SafeSport Director Susan Woessner Resigns, Discloses 2007 Kiss With Hutchison

USA Swimming Safe Sport Senior Director Susan Woessner has resigned from her post, and in her letter of resignation, discloses that she kissed then-coach Sean Hutchison in 2007 and didn’t disclose that information while helping with an investigation of Hutchison for an inappropriate coach-swimmer relationship in 2010.

Woessner worked for USA Swimming as the Times Database Coordinator from 2004-2007. She says during that time, she kissed Hutchison “on a single occasion.” Woessner says there was no sexual or romantic relationship and that the two never had sex.

Shortly after that, Woessner left USA Swimming to pursue a masters degree. She returned to the organization in September of 2010 as “Athlete Protection Officer”, a position that would eventually be known as Director of Safe Sport. Three months later, USA Swimming opened an investigation into Hutchison and his swimmer Ariana Kukorswho were rumored to be in an inappropriate coach-swimmer relationship. Kukors and Hutchison denied the allegations then, but Kukors has since come forward with allegations that Hutchison started the grooming process with her at the age of 13 when he became her coach, and started sexually abusing her at age 16. Hutchison denies those allegations, saying the two were in a “committed relationship” when both parties were adults.

USA Swimming says its investigation then didn’t uncover any Code of Conduct violation. Woessner’s letter of resignation says the investigation was directed by an outside legal counsel and carried out by an independent investigator hired by that legal counsel. She says her role in the investigation amounted to providing contact information for potential witnesses, providing updates to then-Executive Director Chuck Wielgus and contacting potential witnesses to ask them to speak to the investigator if requested by the legal counsel running the investigation.

USA Swimming CEO Tim Hinchey said this about Woessner’s resignation:

“We are committed to carrying on with the efforts Susan led, supported by the Board of Directors and the organization, to create a safe environment for children and swimming families across the country.”

Woessner’s resignation comes on the heels of a letter sent by USA Swimming to its members in response to reports that the organization had failed to address hundreds of cases of sexual abuse over the past few decades.

Woessner in particular came under heavy fire in a Southern California News Group investigative piece which attributes to Woessner some decisions to not pursue action against coaches accused of sexual abuse, and which quotes at least two sources critical of Woessner’s lack of background in Safe Sport before being hired by USA Swimming to run that division.

You can read USA Swimming’s full press release on Woessner’s resignation here.

You can read Woessner’s full letter of resignation here.

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gregg parini
3 years ago

good grief.

4 years ago

Kissing Hutchison is not the only issue. She failed to investigate a coach who was reported to her on several occasions for abuses. She said she couldn’t investigate him because she said she ‘knew him’. This coach even boasted that he was untouchable because of ‘Sue”. When a swimmer commits suicide and abuses are reported to you, ‘Sue’, did you think you should look into it?

4 years ago

USA Swimming needs to clean house. It’s time for new leadership. I nominate Nancy Hogshead-Makar for CEO. She is whip-smart, has the law background, the history of activism, and was one of the best swimmers we’ve ever had, representing the US and winning at the highest levels. Most of all, she isn’t afraid to speak out, and she gets sh*t done.

4 years ago

I doubt that it was only a one-time kiss.

4 years ago

Done deal…Hogan has been outsted!

Stephen gomez
Reply to  Bluemoon
4 years ago

Everett uyichama recommendation should have gotten him fired. If you don’t know what I am talking about I will post a link

Steve Nolan
Reply to  Stephen gomez
4 years ago

I mean I’m pretty sure this’ll get me in trouble here, but…holy sh*t.

That was in 2010?! What the Christ!

4 years ago

You heard it here first. Pat Hogan will be gone by the end of the day.

Reply to  Bluemoon
4 years ago

Resignation already posted on USA site.

4 years ago

She’ll have more to say soon. Almost guarantee it. Must be seeking some sort of whistle blower protection. More heads are going to roll.

4 years ago

It’s about time. No Susan was not good at her job. Dealt with her on a couple issues, and never came away with any type of confidence things would change.

Unacceptable Board Behavior
Reply to  TXCoach
4 years ago

The point of hiring Susan in the first place was to bring in someone with no experience that could be controlled and would not be an independent voice.

It’s even possible that having blackmail on her helped her get her job. Wielgus was not interested in helping swimmers.

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Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson swam for nearly twenty years. Then, Jared Anderson stopped swimming and started writing about swimming. He's not sick of swimming yet. Swimming might be sick of him, though. Jared was a YMCA and high school swimmer in northern Minnesota, and spent his college years swimming breaststroke and occasionally pretending …

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