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Mark Schubert comes full circle, returns to coach Nadadores
Mark Schubert is going home to Mission Viejo and the swim team that helped put the city on the sports map.
The Mission Viejo Nadadores announced Monday the hiring of Schubert, 67, as its associate head coach and replacement-in-waiting for head coach Bill Rose, who will retire at the end of 2017.
Schubert quickly surfaced as a potential successor in May when Rose announced he will retire Dec. 31, 2017.
During a 13-year stretch from 1972-85, Schubert built the Nadadores into a world-renowned program that featured Olympians and world-record holders such as Brian Goodell, Shirley Babashoff and Sippy Woodhead.
Schubert also led the Nadadores to 44 national titles before departing with diving coach Ron O’Brien for a team in Florida.
Now some 30 years later, Schubert’s winding road leads back home to Mission Viejo, where his career as an eight-time Olympic coach took off.
“There’s definitely an emotional component being able to coach Mission Viejo,” he said. “I so loved coaching there. … It’s really a big sense of pride (for me).”
Schubert was hired by the Nadadores’ board of directors, a group of parents, coaches and stakeholders. The Surfside resident said he has signed an offer sheet from the Nadadores and broke the news to his swimmers at Golden West Swim Club on Monday afternoon.
“Mark’s return to MVN feels like a genuine homecoming,” said Harold Epps, a Nadadores board member and parent of two swimmers.
Schubert has been a regular on Orange County pool decks since arriving five years at Golden West. The Hall of Fame coach also guided the men’s and women’s team at Golden West College.
The former USC and University of Texas coach landed at Golden West after being fired as U.S. national coach and general manager.
“I learned that I need to be on the pool deck to be happy,” said Schubert, who starts with the Nadadores next week. “I’ve really enjoyed working with high school-age kids.”
Schubert also is the former high school coach at Mission Viejo, who he guided to its first CIF-SS title in 1975.
Controversy has followed Schubert in recent years.
He reached an out-of-court settlement with Dia Rianda, a former Golden West Swim Club coach and administrator, in a wrongful termination case.
Schubert was part of the dispute between former U.S. national team swimmer Dagny Knutson and her former attorney, Richard Foster. Knutson was awarded more than $600,000 in damages after a jury found that Foster committed a breach of fiduciary duty and fraud by willful concealment while advising her to accept a financial settlement with USA Swimming.
And while Schubert was at Golden West, assistant coach Bill Jewell was banned for three years by USA Swimming for sexual misconduct.
Mission Viejo had its own issue with assistant coach Ad’m Dusenbury, who was banned for life in 2013 after a Register investigation revealed he had a sexual relationship with a female teenage swimmer for the club.
In his return to the Nadadores, Schubert said he will focus on developing swimmers and a program for college graduates.
"I plan to be at Mission until I stop coaching," he said. "I just love being on the pool deck."
The club is currently training at multiple locations during the renovation of its pool at the Marguerite Recreation Center. The Nadadores' national team is based at Capistrano Valley.
"It's the biggest coup we could have made with Coach Rose retiring," said board member Jim Montrella. "We got the right guy at the right time."