Who Will Be Team USA’s Assistant Swimming Coaches In Tokyo?

2021 U.S. OLYMPIC SWIMMING TRIALS

Now that we’ve passed the halfway mark of the 2021 U.S. Olympic Trials, it’s time to play the speculation game: which coaches could be added to the American Olympic staff in Tokyo?

We’ve known who the head coaches will be for the last two and a half years—Dave Durden will be at the helm of the men’s team, and Greg Meehan leads the women. Both men were assistants of those respective teams at the 2016 Games in Rio, and have already slotted multiple swimmers onto their respective rosters.

Durden, who’s the head men’s coach at Cal, has put Ryan Murphy (100 back) and Andrew Seliskar (800 free relay) on the men’s roster, and Meehan, the Stanford women’s head coach, already has Katie Ledecky (200/400/1500 free) and Brooke Forde (800 free relay) on the (unofficial) roster. Another one of Meehan’s athletes, Simone Manuel, is expected to qualify in the coming days.

So beyond them, which coaches are in position to be named assistants? Three assistant coaches will be named to both the men’s and women’s teams. Let’s take a look at some of the candidates below.

Women’s Team

Todd DeSorbo, University of Virginia

One coach who is essentially a shoo-in to be named to the roster is University of Virginia head coach Todd DeSorbo, who has qualified Paige Madden (400 free, 800 free relay), Alex Walsh (200 IM) and Kate Douglass (200 IM) on the women’s side.

DeSorbo has found immense success coaching the Cavaliers in the NCAA, including leading the team to the women’s national title this past March (with all three of the aforementioned swimmers winning individual titles), and he also led Ryan Held (USA), Soeren Dahl (Denmark) and Simonas Bilis (Lithuania) to Olympic berths in 2016.

Bob Bowman, Arizona State Sun Devils

Bowman, the head men’s Olympic coach in 2016 largely due to the presence of the GOAT, Michael Phelps, has two swimmers expected to be named in individual events on the women’s side in Hali Flickinger and Allison Schmitt. Flickinger was second in the 400 IM, and is the favorite in tonight’s 200 fly final, while Schmitt qualified for her fourth Olympic team on Wednesday by placing second to Ledecky in the 200 free.

It’s unclear whether or not Bowman would accept this position, having intimidated in the past that it was time for the next wave of coaches to take over. Bowman was also involved in a bit of controversy in 2018, which may or may not impact USA Swimming’s decision on whether or not to join the staff.

Ray Looze, Indiana University

Looze was an Olympic assistant in 2016 for the women’s team, and was also the head men’s coach at the 2018 Pan Pacs.

We’ve frequently seen the coaches of some of the team’s biggest stars named to the staff, and Looze has that on the women’s side in Lilly King. He’s also got Annie Lazor, who has a great chance to qualify on Friday night in the women’s 200 breast.

Looze also has Zach Apple qualified on the men’s team, with Blake Pieroni in line to join him in tonight’s 100 free.

Mike Parratto, Riptide Swim Team

Parratto has undoubtedly one of the biggest rising stars in the country, Regan Smith, who is an Olympic gold medal favorite in the women’s 100 and 200 back, and could also qualify for the 200 fly on Thursday night.

Ron Aitken, Sandpipers of Nevada

Aitken has put 20-year-old Erica Sullivan and 16-year-old Bella Sims on the team, both having a standout meet in Omaha.

Other Possibilities

Men’s Team

Jack Bauerle, University of Georgia

Bauerle is a veteran coach, including serving as a men’s assistant in 2016, and looks like he’s in line to do so again with Chase KaliszJay Litherland, and Andrew Wilson all qualifying for the team. Nic Fink has a chance to join them tonight.

Peter Andrew, Race Pace Club

Michael Andrew has already qualified in one event, and has a chance to add up to three more. That would put his father and head coach, Peter, in line to potentially be an assistant.

Gregg Troy, Gator Swim Club

Caeleb Dressel has yet to officially make the team, but that should be taken care of tonight. If selected and accepted, Troy would bring a wealth of experience to the coaching staff, and he’s also got another swimmer, Ryan Lochte, looking to make a run and qualify in the 200 IM.

Anthony Nesty, University of Florida

Nesty’s pupil in Gainesville, Kieran Smith, has emerged as one of the biggest stars through the first four days of competition, winning both the men’s 200 and 400 freestyle.

