By Phillip Whitten
FORT LAUDERDALE, April 19. THE months-long process to select a new President of the International Swimming Hall of Fame (ISHOF) appears finally to be winding down and an announcement of the successor to Dr. Sam Freas, who stepped down earlier this year after 15 years in the post, is expected soon.
As we reported earlier, a Search Committee narrowed down an impressive list of about 15 candidates to two finalists: Rowdy Gaines, a triple gold medallist at the 1984 Olympic Games, and Dale Neuburger, a FINA Vice President and President of US Aquatic Sports.
The vote for the two candidates, though never announced, reportedly was very close. However, just over two weeks ago, before the results of the voting were announced, Gaines decided to remove himself from contention, citing salary and family reasons.
Presumably, Gaines’ withdrawal left Neuburger, the other finalist, as the most likely choice of the Search Committee. Apparently the ISHOF Executive Board has been negotiating with Neuburger for the past two weeks and an official announcement appears to be imminent.