Mark Schubert, a former high school swimmer from Akron, OH, had a goal to become a high school coach. Schubert’s dream came true. He became a high school coach in Cuyahoga Falls High in Ohio.
In 1972, during his second year coaching, he looked at swimming in Southern California and was impressed by the caliber of coaches. “I looked at the great coaches in So Cal including Don Gambril, Dick Jochums, Ron Ballatore, Jim Montrella and Peter Daland. I realized that I could be successful there.”
At the young age of 23, Schubert applied to head the team in Mission Viejo, which at the time was a summer-league team. He got the job and through the years, grew the team to more than 500 swimmers. He also coached at Mission Viejo High School, and they became CIF Champions in 1975.
How did Schubert, a young, new coach have such early successes?
“Once a month, I’d travel to other teams, and learn from them. It helped me out and it was a great way to learn. Coach Peter Daland was from Swarthmore, east coast guy, wore ties, very formal. He was impressive and his team had enthusiastic chemistry. I modeled Mission Viejo after Santa Clara and George Haines. We developed a culture of hard work and our swimmers swam fast. Shirley Babashoff got the ball rolling,” Schubert said. “Visiting other coaches on a monthly basis was better than any course I could attend. It worked for me.”
Some of the stand-out swimmers he coached at Mission Viejo:
Brian Goodell was 8 years old when Mark Schubert became head coach of the team. He first coached him when he was 13 years old. He earned 2 gold medals, 400 free and 1500 free at Montreal 1976 Olympics.
Shirley Babashoff, 4 silver, I gold in Montreal, author of “Making Waves: My Journey to Winning Olympic Gold and Defeating the East German Doping Program.”
Mary Meagher, earned 3 golds, 100 fly, 200 fly and 400 Medley Relay, 1984 Los Angeles Olympics training with Mission.
Dara Torres, earned 1 gold medal in the 1984 Olympics. She trained with Mission Viejo to prepare for the Olympics while in high school, from ’83-’84.
Innovations in swimming:
“It was fun when everyone started to wear goggles. One of the main reasons for drops was practice went from 3 to 4,000 yards to 8,000. People improved a lot more. Before goggles, their eyes would get red and they couldn’t stay in the water for longer,” Schubert said.
“Also, suits became popular in the world in 1977. The East Germans wore speedo suits. Times continued to drop until the full body suits in 2008 when it peaked.”
During his years at USC, Schubert said he worked with many amazing swimmers including Olympians Janet Evans and Lenny Krazylburg, Kristin Quance, who was recently inducted into the Hall of Fame, and RoseBowl and USC coach Jeff Julian. “Mark Warkentin, Jeff Julian, Kristine Quance and Tyler Storie are coaches that I coached. Nice to have coaches that have done well. It’s very satisfying.”
Here’s Schubert’s bio from Golden West Swim Club, where he’s currently Head Coach and CEO:
Coach Mark Schubert is the Head Coach and CEO of Golden West Swim Club in Huntington Beach, California; where he is rebuilding one of Southern California’s storied programs from the bottom up by instilling the values of hard work, commitment, dedication, fun, and a love of swimming. Coach Schubert is also the Head Coach of Gold West College. After nine years of the Rustlers not making it to the championship podium, Schubert leads both the Women’s and the Men’s teams to the California State Community College Championships Title – in his first year! The Men’s team also won the State title in 2014 and 2015.Schubert was named the USA Swimming National Team Head Coach and General Manager on March 21, 2006. Prior to joining USA Swimming, he was the head coach at the University of Southern California for 14 years.Schubert has demonstrated coaching success at all levels – club, college, and international – matched by few coaches in the history of the sport. At the club level, Schubert found success on the national swimming scene as the head coach of the Mission Viejo Nadadores from 1972-85, where his teams won a record 44 U.S. National team titles during his tenure. Schubert also served as the head coach of Texas Aquatics for four years, leading the club, along with head coach Eddie Reese, to 10 national team titles.At the collegiate level, Schubert coached at the University of Texas from 1989-92, leading the Longhorns to two NCAA team titles (1990 and 1991). At the University of Southern California, the Trojan women took home one NCAA team title under Schubert in 1997. His USC swimmers won 49 NCAA individual titles.At the international level, Schubert has been a familiar face on the Olympic coaching scene, serving on every Olympic coaching staff since 1980 and placing 38 swimmers on U.S. Olympic teams. Schubert was Head Women’s Coach in 1992 and 2004. He was the Head Men’s Coach in 2000. He was a Women’s Assistant Coach in 1996, and an assistant for the combined Men’s and Women’s teams for 1980, 1984, and 1988.In his first World Championships appearance as National Team head coach and general manager, Schubert led Team USA to its most dominant performance in history. The Americans ran away with the medal count, winning an incredible 36 medals, 20 of them gold, and setting 12 world records. Schubert is an eight-time World Championships coach, serving as the head men’s and women’s coach in 1982.(Beijing Olympic Games – USA won 33 Olympic Medals)