Passages: After Battles With Mental Illness and Addiction, Two-Time Olympian Brian Job Dies at 67

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Brian Job, a two-time United States Olympian and the bronze medalist in the 200-meter breaststroke at the 1968 Games in Mexico City, has died at the age of 67. A former standout at Stanford University and for the Santa Clara Swim Club under coach George Haines, Job was found dead on Aug. 14 at the Glass Slipper Inn, a motel in Northern California in which Job was residing.

According to an article in the Mercury News, Job had battled mental illness and addiction for much of his life, and was homeless at times, too. At the time of his death, he was living in the Glass Slipper Inn and the owner of the motel frequently saw Job return to his room with bottles of alcohol, which Job’s sisters – Lisa Uzzell and Brenda Job – believe contributed to his death.

After being charged with a felony in 2016, following an incident in which Job hit a disabled man with a flashlight, the two-time Olympian was deemed unfit for trial and was sent to Atascadero State Hospital to be treated for his mental illness. His sister, Lisa Uzzell, commented in the Mercury News article that her brother’s time in incarceration kept him from harming himself.

“When he was incarcerated, he was safe, and he was taking medication for his mental problems,” Uzzell told the Mercury News. “They took good care of him because he couldn’t take care of himself.”

Job was able to leave the state hospital when he fought for his freedom through a pair of jury trials. Job argued against Santa Clara County’s pursuit of a Murphy Conservatorship, which would have kept Job in a psychiatric facility. After a mistrial, a jury then found in favor of Job, 10-2, for release. At that point, Job checked into the Glass Slipper Inn.

Brian Job emerged as a star in the water in the late 1960s and early 1970s, and he made the podium in the 200 breaststroke at the 1968 Olympics, finishing behind Mexico’s Felipe Munoz and the Soviet Union’s Vladimir Kosinsky. At the 1971 Pan American Games, Job was the silver medalist in the 100 breaststroke, bronze medalist in the 200 breast and earned gold as a member of the United States’ 400 medley relay. In 1970, Job set a world record of 2:23.5 in the 200 breaststroke. When Job trained with the Santa Clara Swim Club, the program was in its heyday, featuring the likes of Mark Spitz, Don Schollander and John Hencken.

13 comments

  1. Bob McKeon

    What a shame – he was a great breaststroker – sorry he didnt didn’t get the help – god bless

  2. Mike Mcgowan

    He was in my time. Met him many times. Never had a bad bone sad how time changes.

  3. Pat Kennedy

    Condolences to his family and loved ones.

  4. Pamela Wu

    Condolences to his family.

  5. Jack Martin

    Rest in peace Brian!

  6. Robin Walker

    RIP. Another victim of mental illness. It’s so sad to see lives ruined this way. Prayers of peace to his family and friends.

  7. Mike Griggs

    Brian was a teammate of mine at the old Kent State High in 1997, where he was a state champ in the 100 breast. moved to Santa Clara the following year. He was one of the first, if not the first, to get under a minute in the 100 breast in high school.

  8. avatar
    Monnica

    My heart felt condolences to the Job family. I knew Brian very well for decades and we hung out a lot during early 2000’s. I believe that in his passing he has found peace. He didn’t have it here. Blessings to you Brian. I’ll remember the good times.

  9. Patsy Patterson Martin

    rest in Pease Brian . we are all with you in our hearts. Thank you for your contribution to swimming. God Loves YOu.

  10. avatar
    beafrank

    I used to swim against him at AAU meets in Northern Calif. Needless to say, he was always in Lane 4 and would always came in first. R.I.P., Sir.

  11. avatar
    bob kravutske

    from one who battles the demons of mental health every day I know the battles he went thru…….1/2 the jail inmates need mental health…….I was lucky, found good help, good friends, good environment, no bad side affects from my meds, there is hope…….but many times hard to find…….no body can take your world record away!!!!!…….fight the good fight…….

  12. avatar
    Pamela Walls

    Brian’s swimming career was tremendous, but there was so much more to him than that! He was brilliant and started two major computer companies in Silicon Valley, earned a fortune and retired at 36. Although the trappings of wealth didn’t really help Brian, he had the sweetest heart, cared about people and would do kind things for his family and others. He fought for years, but the mental illness was a battle he couldn’t win. It’s that gentle heart buried deep inside that I believe God loved and honored in the end.