AUBURN, Alabama, October 18. AUBURN head coach David Marsh will resign at the end of the 2006-07 season to accept a position with the Mecklenburg Aquatic Club. The club will establish the United States Olympic Committee Center of Excellence, in Charlotte, N.C., as SwimmingWorldMagazine.com foretold in an earlier report.
In his new role, Marsh will serve as the Head Elite Coach and CEO of the program, directing the development of future United States’ Olympic swimmers.
“This is a unique, first-ever position that was created by the United States Olympic Committee, USA Swimming and the Mecklenburg Aquatic Club and is a outstanding opportunity for me to assist in the development of future American Olympians,” Marsh said. “I am an Auburn man and it will be extremely difficult to leave the department, university and community, however, I feel this decision was made at this time in the best interest of my family as well as my career. Jay Jacobs has the department headed in the right direction and is committed to maintaining the level of excellence of the swimming and diving program. I will cherish this season as we compete for two more National Championships in 2007.”
In 16 seasons at Auburn, Marsh has guided the program to six men’s and four women’s NCAA crowns and a combined 15 Southeastern Conference titles. The men won national crowns in 1997, 1999, 2003, 2004, 2005, and 2006, while the women captured titles in 2002, 2003, 2004 and 2006.
“David Marsh has established a tradition of excellence at Auburn that is unparalleled,” Auburn Athletics Director Jay Jacobs said. “Under his leadership, the Auburn swimming and diving programs have become the standard by which others across the country are measured. He is a true Auburn man, and we deeply appreciate his service to the university and the Auburn community.
“We have done everything possible to keep Coach Marsh at Auburn, but he has been given an opportunity to pursue a dream of helping develop America’s Olympic hopefuls. We are saddened to see Coach Marsh go, but we realize this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”
Marsh’s teams have earned a combined 1,312 All-America honors by 276 athletes, along with 40 NCAA individual championship titles and 25 NCAA relay crowns. At the conference level, Marsh’s swimmers and divers have captured 178 individual SEC championships and 52 relay conference victories.
Jacobs also announced that six-time Olympic coach Richard Quick will serve as an advisor to the program. Quick, who was the men’s and women’s head coach at Auburn from 1978-82, has won a total of 12 NCAA team titles during his 28-year collegiate coaching career, the most in the history of Division I coaching. Quick most recently coached the Stanford women for 17 years.
“We are ecstatic that Richard Quick is coming on board. His assistance will be invaluable,” Jacobs said. “Coach Marsh set the bar high for our program, and we are doing everything we can to keep it there. We are committed to maintaining that tradition of excellence, as evidenced by our decision to move forward with plans to build a world-class outdoor training pool. This project will ensure that our program remains competitive at the highest level.”
Since Marsh took over the Auburn program, the Plains have been home to 22 Olympians, who captured seven medals.
Over the course of his 16-year coaching career, Marsh has been named National Coach of the Year a total of eight times and the SEC Coach of the Year 13 times. For his outstanding work with the men’s and women’s squads, Marsh was named the 2003 National Collegiate and Scholastic Swimming Trophy recipient. It was the second time in his career that he was so honored, also garnering the distinguished award in 1999. Marsh is the first to ever receive this prestigious award more than once.
In the classroom, 198 Marsh-coached swimmers at Auburn (99 men, 99 women) have been chosen to the SEC Academic Honor Roll and 43 have been named Academic All-Americans. In addition, 24 combined men and women’s teams have been named CSCAA Academic All-American.
A five-time All-American backstroker at Auburn, Marsh was the 1980 SEC backstroke champion and was ranked sixth in the world at the time. March earned a degree in Business Administration from Auburn in 1981.