Rowdy Gaines Upgraded to USA Swimming’s Director of Community Engagement

Photo Courtesy: Diana Pimer

Three-time Olympic gold medalist and USA Swimming Foundation Ambassador Rowdy Gaines was upgraded to the role of Director of Community Engagement by USA Swimming on Wednesday, the organization announced.

Active as an Ambassador of the USA Swimming Foundation since 2011, Gaines will continue his advocacy for the sport and fundraising efforts and will collaborate with organizational leaders to develop and deploy a robust community relations strategy.

“I have had an amazing relationship with USA Swimming dating back to its inception in 1980 when I was at the height of my career as a swimmer,” Rowdy Gaines said. “It literally has never stopped. This is another step in trying to give back to the sport that has given me so much the last 40 years. I was a full-time employee from 2003-08, and I helped start the USA Swimming Foundation so in many ways this is just a continuation of immersing myself in our swimming community… our swimming family.”

During his competitive career, Rowdy’s name became synonymous with American swimming. Between 1978 and 1984, the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame and International Swimming Hall of Fame member set 10 world records. In addition to his three Olympic gold medals, he has also tallied 16 total medals (12 gold) representing the United States at the World Championships and Pan American Games. Most recently, he was inducted into the International Masters Swimming Hall of Fame in the fall of 2019.

Rowdy Gaines has had a long history with USA Swimming out of the water as well. His work with the USA Swimming Foundation dates to 2003, when he helped launch the Foundation and served as its Executive Director until 2008. Most recently, he served as the Vice President of Aquatics for the YMCA of Central Florida in Orlando.

“It would be difficult to find someone who cares more about this sport than Rowdy Gaines,” said Shana Ferguson, Chief Commercial Officer for USA Swimming. “And while many know him as the face and voice of competitive swimming, even more notable is Rowdy’s fierce devotion to increasing swim lesson opportunities for young children. Swimming is a life-saving sport for all ages, and no one embodies that mission more than Rowdy. We are lucky to have this champion leaning in even more with our work here.”

— The above press release was posted by Swimming World in conjunction with USA Swimming. For press releases and advertising inquiries please contact


  1. Dean Hutchinson

    Absolutely best thing USA swimming has done in a long time

  2. avatar
    Ruth Fulwider

    Congratulations very well deserved a outstanding person!

  3. Craig Welday

    How ’bout getting us back in the water?

  4. avatar
    Rick valentine

    Good person but terrible broadcaster – get him off the air.

  5. Margaret Donofrio

    Maybe the right things will get done with you Rowdy. Great luck in the job.

  6. avatar
    Rick Theobald

    There is none so dedicated to the sport than Rowdy! Congratulations Rowdy and a good move by USA Swimming.

  7. avatar

    Awesome news!! ??? Also love your commentating!!! Such knowledge & enthusiasm!!