USA Swimming National Team Director Frank Busch Announces Retirement

by SwimSwam 26

February 14th, 2017 Industry, News, Press Releases

USA Swimming’s National Team Director Frank Busch will retire at the end of this summer season, USA Swimming announced on Tuesday.

Busch has been heading up the national team since 2011, overseeing the past two Olympics. Prior to that, he excelled as a head coach, mostly at the University of Arizona. Busch led the Wildcats as well as the program’s companion club/professional training hub Tucson Ford Dealers Aquatics.

With Busch retiring, USA Swimming will be seeing a complete overhaul of its high-level staff in the coming year. Executive Director Chuck Wielgus will also retire at the end of August. USA Swimming is currently in the hiring process for a new executive director, who will work with the new National Team Director when the fall 2017 season begins.


The full press release from USA Swimming is below:

Frank Busch, USA Swimming’s National Team Director since 2011, announced today he will retire from the position effective Sept. 1, 2017.

Under Busch’s leadership United States swimmers topped the medal table at the 2016 and 2012 Olympic Games and three straight long-course FINA World Championships, totaling 145 medals across these five major international events.

“Frank has constructed a National Team culture that is rooted in personal accountability, integrity, hard work, teamwork, goal-setting and the values that come with the continual striving for excellence. The results speak for themselves with the great success we had at the 2012 London Olympic Games and again this past summer in arguably the greatest performance ever by an Olympic swim team with 33 medals in Rio,” USA Swimming Executive Director Chuck Wielgus said.

Team USA won 64 medals – 32 of them gold – over the past two Olympic Games, including 33 total medals last summer in Rio de Janeiro and 31 at the 2012 London Games. Over the past three long-course FINA World Championships, Team USA has combined for 81 medals, 38 of them gold.

Busch will continue in his current role through this summer’s 2017 FINA World Championships in Budapest, Hungary.

“I’m forever grateful to Chuck for giving me the opportunity to lead USA Swimming’s National Team division. It was the gold standard internationally long before I arrived, and the people that I’ve been able to work with over the last six years are remarkable people and the best in the world at what they do,” Busch said.

“In my coaching career I believed that every athlete’s personal growth was as important as their success in the pool, and that’s an underlying current of everyone that works in the National Team division. Working with the best in the world is a dream come true for anyone, and I have certainly lived that dream. It’s been an incredible team effort with everyone that works at USA Swimming. They all believe in achievement and they all work hard toward it.”

Busch added, “The National Team division has grown three of its most important areas – high performance, National Junior Team development and athlete services – into truly great models that every swimmer and coach in this country can be proud of.”

Prior to joining USA Swimming as National Team Director on May 1, 2011, Busch was a standout collegiate and club coach, most recently at the University of Arizona from 1989-2011. There, he guided the Wildcats to men’s and women’s NCAA team titles in 2008 and a combined 25 top-five finishes at the NCAA Championships. His club affiliate, Tucson Ford Dealers Aquatics, also earned USA Swimming national championship titles under his leadership.

During his coaching years, Busch was named to numerous coaching staffs for USA Swimming, including the 2004 Athens Olympic Games and 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. In addition to his contributions to American swimming, Busch has coached athletes from over a dozen other countries to international success.

Busch has been the recipient of multiple coaching awards including United States Olympic Committee (USOC) and USA Swimming Coach of the Year. He is a six-time NCAA Division I Coach of the Year and earned the Pac-10 Conference Coach of the Year award 11 times. He was inducted into the American Swim Coaches Association (ASCA) Hall of Fame in 2008.

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4 years ago

It in me ed

swim coach
4 years ago

frank busch set to retire. dave marsh steps down as head coach at swimmac. does marsh move into role of national team director at usa-swimming? return of the national resident team?

Swim Biz
Reply to  swim coach
4 years ago

Laughable! 1. He was relieved of his positions, he didn’t step down. 2. He is the Israeli National Team coach. 3. His Team Elite is comprised of mostly international swimmers.

