Updated September 16 with Jim Wood replacement information.
DALLAS, Texas, September 15, 2010. IN the middle of USA Swimming's annual convention in Dallas, Texas, Mark Schubert took a paid leave of absence effective immediately from his duties as USA Swimming's national team head coach. The following day on Sept. 16, outgoing USA Swimming President Jim Wood was named the interim National Team Leader in a part-time and temporary capacity. Additionally, Olympic International Operations Committee (OIOC) Chair Michael Lawrence will take on an enhanced leadership role.
A development that can only be described as shocking, USA Swimming released a statement to Swimming World saying that "Out of respect for individual privacy, and as a matter of policy, USA Swimming does not comment on personnel issues."
Swimming World confirmed through credible sources that the reason for the sudden announcement had nothing to do with the current sexual abuse issues confronting USA Swimming nor any other ethical, social or unlawful improprieties by Schubert.
However, it is noteworthy that Schubert's leave comes on the heels of an Athlete Partnership Plan championed by Schubert before it was rejected by the USOC. The plan was then retooled and hotly debated within USA Swimming until it became watered-down. A version was approved and will move on to the House of Delegates for final approved later this week.
Swimming World has placed phone calls to Schubert and will release more information as it becomes available to the public.
As an Olympic swim coach for the United States, Schubert has been a part of a record eight consecutive Olympiads, stretching back to the boycotted 1980 Games in Moscow.
Schubert's coaching career expands almost 40 years, back to his days coaching high school swimmers in Ohio for two seasons. He moved to Mission Viejo, Calif., in 1972 and founded the Mission Viejo Nadadores, where he immediately became a successful coach, guiding some of the most notable swimmers in history to Olympic glory. Brian Goodell, Shirley Babashoff, Mike O'Brien, Dara Torres and Jesse Vassallo were just a few of the Olympic champions who dipped their toes into the Mission Viejo pool during Schubert's 13-year tenure, which resulted in 44 national team titles and numerous Coach of the Year accolades.
Schubert moved across the country to Mission Bay, Fla., where he brought the Mission Bay Makos to international prominence with such names as Dan Veatch and won nine more national team titles from 1986 to 1989.
Immediate success followed Schubert to the University of Texas, where his women's team won the NCAA title in 1990 and 1991 and top three finishes in 1992 and 1993. Along with coaching the collegiate team, Schubert was in charge of the Texas Aquatics age group team in Austin.
Schubert's final coaching stint was at the University of Southern California from 1993 to 2006, where he fostered the Olympic successes of Brad Bridgewater, Lenny Krayzelburg, Kristine Quance, Erik Vendt and Klete Keller. He also coached Janet Evans to her final Olympic appearance in 1996. Schubert has personally coached nearly 30 swimmers to spots on the USA Olympic team.