USA Swimming has sent an email to candidates for the position of head coach of the 2016 U.S. Olympic Swim Team saying that they won’t make a final decision on Olympic head coaches until after the 2015 World Championships.
“After much thought, and for various reasons, I have decided to delay the naming of our Head Olympic Coaches until after next summer’s key competitions,” the email read. “As you can understand, there are many variables in play and getting it right is my first priority.”
By comparison, that same decision in the last cycle was made on December 8th of 2010, more than 18 months prior to the 2012 Olympic Game, when Gregg Troy and Teri McKeever were named the head Olympic coaches for the men and women, respectively.
The position, called “Team Leader” in official USA Swimming documents, are selected based on the following key criteria:
- Must be a USA Swimming National Team Division Staff Member
- Must be a U.S. Citizen
- Must be in good health and “able to withstand the physical rigors of traveling with and working with the Team”
- Be available for the duration of the Olympic Games
- Have previous USA Swimming Team Leader or USA Swimming managerial experience at high level competitions (Long Course World Championships, Pan Pacs, or Olympic Games).
The USA Swimming Executive Director, in this case Chuck Wielgus, has final approval on selection of the Team Leader nominee, who is then sent to the USOC for the final approvals. The National Team Selection Committee is made up of Brandon Drawz, Dave Farris, Bruce Stratton, Susan Teeter, and Peter Vanderkaay for pool swimming.
According to the official selection document, which can be seen here, the “Team Leader” position was initially scheduled to be nominated on December 10th, 2014. The description of this position is the same as that of head coach, though USA Swimming has an additional document describing the selection procedures where the person in charge is specifically referred to as “Head Coach” but without the same dates.
USA Swimming has not yet provided a comment on the change of procedure after multiple requests.