Passages: 1963 NCAA Champion and Distinguished Coach Ed Bartsch Dies at 75

Photo Courtesy: Cathleen Pruden

Ed Bartsch, coach to many teams across the country and 1963 NCAA Champion in the 200 Backstroke, passed away on June 18 after a multi-year battle with heart complications.

After winning NCAA and Pan-American Gold while swimming for the University of Michigan, Bartsch earned an MBA at SMU in 1968. He began his coaching career in 1971 with club and age group swimmers.

Bartsch then spent time working with the University of Southern California and the Philippine Olympic Team leading up to the 1992 Games in Barcelona. At the time, his swimmers set eight Philippine National Records, one Word Record and more.

Next, he coached at Villanova, where his accomplishments include: two Big East women’s titles (’95 and ’96), 17 Big East relay titles, 11 All-Americans, one NCAA individual champion, one Olympian and a top 20 team finish at the 1999 Women’s NCAA Championships.

Bartsch moved on as an assistant coach at Penn State from 2001 to 2008. According to Penn State Athletics, he helped lead the women’s program to its first Big Ten Championships in 2002, 2005 and 2006. He also helped many of their distance swimmers on to Olympic Trials, NCAA and Open Water National Championships.

His Penn State accomplishments include helping Claire Hawley to a second-place finish in the 25k event at the 2006 U.S. Open Water National Championships, earning her a spot on the Open Water World Championship Team for USA Swimming.

Most recently, Bartsch helped at St. Andrew’s Aquatics in Boca Raton, Florida, as a coach from 2008-14.

Ed Bartsch (L) with Sid Cassity

Photo Courtesy: Sid Cassidy

According to St. Andrew’s, Bartsch’s family will scatter his ashes in the Florida Keys in a private ceremony next week.

USC and Penn State Athletics contributed to this report. 

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Author: Diana Pimer

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Diana Pimer was a breaststroke/IMer at Keene State College and is the NEISDA Conference record holder in the 200 IM. She is currently an Age Group Coach at AGUA in New York City and has covered major competitions for Swimming World including the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, 2015 and 2017 FINA World Championships, USA Swimming Nationals and more.

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