Since last week, when I mistakenly thought we were about to get a new National Team Director at USA Swimming, I can only come up with two scenarios:
1. USA Swimming is finally reviewing my application and will contact me shortly
2. It's going to be Lindsay Mintenko, you idiot.
Now, it's important to recognize that the same "smart people" who are telling me that Lindsay Mintenko will be our next national team director are the ones who told me that Mike Unger would have Tim Hinchey's job right now. So take this rumor with a huge grain of salt.
When I first heard this rumor, I have to admit: I was flooded with some terrible man-feelings about it. I didn't like that Mintenko was brought onto the National Team due to the patronage of Mark Schubert. I thought that the hiring of Mintenko was essentially the rewarding of somebody who has been incredibly loyal through a fairly tumultuous time in USA Swimming's history.
Finally, I thought that, ironically, her hiring would re-inforce a lot of the misogyny in swimming. This position since its inception has been a position for coaches. I could probably think of fifty women that are more qualified as coaches than Lindsay Mintenko.
I thought all of those things, and then took a deep breath. None of that is Lindsay Mintenko's fault. I called a friend and talked it through. By the end of the conversation, I had reversed course. It would be great if Lindsay Mintenko was the next National Team Director. Here's why:
1. It's not a coaching position: One thing that has been paradoxical about this position's history is that it has always gone to coaches. But we keep hearing that it's not a coaches position! So why do we keep hiring coaches?
If the position is essentially head administrator for the national team, wouldn't somebody who has been working in an administrative, organizational role with the national team for the last twelve years be the most qualified person we could find?
2. Few people have any idea what she's done: On face value this sounds like a knock on Lindsay but it's not. It has not been her job to self-promote the work she's doing in Colorado Springs, in fact it would certainly be held against her if she did.
I can imagine that if she is elevated we will all of a sudden hear about how much work she was doing behind the scenes and what a big role she played on the national team. That's nice, but we should have heard about it a lot sooner.
One constructive criticism (I'm trying to be nicer these days) that USA Swimming should take to heart is that the vast majority of stakeholders in USA Swimming have no idea what the salaried staff in Colorado Springs do.
That needs to change, starting with Mintenko, regardless of whether she gets the job.
3. Mintenko has possibly already been doing the job for far less in compensation: Again, this is from even the job description itself an administrative job, and it's hard to imagine that the two coaches (Mark Schubert and Frank Busch) have been terribly interested in admin during their tenures.
It is likely that Mintenko, like many woman across the world, has already been doing a lot of man's job for way less money than that man is getting paid. It's time for her to get paid.
Cross your fingers with me: Lindsay Mintenko for National Team Director!