Reply to  Swim Biz
4 years ago

#2 – FACT – David is a consultant to the ISA, not the National Team Coach.
#3 – FACT – David has lead countless U.S. swimmers to the Olympic Team (me included). Often, when your hopes are challenged for a great World Champs, Olympic Trials or Olympic Games performance, Marsh helps you to your best performance possible. He did it with Cullen Jones, Kara Lynne Joyce & Anthony Ervin to name a few…

MY PERSONAL OPINION: Marsh understands the elite journey. While there are many candidates for this position, Marsh would be a great National Team Director. Marsh should be on the short-list.

swim coach
Reply to  Gold Medal Mel Stewart
4 years ago

my comment was not intended to disrespect coach marsh at all… hope it wasnt taken that way. i just found it coincidental that coach marsh steps down as head coach at swimmac and now coach busch announces his pending retirement. could coach marsh step into that role? sure. but i believe he still wants to be on deck coaching. would a great scenario be… head coach of a “national resident team” and national team director? probably. would it work in reality? probably not.

X Swimmer
4 years ago

Good riddance

Stan Crump
Reply to  X Swimmer
4 years ago

Care to explain?

Amy S
Reply to  X Swimmer
4 years ago

You obviously don’t know Frank. I was in his first recruiting class at U of A. He gave a girl from a small Minnesota town a chance to swim with the big fish in the Pac 10. I still talk with him every once in a while and he has been nothing but a fabulous person to our family. I know many people that have known Frank from his early days in Kentucky, the Marlins, and UC. He has not changed and remains a humble person. USA swimming will miss him. Bear Down Cats!

Bush Sucked
Reply to  Amy S
4 years ago

You’ve obviously been out of the swimming world. No doubt he was a good college Coach, but he was not a good nor well respected national team director. Team USA has never been in a better spot financially due to athletes like Phelps, Coughlin, Lochte, Missy, etc… Yet we are also at a time that it has never been more difficult to secure funding as an Olympic hopeful. And for our Olympians without major endorsements, the athlete stipend has been reduced each quad since 08.
Frank was not interested in high performance or medals; he was interested in bigger paychecks for him and his colleagues. A new CEO and national team director will be a giant breath of fresh air.

Amy S
Reply to  Bush Sucked
4 years ago

I have not been out of the swimming world. You can’t even spell his last name correctly. As to the comment below about swimmers bring taken off planes, maybe they should have made better choices. They were all adults who should have known better. Frank has always stressed accountability to swimmers about their behavior, just like good parents teach their kids. Don’t you think Chuck bears some responsibility for stipends, ect? He is the boss. I’ve always said you can’t truly judge someone until you’ve walked in their shoes. Look at what Schubert left to clean up after the abrupt end to his tenure.

Swim mom
Reply to  Amy S
4 years ago

Accountability yes, international PR disaster no. Not sure where Frank’s responsibilities began and ended with the whole Rio episode, but there should have been someone from USA Swimming with the 3 who were hauled off the airplane. And USA Swimming headquarters should have hired a crisis management consultant and attorney immediately. The whole situation festered way too long and distracted from the entire Olympics.
That situation should have been handled more quickly and professionally.

4 years ago

Please tell me this isn’t why Marsh is gone at MAC?

4 years ago

What’s Schubert up to these days?

Jon Lederhouse
4 years ago

Thanks for your tenures in both NCAA and USA swimming, Frank. Even as far back as the 90s when you were on the NCAA rules committee you were willing to share your training techniques and ideas with coaches like me!

4 years ago

Feeling like this is a good thing and many people will be happy

Reply to  LAX
4 years ago


T Hill
4 years ago

Best wishes to a great person, coach and Nat. Team director, who’ve I known for years going back to his club coaching days. He’s done an Awesome job wherever he’s been, only wished my daughters had him as a mentor. Enjoy whatever you’re doing next-as I don’t see you sitting around doing nothing.