Mark Schubert Returns to Mission Viejo as Associate Head Coach

Photo Courtesy: Swimming World

Mark Schubert has accepted the position as the Associate Head Coach of the Mission Viejo Nadadores. For Schubert, his career will be coming full-circle as he returns to the post he thrived in for 13 years in the 1970s and 1980s.

“My job description will be running the club. Bill and I have a great relationship, and I will enjoy working with him,” Schubert told Swimming World when word leaked out about the move.

Mission Viejo hoped to have a successor for longtime head coach Bill Rose in place by mid-July of this year. Rose will stay on to advise Schubert until December 2017, but Schubert will assume responsibility for day-to-day operations immediately. Other known finalists for the position included Nation’s Capital Swim Club’s Bruce Gemmell and University of Tennessee assistant Tyler Fenwick.

Gemmell, who coached Katie Ledecky for the past four years, took a visit to Southern California on September 21 but chose to stay on the east coast. Fenwick, who prior to his time in Knoxville coached under Rose with the Nadadores, removed his name from contention late last week.

Schubert started his first tour of duty at Mission Viejo in 1972. Just 23 years old, Schubert became the co-head coach of a 50-swimmer club—which by the end of his 13-year tenure had grown to 500.

mark-schubert-1975

Photo Courtesy: Swimming World 1975

Schubert’s success at Mission Viejo was immense. He coached the likes of Shirley BabashoffTiffany Cohen, Brian Goodell, Mike O’Brien, Jesse Vassalo, Sippy Woodhead and Dara Torres.

mark-schubert-1982-wc-by-ch (1)

Photo Courtesy: Chris Georges World Championship 1982

His Mission Viejo swimmers won 17 total Olympic medals—10 of them gold—along with five individual World titles and 124 individual National Championships. They set 88 American records and 21 world records.

Schubert’s Mission Viejo won a record-44 team national championships (spring plus summer) during that 13-year run—18 women’s, eight men’s and 18 combined.

It was during this time when Schubert was named to the U.S. Olympic coaching staff for the first time—as an assistant coach of the combined men’s and women’s team in 1980 and 1984. Schubert would go on to have a streak of eight consecutive Olympics where he served in some capacity on that staff.

sw-sep-1985

Photo Courtesy: Swimming World Magazine September 1985

Schubert left California in 1985 and moved across the country to Boca Raton, Fla. As coach of the Mission Bay Makos Swim Team, he placed three swimmers on the Olympic team in 1988.

mark-schubert-boca

Photo Courtesy: Pylon

Firmly established as one of the all-time great club coaches in history, Schubert moved on to a new challenge in 1988: College Swimming.

Schubert accepted the post of women’s head coach of the University of Texas, where he succeeded the late, great Richard Quick, who had led the Longhorns to five straight NCAA team titles and six in seven years at the helm. (For good measure, Paul Bergen won the year before Quick came on board.)

Schubert had big shoes to fill, and he did so, winning team titles in 1990 and 1991. For his efforts, he was named head women’s coach of the 1992 Olympic team before pivoting to his next job, one where his stay would be even longer than his 13-year run at Mission Viejo.

mark-schubert-texas-1988-89

Photo Courtesy: Larry Pierce

Schubert succeeded Hall of Fame coach Peter Daland at the University of Southern California in 1992, first coaching the men and then adding the women’s team to his coaching duties a year later.

His Trojan women won their first-ever NCAA team title in 1997, and he placed multiple Olympians on the teams in 1996, 2000 and 2004.

mark-schubert-usc-1996

Photo Courtesy: Peter Bick

In 1996, that listed include Brad Bridgewater, Kristine Quance and Janet Evans. 2000 saw Lindsay Benko, Lenny Krayzelberg, Klete Keller and Erik Vendt compete—and all won medals. Schubert was the U.S. men’s head coach for those Games.

Schubert again served as the head coach for the U.S. women at the 2004 Olympics in Athens, and 18 of his Trojans were on deck competing. Benko, Keller, Vendt, Larsen Jensen and Kaitlin Sandeno all won medals, and both Ous Mellouli and Kalyn Keller made a championship final.

In 2006, he left USC to take a job at USA Swimming as the new National Team Director. He presided over the 2007 World Championships in Melbourne, where the U.S. won 20 gold medals—half of the pool swimming events—and over the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, where Michael Phelps won eight gold medals and the American team 31 total medals.

Schubert was left as a Director of USA Swimming in late 2010 but returned to coaching with the Golden West Swim Club and Golden West Community College in 2011. While working at Golden West, Schubert helped lead 2012 gold medalist Jessica Hardy to the 2016 Olympic Trials.

Schubert has been named American Swim Coaches Association Coach of the Year an astonishing five times: in 1975, 1976, 1981, 1997 and 1999 and was named an International Swimming Hall of Fame Honor Coach in 1997. He is also a member of ASCA’s Hall of Fame, and the organization honored him with the Peter Daland award in 2015.

In September of this year, Schubert introduced Babashoff at the 2016 ASCA World Clinic as she received the prestigious Ousley award.

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5 Comments

5 comments

  1. avatar
    Cynthia mae Curran

    In September of this year, Schubert introduced Babashoff at the 2016 ASCA World Clinic as she received the prestigious Ousley award.
    This video was fun.

  2. avatar
    Cynthia mae Curran

    Schubert introduced Babashoff.

  3. avatar
    Cynthia mae Curran

    This video is fun.

  4. avatar

    Great coach; great leader. Glad to see him back where he had so much success. I wonder if he’ll get Larry Liebowitz back on his staff 🙂 Congratulations, Mark!
    Steve Friederang, technique coach at CBU and CEO of Competitiveswimmer.com and Tropical Penguin, Inc.

  5. avatar
    GW Swim Dad

    Who should Goldenwest hire as his replacement?

Author: David Rieder

avatar
David Rieder is a staff writer for Swimming World. He has contributed to the magazine and website since 2009, and he has covered the NCAA Championships, U.S. Nationals, Olympic Trials as well as the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio and the 2017 World Championships in Budapest. He is a native of Charleston, S.C., and a 2016 graduate of Duke University.

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