David Marsh

The Rumor Mill: Who Will be National Team Director?

I know because I saw on facebook that Frank Busch is officially done doing the job of National Team Director. One would think, then, that his replacement would be named very soon. But, as of the publishing of this blog there has been no formal announcement of the new National Team Director.

Sadly, I have to report that despite my compelling application I was never contacted. So I'm left to wildly guess about who the next national team director will be. Let's have some fun:

1. David Marsh

Why? Because making up rumors of David Marsh doing stuff is fun, for a lot of people. Because people like David Marsh, and he is one of the few people with a resume that fits the job. Because it's been a long time since we had a National Team Director with curly hair, and it's time for a change!

Why not? Umm, well, there is the whole thing that he took a new job a few months ago. One would think that if there was mutual interest between Marsh and USA Swimming they would have wrapped this up before he did that.

2. Bob Bowman

Why? Michael Phelps. 

Why not? Is it really more attractive than his current job? By all accounts Bowman is well compensated by ASU and free to do any number of other things to benefit from his coaching reputation. Being the National Team Director would actually put Bowman in a box that I'm not sure he should or would really want.

3. Augie Busch

Why? Nepotism!

Why not? Because the Swimswam comment section would spontaneously combust

4. Sergio Lopez

Why? Most people consider him one of the best coaches in the world. 

Why not? America can be a bit snobby about our position in the swimming world, so there could be a sentiment against hiring someone who's most similar job experience was for a tiny place like Singapore, no matter how well he did. 

5. Dave Durden

Why? He is very handsome and coached a number of the top athletes on the 2016 Olympic Team. Has been on international coaching staffs for quite a while despite still being young.

Why not? Does he want to stop coaching? The National Team Director doesn't do much coaching. Is he at the stage of his career where he wants to make such a move?

6. Teri McKeever

Why? Because she's really really well qualified

Why not? Life is not fair and misogyny is systemic. 

7. People Not From America

Why? Because they might have fresh ideas about how to improve American swimming

Why not? See the Sergio comments above. The only country "we" consider close to us is Australia and their coaching ranks are a complete mess at the moment.

8. Jack Bauerle

Why? Very successful college coach who is somehow peaking in his mid 60s.

Why not? Because Georgia apparently backed up the Brinx truck to get him to stay. 

9. Greg Meehan

Why? Greg Meehan is so hot right now. 

Why not? Very similar argument to Durden. Does he really want to step off a sure NCAA contender for the next decade at his age to not coach anymore?

10. Wild Card: Susan Teeter

Why? She's available right now. Great at telling the truth.




Why David Marsh Makes Perfect Sense At UC San Diego

I don't pretend to know David Marsh very well. I've met him a couple of times. But it appears there are many people out there who also don't know David Marsh very well weighing in with rumors about what he might do. A lot of those people were shocked to hear that he would take over as Head Coach of UC San Diego.

Marsh, who's coaching resume means that he has had his name floated for every "extra super high profile" coaching opening for what seems like over a decade, is probably not what a lot of people expected to take over a program transitioning from Division 2 to Division 1 swimming.

But Marsh to UC San Diego makes a ton of sense, and speaks to the changes in the landscape since Marsh left college coaching to incubate a pro group in Charlotte, North Carolina. Let's tick off some obvious reasons why this move makes sense

1. San Diego is by all accounts a lovely place to live. Beautiful weather year round. One of the trickiest aspects of building professional swimming is making places to have professional swimming attractive to adult athletes, while balancing that areas that are attractive to people in their 20s and 30s are often expensive.

But my guess is that San Diego will be a much better draw for professional swimming talent than Charlotte was, even if it appears that Charlotte will continue to have professional swimmers.

2. The Bob Bowman affect. There are only a few truly creative people in charge of hiring swim coaches in the college system. One such person is Ray Anderson of ASU, who went for broke to get Bob Bowman to cross the country and take over a struggling team. Bowman's instant success has essentially provided a model for what Marsh will be doing in San Diego. 

3. UC San Diego will see a talent boom in coaching. Likewise, San Diego will be an attractive destination for coaches, and now doubly attractive with David Marsh running the show. As I once said in a video, being a head coach of a combined program is far more about managerial skill than coaching skill

David Marsh is perhaps swimming's top manager. He has figured out how to scale his own coaching ability by finding great coaches to work for him and putting them in positions to be really successful. A great example from the very successful Charlotte training group was that he had Bob Groseth, a vastly overqualified assistant coach, roaming the pool deck with him. 

You can expect UC San Diego to be an even better platform for Marsh to put coaches in strong positions to be successful and find a way to create positively imbalanced situations like Groseth's.

It will be exciting to see what happens in the next few years in NCAA Division 1 Swimming, as there are for the first time in my memory five or more teams who are honestly pulling out all the stops to win a NCAA Championship.

Want creative ideas on hiring to make your team better? Write me!