Updated November 16 with official statement from USA Swimming
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado, November 13. IN a move that has been anticipated for several weeks, National Team Head Coach Mark Schubert and USA Swimming have parted ways according to the Associated Press. Three days later, USA Swimming made the separation public with an official statement.
"I continue to have the highest admiration and respect for Mark Schubert and for his accomplishments and contributions to the sport," USA Swimming Executive Director Chuck Wielgus said in his Nov. 16 statement. "I am saddened by this parting of ways as I was the one who sought out and recruited Mark for the job at USA Swimming. I know Mark still has much to give to the sport he loves and wish him the best in his future endeavors."
Three days prior, Wielgus informed his Board of Directors about the decision in an e-mail obtained by the AP on Friday.
"We have gone through a challenging transition with the leadership of the National Team program in recent months, and Mark Schubert is no longer the National Team Head Coach," Wielgus wrote as quoted by the AP.
Swimming World contacted USA Swimming at the time of first receiving a copy of the aforementioned e-mail, and was assured through Wielgus that Schubert's status had not changed and a statement would be released early next week. With contradicting statements from USA Swimming, Swimming World chose to not run with the story at the time.
"Obviously, there is more to this story and we intend to get to the bottom of it over the next few days," Swimming World Publisher Brent Rutemiller said.
Schubert initially took a leave of absence on Sept. 15 in the middle of USA Swimming's annual convention. At that time, credible sources told Swimming World that his leave of absence had nothing to do with USA Swimming's ongoing struggles with the sexual abuse issues that have plagued the organization this year. This latest development is still considered to have nothing to do with the sexual abuse issues.
Former USA Swimming President Jim Wood remains at his interim post as National Team Leader. USA Swimming will begin looking for a new National Team Director, hopefully to be named by the spring of 2011.