Former Penn State Coach and NCAA Champion Ed Bartsch Dies


After a long bout with heart complications, former Penn State swimming & diving assistant coach Ed Bartsch died early last week (Monday, June 18th) at the age of 75.

Bartsch spent seven years at Penn State as an assistant coach, from 2001-2008, leading the distance group. Most recently, he worked as an assistant with St. Andrew’s Aquatics from 2008-2014 in Boca Raton, Florida.

“Bartsch had an unequivocal passion for coaching and was adored by all of his swimmers”, wrote former Penn distance swimmer Chris Sullivan.

While with the Nittany Lions, Bartsch’s distance swimmers rewrote the team record books, and he helped the women’s program to their first Big Ten Championship titles in 2002, 2005 and 2006. Under Bartsch, Sullivan broke school records in the 1000 and 1650 freestyle at the 2007 Big Ten Championships, and another one of his swimmers – Nikki Collins – was a two-time All-American and a school record holder in the mile.

Prior to joining Penn State, Bartsch led the Villanova Wildcats men’s and women’s teams, with the women winning back-to-back Big East titles in ’95 and ’96. He also led the Philippine Olympic team at the 1992 Games in Barcelona, producing eight national records. Prior to this, he led Team Trojan, based out of Los Angeles, from 1989-1992, where his swimmers won seven gold medals in the 1991 Southeast Asian Games, three silver medals at The World Student Games and four U.S. Swimming Individual National Championship Titles, including one world record.

Along with his impressive coaching career, Bartsch found a ton of success decades earlier while competing. In 1963 he won the NCAA title in the 200 back and the Pan Am gold medal in the 100 back, while also captaining Michigan’s swim team in 1965.

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