LEXINGTON, Kentucky, February 2. MARCUS Titus, one of the top deaf swimmers in the country who is also embarking on a coaching career, has been turned down by the USA Deaf Sports Federation as a candidate for the head coaching position of the U.S. Deaf Swimming team at the 2013 Deaflympics while still competing with a limited swimming schedule.
Dale Parker, the Director of U.S. Deaf Swimming, first nominated Titus as the man to replace Bill Snape as the USDS head coach. Titus has been a strident supporter for all things deaf swimming, including pushing through official hand signals at the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials even though FINA rules stated that none were required.
The overall USA Deaf Sports Federation, however, declined to support the hiring of Titus as the head coach of the U.S. Deaf Swimming team because he is still an active competitor. The USADSF stated that “this is the first time USADSF has had a situation with an athlete who was also a coach solely responsible for the entire team.”
The USADSF further stated that “Marcus, in particular, is our best male swimmer and in position to earn multiple medals and possibly break USA, Deaflympics and World Deaf records in the process” and further believe that Titus becoming the head coach would diminish both roles.
U.S. Deaf Swimming countered stating that Titus does not intend to have a full load as a swimmer at the Deaflympics, and would likely only be entering in relays, allowing Titus to focus his efforts as the head coach of the team. Parker further reiterated that U.S. Deaf Swimming's “best candidate to lead the team is Marcus Titus.”
USA Deaf Sports Federation president Jack Lamberton responded, reaffirming the USADSF's position that Titus not be the head coach of the team, stating “best of luck in your search for a qualified person for the head coach position with a single role.”
Titus is one of the few swimmers out there who not only completely understands the deaf culture as a deaf swimmer, he also has put in time during the past three years as a swim instructor and coach. He currently works with the youth and Masters club teams at the Dolphins of the Desert after being a member of the USA Swimming National Team from 2009-12, including an eighth-place finish in the 100 breast at the 2012 U.S. Trials. He also swam for USA Swimming National Team Director Frank Busch at the University of Arizona from 2006-10 after spending a year at Arizona State University.