Other Possibilities

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guy
1 month ago

Mike bottom coaches Jake Mitchell too

wow
Reply to  guy
1 month ago

With Patrick Callan finishing sixth in the 200 free he might be named. Bottom doesn’t coach Mitchell, isn’t it Josh White? Bottom will probably be named again like 2016 lol

Last edited 1 month ago by wow
Admin
Reply to  guy
1 month ago

He does most of the time, though we’ve been told that Jake has been training back at home with Carmel/Chris Plumb since the end of the college season.

Lee Greenwood
Reply to  guy
1 month ago

Chris plumb had a huge impact on Kibler and Mitchell. He should get a chance.

Ol’ Longhorn
1 month ago

Whoever coaches Hunter Armstrong.

Khachaturian
Reply to  Ol’ Longhorn
1 month ago

Dean Farris goes to Tokyo…… but as a coach. He reveals that he hasn’t been swimming fast because he was spending too much time coaching the magician.

ERVINFORTHEWIN
Reply to  Khachaturian
1 month ago

very good one , i loved it👌

USAUSAUSA
Reply to  Khachaturian
1 month ago

I can get behind this take.

loyal
1 month ago

don’t you mean a “hoo-in” ??

Wahooswimfan
1 month ago

In the past, coaches (and parents) not chosen as formal assistants could at least travel to the site and be somewhat involved/available for swimmers – with Covid restrictions, will anyone other than formally named assistants be able to travel to Tokyo at all? If not, even if not named, would be great if NBC hired someone like Eddie Reese as a commentator.

Last edited 1 month ago by Wahooswimfan
ACC
1 month ago

It’s rather sad to me that there’s only one woman on this entire list.

Saw Guerra
Reply to  ACC
1 month ago

Well HBC needs to step up

wow
1 month ago

My Prediction
Women

  • Todd Desorbo
  • Bob Bowman
  • Ray Looze

Men

  • Jack Baurele
  • Gregg Troy
  • Mike Bottom

My Personal Opinion
Women

  • Todd Desorbo
  • Bob Bowman
  • Mike Parrato or Ron Aitken

Men

  • Jack Baurele
  • Gregg Troy
  • Anthony Nesty
Last edited 1 month ago by wow
Eagleswim
Reply to  wow
1 month ago

I wish they would take Troy and Nesty as well but I think you’re right that they’ll only take Troy… would be great if they only took nesty though. Maybe it will depend on what Finke does tonight

wow
Reply to  Eagleswim
1 month ago

They’ll take Troy because of Dressel, which is understandable do to the possibility of his event number and relay importance. Troy would still be able to take care of the other Florida swimmers just fine, but I do hope Nesty is asked on to the staff.

jjswims
1 month ago

Where are the female coaches?

wow
Reply to  jjswims
1 month ago

McKeever is a possibility if Weitzeil secures a spot (she will). Captani could’ve been if Cox made the team (with Jacoby also a Texas commit along with Erica Sullivan being a commit).

jjswims
Reply to  wow
1 month ago

well, that may have been rhetorical…there is only one female coach listed as a possibility…sad sad situation.

Admin
Reply to  jjswims
1 month ago

This is sort of the bottom-up problem of the gender gap in swimming right now. The reality is that right now, no female head coaches have put an athlete on the team, and if a coach doesn’t have an athlete on the team, they’re probably not being chosen.

We did an article about this in the print magazine a few years back, basically laying out the ladder for female coaches. Our hope was that this would help give some idea about how to lift those female coaches a rung or two up the ladder and get them into positions to put swimmers on Olympic teams.

The process seems to be happening, but still too slowly.

Rob
Reply to  jjswims
1 month ago

Coach Teri would be a smart choice, bringing world-class experience and guidance, especially in light of the past pandemic year.

WestCoastRefugee
Reply to  jjswims
1 month ago

Last time I checked, Catherine Kase was the head coach for the open water team. As far as other names, the meet is only halfway over and I am thinking that Teri will be in the running (assuming she wants to go). As for anyone else, step up and put somebody on the Olympic team just like everyone else has to.

Saw Guerra
Reply to  jjswims
1 month ago

With the Alabama swimmers and no experience

USA
1 month ago

Doesn’t Bentz trains with Texas?

wow
Reply to  USA
1 month ago

Yes.

About James Sutherland

James Sutherland

James swam five years at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, specializing in the 200 free, back and IM. He finished up his collegiate swimming career in 2018, graduating with a bachelor's degree in economics. In 2019 he completed his graduate degree in sports journalism. Prior to going to Laurentian, James swam …

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