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Mark Schubert Takes Leave of Absence as National Team Head Coach for USA Swimming; Jim Wood Named "Acting" National Team Leader -- September 16, 2010

Updated September 16 with Jim Wood replacement information.

DALLAS, Texas, September 15, 2010. IN the middle of USA Swimming's annual convention in Dallas, Texas, Mark Schubert took a paid leave of absence effective immediately from his duties as USA Swimming's national team head coach. The following day on Sept. 16, outgoing USA Swimming President Jim Wood was named the interim National Team Leader in a part-time and temporary capacity. Additionally, Olympic International Operations Committee (OIOC) Chair Michael Lawrence will take on an enhanced leadership role.

A development that can only be described as shocking, USA Swimming released a statement to Swimming World saying that "Out of respect for individual privacy, and as a matter of policy, USA Swimming does not comment on personnel issues."


Swimming World confirmed through credible sources that the reason for the sudden announcement had nothing to do with the current sexual abuse issues confronting USA Swimming nor any other ethical, social or unlawful improprieties by Schubert.

However, it is noteworthy that Schubert's leave comes on the heels of an Athlete Partnership Plan championed by Schubert before it was rejected by the USOC. The plan was then retooled and hotly debated within USA Swimming until it became watered-down. A version was approved and will move on to the House of Delegates for final approved later this week.

Swimming World has placed phone calls to Schubert and will release more information as it becomes available to the public.

As an Olympic swim coach for the United States, Schubert has been a part of a record eight consecutive Olympiads, stretching back to the boycotted 1980 Games in Moscow.
Schubert's coaching career expands almost 40 years, back to his days coaching high school swimmers in Ohio for two seasons. He moved to Mission Viejo, Calif., in 1972 and founded the Mission Viejo Nadadores, where he immediately became a successful coach, guiding some of the most notable swimmers in history to Olympic glory. Brian Goodell, Shirley Babashoff, Mike O'Brien, Dara Torres and Jesse Vassallo were just a few of the Olympic champions who dipped their toes into the Mission Viejo pool during Schubert's 13-year tenure, which resulted in 44 national team titles and numerous Coach of the Year accolades.

Schubert moved across the country to Mission Bay, Fla., where he brought the Mission Bay Makos to international prominence with such names as Dan Veatch and won nine more national team titles from 1986 to 1989.

Immediate success followed Schubert to the University of Texas, where his women's team won the NCAA title in 1990 and 1991 and top three finishes in 1992 and 1993. Along with coaching the collegiate team, Schubert was in charge of the Texas Aquatics age group team in Austin.

Schubert's final coaching stint was at the University of Southern California from 1993 to 2006, where he fostered the Olympic successes of Brad Bridgewater, Lenny Krayzelburg, Kristine Quance, Erik Vendt and Klete Keller. He also coached Janet Evans to her final Olympic appearance in 1996. Schubert has personally coached nearly 30 swimmers to spots on the USA Olympic team.


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Reaction Time Comments
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September 16, 2010 I highly doubt it has sinister implications
Submitted by: Groovydoo
September 16, 2010 swm sensor the previous comments or what?
Submitted by: redbull33
September 16, 2010 No censorship here, other than for vulgarity and outright defamation. No other comments have been posted.
Submitted by: Jason Marsteller
September 16, 2010 I suspect health issues for it seems to be the simplest answer. USA Swimming states that they have a policy of respecting individual privacy but since he is getting a paid leave, USA Swimming is not cross with him and they obviously know what the purpose of the leave is for.

In "real life" why do people get a paid leave of absence? Especially when you pay is in the 6-figure amount?
Submitted by: Groovydoo
September 16, 2010 Exactly, the only time you get paid leave of absence is during an official investigation. Otherwise it is a short term disability and has to be classified as such.


Submitted by: Sportcentric
September 16, 2010 Exactly, the only time you get paid leave of absence is during an official investigation. Otherwise it is a short term disability and has to be classified as such.


Submitted by: Sportcentric
September 16, 2010 from the washington post:

Schubert, one of the most prominent U.S. coaches in the sport's history, has come under fire in recent weeks for his operation of the national team program, according to a source close to the situation. Schubert, who coached Olympic legends Dara Torres, Janet Evans and other stars, has alienated a number of officials with outbursts and other behavior that some considered unprofessional, and was told Wednesday morning either to take the 60-day leave or face being fired, the source said.
Submitted by: Sportcentric
September 16, 2010 Sportcentric - you wouldn't believe the story I can't tell in regards to that particular behavior.
Submitted by: Groovydoo
September 16, 2010 Groovy;

Having watched the bulldog (no offense Georgia-that's just what we called him) on a daily basis, I'd say nothing would surprise me, but that would be wrong. The only thing that surprises me is it took this long for it to come to light...

Imposing your will thru intimidation only works for so long...
Submitted by: Sportcentric
September 17, 2010 Why wasn't this order executed the day after Pan Pacs? Why wait till nearly a month later?
Submitted by: Groovydoo
September 17, 2010 Beuracracy.
Submitted by: GigEmAggies
September 18, 2010 What kinds of "outbursts"?
Submitted by: NMCoach
September 18, 2010 SteveRuiter,

Even partially self-censored vulgarity is not allowed in our comments. I have deleted your response.
Submitted by: Jason Marsteller
September 18, 2010 sportcentric, steveruiter, hide behind your skirts, mark schubert will be back and in great
form. Why do you think usa has the best swim team in the world. Let me think ah! Mark Schubert.
Submitted by: askme10
September 18, 2010 Wow askeme10, my skirt..pretty mature..Last I looked, the USA is the best in the world because of the athletes, the hard work they put in, the quality coaching they receive..

Not because of the national team director. Seems to me the USA was the best in the world under Dennis, Everett, and Mark... should we go back further..

Maybe the NT director isn't that important..

just a thought..
Submitted by: sportcentric
September 18, 2010 We also don't allow flamewars here. Shutting down this thread before it falls into tit-for-tat personal shots.
Submitted by: Jason Marsteller
Reaction Time responses do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions
of Swimming World Magazine or SwimmingWorldMagazine.com.

Reaction Time is provided as a service to our readers.
Mark Schubert
Photo By: USA Swimming

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