP Spellman
23 days ago

Ok but you think every SwimMAC athlete started there at age 7 and trains there through HS?

Most big programs are, in large part, feeder programs from other clubs. Whether you think that’s cool or not probably depends on which club you work for lol.

DP Spellman
Reply to  GeauxCanada
23 days ago

I don’t think that but EISF wasn’t some juggernaut. There was good club swimming and high school in the eastern Iowa corridor area before CRAA morphed into EISF and EISF was not near the size of a SwimMAC or NCAP or Academy Bullets style team.

Kingkong
Reply to  DP Spellman
23 days ago

“Success”. There was a reason you and others nicknamed them CRAAP. Success wasn’t there, we knew that even in DSM.

Creating a narrative and repeating endlessly doesn’t make it the truth.

DP Spellman
Reply to  Kingkong
22 days ago

I actually worked with CRAA staff and parents for years. The Eels and CRAA would travel to meets together and ran meets together at Mercer Park and CRWC many times.

The past CRAA coaches were not recruiting kids from Eels or poaching from other programs around the eastern Iowa corridor. They played nice and produced good results.

Creating a silly screen name and posting bad revisionist history is a bad look Kong. Research some past meet results BEFORE EISF or IFLY (under Coach Megan) existed and one can see that there was good High School and club swimming in the area during the 80’s and beyond. EISF was started using seed money and swimmers leftover from CRAA.

Iowa swim parent
Reply to  Kingkong
22 days ago

You should know by now that is Don Spellmans mode of operation. Create a narrative and then loudly bully people with it. Why do you think he talks behind peoples backs and puts down strong women!

DP Spellman
Reply to  Iowa swim parent
21 days ago

That’s laughable. I’m the most honest person in the LSC and have helped (and hired) numerous female coaches in the sport. Ask some of my former assistant coaches or females I have worked with on Team Iowa coaching staffs.
I just can’t stand false narratives and bad revisionist history being thrown around on these messages boards. I’ll stand by every statement I have made for over my decades in my career. I’m against bullying and anti-BS at the same time!
Megan got a raw deal from the University of Iowa (especially Phil Julson and Harry Ostrander) and did quite a lot of good things in the sport but some big issues came up with the formation of EISF… Read more »

AFlyer
Reply to  DP Spellman
22 days ago

I agree Eastern Iowa does produce good swimmers from teams like IFLY, unfortunately, not from CRAA. It is Megan turned the team around and renamed to EISF. As to swimmers from her private lessons, why swimmers would like to follow her to her new team, even with much longer commute time? it tells everything.

DP Spellman
Reply to  AFlyer
22 days ago

It actually does say everything……..about ethics.

DP Spellman
Reply to  AFlyer
22 days ago

How many non-profit 501.c3 / Board of Directors run programs would be okay with the HEAD COACH working with swimmers from other club teams in a LSC on a consistent basis? Doesn’t that kinda undermine the mission of the competitive club? Doesn’t that mess up the dynamics of an entire area when subtle recruiting tactics are taking place during such lessons? We have seen stuff like this time and time again in Iowa.

Iowa swim parent
Reply to  DP Spellman
22 days ago

How about you teach good technique at your club and swimmers wouldn’t leave for better coaching! Give the kids and parents some credit and just because they leave doesn’t mean they were tricked. Get over yourself and just live your life.

DP Spellman
Reply to  Iowa swim parent
21 days ago

I do quite a bit of technique and skill work with my swimmers. I was also a “Iowa Swim Dad” for a few years.
Sometimes I also have to correct false information on message boards and comment sections by people who don’t reveal who they are because they are unbalanced or have hidden agendas.

Iowa Swim Dad
Reply to  DP Spellman
22 days ago

You are dead wrong here. As was said earlier good swimmers will follow great coaching and that was the case here. I have first hand knowledge of this. Just give it a rest with the poaching and ethics narrative and how about we give the swimmers and their parent some credit. They make informed decisions about who they want to swim with after evaluating their options.

DP Spellman
Reply to  Iowa Swim Dad
21 days ago

I’m 100% accurate here. How about you actually learn what took place in Eastern Iowa a bit more.
I’ve had plenty of swimmers with “good technique” and produced decent results for years prior to 2016 (if you want to look that part up).
Tell me how many clubs think it’s okay for their HEAD COACH to work with kids attached to other area swim clubs on the side? It was quite obvious what was taking place for over 2 years.
BTW: I’m going to hammer on the “ethics” narrative because both ASCA and USA-Swimming need to do a better job teaching it. It hurts the swim coaching profession and our sport in general to have people bent… Read more »

DP Spellman
Reply to  AFlyer
22 days ago

4 Olympic Trials qualifiers.

12 JNATS qualifiers.

Numerous Sectional qualifiers (over 20) and High School All-Americans (over 20).

Over 20 kids who went on to swim D1 & D2

*All under just previous CRAA coaches Bobby Kelley and Brian Ruffles.

Coach Scott had a bunch of success too.

Learn your history better “A Flyer”…….or change your screen name to A Liar 🤥?

AFlyer
Reply to  DP Spellman
21 days ago

I don’t need to learn your history. Not interested. Happened saw previous CRAA web site several years ago, and looked at the record book for the club. Not too impressive. Kids moving around among different clubs happens everywhere. You don’t have to make it in the name of “ethic” in order to present it from happening. As to your language here, I saw a loser made sore comments on a successful coach. Period. Won’t follow your comments further.

DP Spellman
Reply to  AFlyer
21 days ago

There was competitive success with EISF but many of the EISF records posted on their former website were carried over from CRAA.
Lots of the swimmers listed there were never paying members of EISF at any point.
There were some shenanigans for around two years when CRAA turned into EISF. I documented it along with other coaches who had athletes involved in the “technique lessons” side prior to the formation of EISF.
Megan is quite capable of being a good on deck coach and compatible with many athletes but there were issues with how EISF initially gained momentum (similar to when IFLY started and former Coach Daming Zhu had a small side “lessons” group).
You really… Read more »