Name: Don Mehl
Nominated for: BOD Member from South Central Zone
I am honored to have served U.S. Masters Swimming as South Central Zone Director since 2008. I look forward to carrying out another term to continue working on the vital issues facing us during this time of growth and transition.
I feel it is essential that USMS continues leading the way promoting adult fitness. New benefits for members, such as the Club and Coach Services and SwimFest, provide a remarkable resource for support and education. However, our strength comes from grassroots relationships at the local level with workout groups, clubs, and LMSC’s. As our organization grows, we must maintain our pioneering spirit and keep our traditions alive.
Response to Questions
Why are you interested in this position and why do you believe you would be a good candidate?
During my first term as South Central Zone At-Large Director, I learned many of the administrative duties and responsibilities required to manage such a large and diverse organization such as ours. Situations change, almost daily. During my 32 years with U.S. Masters swimming as an administrator, coach, and competitor I have helped develop and administer adult swimming practices, clinics, meets, and dryland training programs. I have also worked at the National level for 24 years, learning from many other USMS members how to utilize our resources to encourage and motivate adults to improve their lives with Masters swimming.
What do you consider to be the major issues facing USMS now and in the future. As a person holding an elected position within USMS, how would you address these issues?
I believe USMS should continue to vigorously pursue joint participation activities with other aquatic/athletic organizations such as USA swimming, USA Triathlon, Senior Games, Special Olympics, Paralympics, etc. Although USMS has liaisons or contacts with most of these groups, I believe more should be done at the local level. Many communities have benefited from coordination and consolidation in regards to administration, coaching, securing water time, safety, and training officials.
USMS and USA Swimming could both greatly benefit from a large number of potential swimming officials from USMS members. However, USMS members are required to register separately (and pay additional registration fees) to USA Swimming to be certified. Why do USMS swimmers need a 2nd registration, just to officiate? USMS and USA Swimming are insured by the same company for the same coverage. I think USMS should help streamline and facilitate training and certification of officials for USMS members without the added cost.
Please list USMS committees on which you have served. Include the dates you were on the committees and the names of the committee chairs under whom you served:
Various years, 1986-2009:
Coaches Committee: Judy Bonning, Steve Schofield, Mike Collins, Scott Rabalais, Ed Nessel, Bob Bruce, Mo Chambers, Chris Colburn
Sports Medicine Committee: Jim Miller, Jane Moore, Jessica Seaton
Club of the Year sub-committee (Recognition and Awards Committee): Sally Dillon
Safety Committee (Ad Hoc): Chair unknown
Please list any other experience that relates to your qualifications for the position.
As Masters swimming administrator, coach, and competitive athlete:
- 2008 to Present – At-Large Director from the South Central Zone, serving on the Governance Committee.
- 1978 – founded and coached the first United States Masters Swimming program for adults in El Paso at the Central YWCA
- 1980 to 2000 – served as LMSC Chair for Border Swimming
- 1985 to 2005 – founded and coached the Rio Grande Swim Club
- 1986 to Present – represented Border USMS and USA Swimming at United States Aquatic Sports (USAS) conferences, as delegate and serving on Sports Medicine, Safety, and Coaches Committees for USMS
- 1991 to 1993 – chaired USMS Coaches Committee
- 1997 to 2004 – developed and taught the Swimming Smarter program for swimmers of all ages at the University of Texas at El Paso
- 2001 – interned and coached Masters swimmers at the USMS/USA High Altitude Training Camp at the United States Olympic Training Center (USOTC) in Colorado Springs, Colorado
- 2004 – attended the Adapted Swimming Training Camp at the USOTC, which trains swimmers with disabilities
- Authored articles for Swim Magazine, Masters Aquatic Coaches Association Newsletter, and the USMS website
- Currently certified as USA Swimming and UIL Swimming Official
- 2000 and 2006 – meet director for the USMS South Central Zone Long Course Championships
- 1978 to Present – competed in numerous local, regional, state, national, and world competitions, achieving All-American status (2006, 2008) and many Top-10 rankings
- Honored to receive the 2005 Dorothy Donnelly USMS Service Award
Please list any other information you would like included.
There have been many positive changes to our organization in the last two years, and many more to come. I bring a unique perspective to USMS, as I have worked in every capacity for our LMSC, including 20-years as Chair and 24 years as a USAS delegate. I have been directly involved in United States Masters Swimming as a coach, administrator, and competitor since 1978. I have the knowledge, passion, and skills to help develop growth and continuing interest in Masters swimming.