Russell Mark Takes Job at ASCA After Leaving USA Swimming in the Fall

Former USA Swimming High-Performance Manager Russell Mark has re-emerged after his November departure from USA Swimming, taking on a new role with the American Swimming Coaches’ Association.

Mark left USA Swimming in the fall under a cloud of mystery. Neither he nor USA Swimming have commented on the reasons for his departure.

Mark is considered one of the world’s top experts in video stroke technique analysis, as well as race and performance trending. His popularity among USA Swimming coaches and athletes made his departure that much more mystifying.

Mark has been at the cutting edge of evolving swimming through video and data analytics throughout his career in the sport, aiding USA Swimming’s best in optimizing performance at the highest level. He swam at the University of Virginia, where he graduated in 2001 with a degree in aerospace engineering. His first job out of college was working in Pratt & Whitney’s experimental military jet engine programs from 2001 to 2002.

Mark had worked with USA Swimming since 2002 in various capacities in the high performance group. In that time, he worked with virtually every elite American swimmer.

In his new role with ASCA, Mark will “compile videos and analysis of the best athletes of all ages to enhance ASCA coach education offerings and its video library.”

He will also “provide data on performance and racing trends for age groupers who have become national team athletes.”

He will also work with coaches on the ASCA Board of Directors to revamp the ASCA Levels 1-5 certification courses.

“I’m very excited to work with ASCA to serve swim coaches and this great community,” said Mark. “My focus has always been on supporting people in this sport to have the best experience by improving and reaching their goals. With ASCA‘s role in educating coaches, this opportunity has so much potential to help our sport continue to grow and get better.”

ASCA has rapidly expanded its staff under new CEO Jennifer LaMont, who took over the role in March 2021. That includes adding coach Chad Onken as the Director of International Clinics and Ariel Hodges as the Director of Communications and Education. This is part of an overall effort to revamp the organization, redefine its purpose, and revive its relevance after waning influence in recent years.

ASCA continues to raise its game. The entire Board is excited to have Russell joining our staff. I’ve had personal experience working with Russell on several occasions through his club visits,” said ASCA President Mike Koleber, the owner and head coach of Nitro Swimming. “There is no one better at stroke and race analysis. Another compelling reason to become a member of ASCA and take advantage of the vast resources the new ASCA is offering.”

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1 year ago

I’d like to see a video of him swimming.

Stan Crump
1 year ago

Someone let us all in on the inside story here. Why did he leave USA Swimming? Money? Contract?

Glad he is still doing his thing.

Coach Macgyver
Reply to  Stan Crump
1 year ago

Who knows but ASCA has been much more aggressive with improving and growing the last few years. Look at who is running it. People with a successful background in doing such.

1 year ago

Propulsion is propulsin whether in jet engines or swimming. Mark is obviously obsessed with propulsion 🙂

Kidding aside. Mark has great ability to explain simply what he is teaching and to recognize what logically makes sense. One of the first in USA to recognize the advantage of tempo in breaststroke (over endless glide), that was “spreading” in Europe. That logical thinking comes from his background in Aerospace/Mechanical engineering.

Reply to  PsychoDad
1 year ago

Brendan Hansen has said he was discouraged by Russell Mark from using a much higher tempo in breaststroke years ago. Don’t mean to take away from his overall contributions to the national team, think he’s beloved for a reason, just not sure if that is a point in his favor.

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Reply to  PsychoDad
1 year ago

I’d like to swim in the JPL.

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Reply to  PsychoDad
1 year ago

It’s all about the thrust.

1 year ago

I’m excited to see where this goes. When at the OTC I’ve always enjoyed Russell’s thoughts on technique as they relate to video of elite swimmers. The disappointing thing was the inevitable property/image rights answer that always followed a request to get access to the videos for use back at home with the team. Will ASCA be able to resolve this problem and give us full access to Russell’s great incites along with the video they are based upon?

Coach Macgyver
Reply to  Mike
1 year ago

You know they will.

Jim Nickell
1 year ago

Good News!

Pete M
1 year ago

Great to see a great swim person staying in the sport!

Big Mac #1
1 year ago

Color me intrigued

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