PHILADELPHIA, Pennsylvania, December 16. DICK Shoulberg has been reinstated by the Germantown Academy, according to information first reported by Swimming World. Swimming World has obtained a copy of the letter from Germantown’s head master Jim Connor explaining that Shoulberg will retire following the 2014-15 season, but will remain on board as Coach Emeritus until that time.
Shoulberg’s voice mail is completely full and not accepting new calls, and he has not returned a text looking for response regarding the news. However, Swimming World has heard from an anonymous source close to the situation confirming the information received this evening.
Shoulberg had originally taken a leave of absence from Germantown Academy reportedly caused by a hazing incident two years ago, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer. The article explained that the coach of 44 years had been put on administrative leave, and that Claire Crippen and Chris Lear were installed as acting head coaches for the male and female swim teams.
For more on the background behind the initial reporting on Shoulberg’s leave of absence, check out our previous report.
Connor, however, disputes these reports regarding Shoulberg’s reasons for a leave in his letter to Germantown alums.
Specifically, Connor wrote:
“Both Coach Shoulberg and GA feel it is unfortunate that during this transitional period, when we have been sorting out the logistics of his new role, certain inaccurate information has circulated both within and outside the GA community. Coach Shoulberg’s employment has been continuous for more than 44 years; to the extent that anyone received or believed information or rumors to the contrary, he or she was mistaken.”
Full letter to Germantown alums
Dear GA Families,
I would like to address some important developments regarding Germantown Academy’s Swimming Program, and specifically, the status of longtime Aquatics Director and Head Swimming Coach Richard Shoulberg 1760.
Coach Shoulberg’s legacy includes sending 16 GA and GAAC swimmers to various Olympics, coaching the GA girl’s swim team to every Inter-Ac League title since its inception in 1972, coaching more than 280 All-Americans and numerous Senior and Junior National champions and finalists, receiving the National Interscholastic Swimming Coaches Association (NISCA) Hall of Fame Award in 2000, and the USA Swimming Award in 2011, USA Swimming’s highest award. As Head of School, I express my gratitude to Coach Shoulberg for his continuous service to our community and to the thousands of students and swimmers he has taught, coached and mentored.
Coach Shoulberg took a leave from Germantown Academy effective October 21, 2013 to address health concerns. During his absence, he and I have had ongoing conversations about the future of the GA Swimming Program and his role with the program. It is important to both of us that we continue to support our swimmers, their swimming careers and their legacy of success.
Coach Shoulberg has informed me that he will officially retire from GA at the close of the 2014-15 school year. Until then, he will remain on and serve the GA community in the role of Coach Emeritus. Although he will step away from day-to-day coaching and many administrative duties, he will participate in the search for a permanent head coach and continue to be involved with the program and its future.
Both Coach Shoulberg and GA feel it is unfortunate that during this transitional period, when we have been sorting out the logistics of his new role, certain inaccurate information has circulated both within and outside the GA community. Coach Shoulberg’s employment has been continuous for more than 44 years; to the extent that anyone received or believed information or rumors to the contrary, he or she was mistaken.
GA will continue to support the swimming program, on the curricular and extracurricular levels, to help guide our students and swimmers to the greatness they work so hard to achieve. We are grateful for your support as Coach Shoulberg begins in his new role.
All best wishes,