USA Swimming Chief Operating Officer (COO) Mike Unger is leaving the organization after 28 years and taking a job at FINA, USA Swimming confirmed to SwimSwam on Friday.
Unger has been with USA Swimming dating back to 1993, and in addition to his most recent role as COO, he’s also served as the organization’s Assistant Executive Director, National Events Director, Marketing Director, National Team Coordinator, and also spent time as the interim Executive Director in April 2017 following former Executive Director Chuck Wielgus‘ death.
Unger is expected to be named FINA’s new Director of Sports Competition. While the details of the role are currently unclear, given Unger’s experience, it seems likely he’ll be involved in producing events like the FINA World Championships and FINA World Cup.
USA Swimming CEO Tim Hinchey offered the following statement on Unger’s departure:
“We are tremendously happy for Mike as he transitions to a dream role at FINA. Details are still being finalized and we look forward to sharing further information in the coming weeks and properly celebrating his incredible tenure.”
From 2003 to 2006, Unger was the Managing Director for the FINA World Cup series, serving as the liaison between FINA and the local organizers, broadcasters and delegations attending the competitions.
In his role as COO, Unger oversaw all major events, including the U.S. Olympic Trials, the Golden Goggle Awards, the Pan Pacific Championships, and the Duel In The Pool (though the latter hasn’t been contested since 2015).
Unger was one of the top candidates to take over as USA Swimming Executive Director following Wielgus’ death, but that position was ultimately filled by Hinchey, who was officially announced as the organization’s new President and CEO in June 2017.
In addition to his major roles in USA Swimming, Unger has also been a fixture behind the scenes on major swimming television broadcasts dating back to 1996, including production work with NBC Sports during several Olympic Games.