FORT WASHINGTON, Pennsylvania, December 4. RECENTLY, Germantown Academy elected to promote assistant coaches Claire Crippen and Chris Lear into acting head coaching positions with the Germantown Academy Aquatic Club, but remained silent regarding the impact on legendary head coach Richard Shoulberg.
Shoulberg, who has been in limbo since the action last month, has remained quiet about the move as has the administration at the Germantown Academy, until late this evening when he spoke with the Philadelphia Inquirer.
“I haven’t done anything wrong, other than being 74 1/2 and looking people in the eye and telling them, ‘You’re wrong,’ ” Shoulberg told the Inquirer.
Shoulberg finally talked tonight after having ignored media inquiries regarding his leave of absence from the deck. However, there is little doubt that Shoulberg would desire to return to the deck as soon as possible.
“I know I’m old. But I’m efficient and old,” Shoulberg said. “My girls’ team last year broke the [national] record” in the 400-yard freestyle relay.
It’s been a difficult time for the alumni base of Germantown Academy, as there have been plenty of rumors regarding the situation, but none have been willing to speak due to their loyalty to Shoulberg and their desire to keep him out of the crosshairs of the Germantown Academy administration with hopes of an amicable return to the deck.
Shoulberg told the Inquirer tonight that he’s even offered to return in a coach emeritus position just to help out, but that his life is about being on the deck.
“My life is not just coaching world-class athletes. It’s teaching all aspects of aquatics,” Shoulberg said.
It would be a travesty if Shoulberg has spent his last moments on deck with Germantown Academy, unless the reasoning behind Germantown putting him on administrative leave is egregious.