Mintenko becomes 1st female to lead US national swim team

October 18, 2017 - 7:05 pm

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) — Two-time Olympian Lindsay Mintenko was appointed Wednesday to lead the U.S. national swimming team, becoming the first woman to hold the title.

Mintenko replaces Frank Busch, who retired Oct. 1 as managing director of the national team. She has been a member of the national team staff since 2006.

During her swimming career, Mintenko won gold medals as a U.S. team captain at the 2000 and 2004 Olympic Games in the 800-meter freestyle relay, in addition to a silver on the 400 freestyle relay in 2004.

"With Lindsay's 10-plus years of experience at USA Swimming, her role as a two-time Olympic team captain and time on deck as a coach, she is a tremendous fit for this position," said Tim Hinchey, the new president and CEO of USA Swimming. "Lindsay is well respected by our athletes and coaches, and USA Swimming is looking forward to continued competitive success by the national team under her direction."

Hinchey also announced an organizational restructuring that will place all technical divisions, including the national team, under the oversight of chief operating officer Mike Unger, a 24-year veteran of USA Swimming.

"Mike's passion is unparalleled within our sport, and his experience with USA Swimming is unmatched," Hinchey said. "Our organization has thrived in large part to his contributions, and his leadership will be a key part of the National Team's successes."

Mintenko takes over the elite program for the sport's most dominant nation. At the world championships in Budapest this past summer, the United States piled up 18 gold medals and 38 medals overall in the pool competition, despite the retirement of Michel Phelps and the absence of longtime stars Ryan Lochte and Missy Franklin.

Caeleb Dressel had a breakout performance, becoming only the third swimmer after Phelps and Mark Spitz to win seven gold medals at a major international meet. Katie Ledecky captured five golds and a silver to lead the women's team.

No other nation won more than four golds and 10 medals overall.

"I am honored to follow and build on a tremendous legacy set by Frank and his predecessors," Mintenko said in a statement. "We have a great team in place in the national team division, and following a strong showing at last summer's FINA world championships, we're already hard at work planning the road to the 2020 Olympic Games."

In addition to Mintenko's promotion, USA Swimming will add the position of national team technical advisor in the coming weeks, rounding out Hinchey's new leadership team.


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