Blacksburg, VA, a place I have been multiple times, is not Charlotte, NC or Baltimore, MD. In a world where being a “pro” swimmer meant that you commanded a salary even into the modest six figures, it wouldn’t be the first place you would choose to base a professional group of swimmers.
In both cases, though, the bar for success has been set very high. While many people liked to rumble that Hawke was underachieving at Auburn, Taylor will have to at least show something in between the last few years and the Dave Marsh years. At VT, Lopez will replace a coach that, in my opinion, overachieved during his tenure. So he'll have to get another level of overachievement.
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 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 not? YOU CAN"T HANDLE THE TRUTH!