David Marsh Shows Off Hair In Latest Plea to Get Pools Open in California

David Marsh's instagram story detailing how long his hair has gotten. Photo Courtesy: @swimcoachmarsh

Team Elite head coach David Marsh has been vocal on social media in asking California Governor Gavin Newsom to open the pools in the state for lap swim. Marsh took to Twitter last week outside the locked gates of his Team Elite facilities in San Diego urging the governor to lift restrictions on pools in California as its economy recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic.

This week, Marsh posted a short video to his story, showing off how long his hair has gotten since quarantine started mid-March. The video has amassed over 38,000 views. Since Marsh has been unable to return to coaching his Team Elite swimmers, he is silently protesting by growing out his hair until he can return to the pool – and the barber shop.

Many on Twitter have had fun with Marsh’s hair as well.

Pressure has been building in Southern California to get back into the water. The voice of Marsh, the 12-time NCAA champion and coach of 49 Olympians, is the latest in the conversation. Six facilities in San Diego County submitted proposals last week to the county’s health department to reopen, but all were denied.

California is reopening from the coronavirus pandemic according to a four-stage plan called its “Resilience Roadmap”. San Diego County hasn’t yet passed into Stage 2. The state’s website lists 22 counties that have entered Stage 2 of reopening, primarily in the rural north and east of the state. However, San Diego County has experienced some lessening of restrictions on businesses. Progress between stages owes not just to the prevalence of COVID-19 cases but ancillary factors like testing/healthcare system capacities, ability to protect essential “Stage 1” workers and structural vulnerabilities in the populations.

But even when San Diego County gets to Stage 2, pools are not explicitly allowed to open. From the California Department of Public Health, among the businesses not eligible to open even in Stage 2 are “personal services such as nail salons, tattoo parlors, gyms and fitness studios” and “community centers, including public pools, playgrounds, and picnic areas”.

David Marsh and others argue that pools like Team Elite’s don’t operate as community centers. Because of factors like membership models and rigorous scheduling, swim clubs can operate without running afoul of capacity limits or violating social distancing regulations. Marsh, who has been attentive to detail and respectful to the situation at hand, also tweeted a link to USA Swimming’s guidelines on reopening facilities, and many others have cited the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s guidance on the low risk of COVID-19 transmission in treated water.

“We’re very, very comfortable that lap swimming and swim practices can be done safely, and that coaches can stand on deck and enforce physical distancing,” Sally Taggart, general chair of the San Diego-Imperial Swimming LSC of which Team Elite is a part, told the San Diego Union-Tribune Friday. “We can do this safely. It’s a question of do you consider this passive exercise activity that can be supervised, or do you think about this as your neighborhood pool where kids are playing Marco Polo? We’re saying it’s for lap swimming and swim practices. It’s going to be a while before Marco Polo comes back.”


  1. Ja Bounce

    YEP… Too much Pooof, not enough Platinum Chlorine Blonde..

  2. Ildiko Morris

    Pools all over America needs to open. Asap.

  3. If it helps us get our pools open in California, I’ll buy him his haircut in when this is over ??