USA Swimming has released its selection criteria for its coaching, medical and administrative staff for the 2019 Pan American Games.
Typically, assistant coaches for international teams are decided based on qualifying athletes, but the head coaches are usually selected much earlier. That appears to be the case again for 2019. The selection criteria list a range of eligibility factors, noting that coaches must “meet the criteria… by November 30, 2018” to be added to the coaching pool.
USA Swimming’s selection committee will select the head coaches for men and women. The head coaches will then help the National Team Director and an athlete representative select their assistant coaches. Under USA Swimming’s new structure, “National Team Director” duties have been essentially split between Lindsay Mintenko (the National Team Managing Director) and Mike Unger (the Chief Operating Officer who was promoted to lead the entire National Team Division last year). We reached out to USA Swimming to find out who specifically will take on the duty of nominating and reviewing assistant coaches and will update when we get clarification.
Update: USA Swimming has confirmed that Mintenko will be in charge of that duty.
The nomination criteria for the coaching staff are wide-ranging, from logistical (must be a USA Swimming member, must have a valid passport, must be available for the duration of the Pan Am Games) to safety-based (must pass a background check, must have CPR, first aid and coaching certifications, must be in good health to travel and coach). The categories that will likely narrow down the pool the most:
- Must be at least 25 years old
- Must be “actively coaching at the national level”
- Must have been a coach on a USA Swimming international team in 2016, 2017 or 2018 or be a primary coach for a member of the 2019 Pan Am team, 2019 World University Games team or 2019 World Champs team.
- Must be a primary coach of an athlete member of the 2018 Pan Pacific Champs team, 2019 World Champs team, 2017 or 2019 World University Games team or 2016 Olympic team.
Those categories apply to both head and assistant coaches. Selection procedures also lay out criteria for team medical staff and team managers. You can read the full selection criteria here.