Unger was the first person we profiled in compiling a list of top candidates back in January. He’s been with USA Swimming as an organization since 1993, coming up on 25 years of service. Unger was the Assistant Executive Director and was already taking an active role in helping run USA Swimming over the past several years as Wielgus dealt with cancer treatment.
Previously, Unger has served as Marketing Director, National Events Director and Chief Operating Officer. He’s maybe best-known for the work he’s done on USA Swimming’s TV broadcasts, and his experience and expertise in that area has to be a big draw for the organization, which hopes to maintain and improve its media visibility even in a post-Michael Phelps era – no easy task. Unger has worked with NBC Sports on international swim meet broadcasts, another important relationship he brings to the Executive Director job.
Wielgus announced his retirement from the position back in early January. His retirement was set to begin on August 31 of 2017, despite his contract running through the year 2020. Wielgus’ death at 67 was announced on Sunday, the same day that Unger’s status as Interim CEO was officially announced. Wielgus was in the position for 19 years and was the longest-tenured head of an Olympic national governing body.
After Wielgus announced his retirement, we launched a series of stories digging in to the specifics of the job. You can read those stories here: