No matter where Frank Busch goes, success seems to follow in his wake.
In his first Olympics as National Team Director, the Arizona Athletics hall-of-famer led Team USA to its best finish in the pool since the 1984 Los Angeles Games.
With all swim events done and everyone toweled off, Team USA leaves London with 31 medals, including 16 gold. That’s 11 more gold medals than the next closest competitor, China.They also exit the pool with nine silver and six bronze medals hanging around their neck.
The 1984 USA Swim team was as dominant a force ever to squeeze into Speedos. USA wracked up 34 total medals, including 21 gold – 17 more than runner-up Canada.
They also won 13 silver medals and no bronze. That’s correct, 34 medals, none of them bronze.
Where the similiarities between the Los Angeles and London squads gets interesting is medal differential. The ’84 team bested Australia by 22 total medals. The London swimmers paddle away with 21 total medals than No. 2 China.
Busch served as an assistant coach for Team USA at the 2004 Greek and 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. But he gained his notoriety as head coach of the University of Arizona.
In Tucson, Busch spent 22 years building an American Swimming Coaches Association-hall of fame portfolio that boasts NCAA (six times), Pac-10 (11), USA Swimming and United States Olympic Committee coach of the year honors.
It certainly helped having familiar talent in London. All told, swimmers with ties to Busch at Arizona or his Tuscon Ford Dealers Aquatics club team earned four gold medals and two silver.
The pool is now closed and covered until the 2016 Rio Games. That’s gives Busch and company four years to figure out how to overtake the 1984 Los Angeles team.
MEDAL PERFORMANCES BY SWIMMERS WITH TIES TO BUSCH AT THE LONDON GAMES
Alyssa Anderson – Gold: 4X200 Freestyle Relay
Matt Grevers – Gold: 100-meter Backstroke
Matt Grevers – Gold: 4X100 Medley Relay
Matt Grevers – Silver: 4X100 Freestyle Relay
Nick Thoman – Silver: 100 Backstroke
Nick Thoman – Gold: 4X100 Medley Relay