Natalie Coughlin Elected As USA Swimming Board of Directors’ Next Vice Chair/Chair-Elect

by Riley Overend 6

November 19th, 2023 National, News

Sources tell SwimSwam that USA Swimming’s Board of Directors has elected 12-time Olympic medalist Natalie Coughlin as the next Vice Chair/Chair-Elect of the Board.

Coughlin will serve as Vice Chair until 2025, when she will begin a four-year term as Board Chair until 2029. The 41-year-old Cal graduate will replace current Board Chair Chris Brearton, who also serves as COO of MGM.

Sources told SwimSwam on Friday that Coughlin was running against fellow Board candidates Kathleen Fish, Kathleen Prindle, and Katy Arris-Wilson.

A three-time Olympic champion, Coughlin was reelected to her second four-year term as an Athlete Representative on the Board last year. She is one of five “10-Year Athletes” on the Board who have represented the U.S. at a major international meet over the past decade along with Maya DiradoAnthony ErvinKatie Meili, and Ashley Twichell.

Coughlin is also Chair of the Board’s Executive Compensation Committee (ECC) this year featuring Ira KleinBob Vincent, and Eric Skufca. The ECC is responsible for determining the salary of USA Swimming CEO Tim Hinchey.

Coughlin is tied with Jenny Thompson and Dara Torres for most Olympic medals won by an American woman with 12. Away from the pool, Coughlin is a vintner and owner and Gaderian Wines in St. Helena, California.

USA Swimming Official Press Release Nov 20th 2023:

USA Swimming, the national governing body for swimming in the United States, today announced the election of Natalie Coughlin as Board Vice-Chair, Chair-Elect, and Kenneth Chung as Vice-Chair Fiscal Oversight.

Coughlin will serve as the Vice-Chair through September 2025, and then will automatically elevate to the position of Board Chair through 2029.  Coughlin is a 12-time Olympic medalist who has been serving on the USA Swimming Board as a director since 2016. She is the co-founder of Gaderian Wines in the Napa Valley and an ambassador for Athleta.

Chung was re-elected to a final term as Vice-Chair Fiscal Oversight, having served in this role since 2020. Chung also serves as a USA Swimming Official in North Texas and is a PhD candidate in Organization Development.

“We are pleased to announce the election of Natalie and Kenneth, two people who continue to give so much of their time and focus to our sport,” said Chris Brearton, USA Swimming Board Chair. “These are not easy roles, as we rely on the officers of the Board to work closely with staff, coaches, athletes, officials and volunteers to guide the organization’s future. We appreciate Natalie and Kenneth’s continued commitment to making swimming the sport of choice for young athletes in the United States.”

“I am honored to be chosen as the next Chair of the Board of Directors for USA Swimming,” said Coughlin. “This sport has given so much to me for decades, and I continue to want to give back to the growth and success of swimming in the United States.”

Coughlin and Chung assume their roles immediately.

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Swim time
19 days ago

Congrats Natalie. ,I think she will do a good job ,she has been in swimming most all of her life and not just in swimming ,go Natalie.

Sweet Sweet Peter Rosen
20 days ago

Note to Tim’s new boss….. slash his bonus and begin the search for a replacement

20 days ago

This vote is an example of why USA Swimming has gone into the toilet as a governing body and an organization that badly needs to provide service and transparency to its membership. Nothing against Natalie Coughlin, but her business credentials, leadership skills and professionalism aren’t in the ballpark with Kathy Fish. Today, USA Swimming and it’s membership LOST and LOST badly!

20 days ago

I hope Natalie shakes things up. I suspect Hinchey thinks she will be a pushover and just rubber stamp his agenda—which has not been working.

Reply to  Pescatarian
20 days ago

That’s definitely what he thinks.

The other three women were all very qualified and probably would have pushed back to varying degrees. But they would split the “no pushover” vote. Two of them needed to pull out so it was head-to-head, probably Natalie against Katy.

I don’t know that I can guarantee that Natalie is going to be a Tim Hinchey puppet. But I think she’s the least-likely of the four to push back. Elite swimmers tend to side with the governing body, because the superstars get treated the best.

21 days ago

I feel like someone named Kathleen Fish HAS to win. 😜

About Riley Overend

Riley is an associate editor interested in the stories taking place outside of the pool just as much as the drama between the lane lines. A 2019 graduate of Boston College, he arrived at SwimSwam in April of 2022 after three years as a sports reporter and sports editor at newspapers …

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