Curl-Burke Swim Club issued a press release on Tuesday announcing the renaming of the local club as the Nation’s Capital Swim Club under the ownership of the club’s former direction of operations and new CEO, Tom Ugast.
Along with the new name, the club will feature a new red, white and blue logo as the club continues to distance itself from its former owner, head coach, and namesake Rick Curl. Curl took an indefinite leave of absence from the club after allegations of a sexual relationship with a swimmer surfaced in late July. Following Curl’s departure, the club temporarily changed its name to CUBU under which it competed in July and August.
“The last couple of months have been a challenging time for our club, coaches, swimmers and facility partners,” Ugast said in the press release. “Our new name and ownership build on the many changes we’ve already made that reflect our uncompromising commitment to the safety of our swimmers, while preserving the talents and strengths that have made our club one of the country’s most successful for years.”
Ugast has been with the club for the past six years. He was formerly a member of the coaching staff in the early 1980s.
Pete Morgan, who has been with the club since its founding in 1978, will continue his role as the club’s head coach, which he assumed in July. He is the head site coach at the Burke facility in Virginia. Morgan coached Ed Moses to a gold medal at the 2000 Sydney Olympics.
The club has produced four Olympic gold medalists during its 34-year history, including 15-year-old Katie Ledecky, who won gold in the women’s 800-meter freestyle this past August in London.
Ledecky was named to the U.S. National Team along with former club swimmer Ellyn Baumgardner, who swims for the University of Arizona. Teammates Andrew Seliskar, 15, and Carsten Vissering, 15, were named to the U.S. Junior National Team this September as well.
“Our swimmers are excited for the new season and proud to be part of one of the nation’s most successful swim clubs,” said Jeff King, head coach of the NCAP sites in Alexandria and a founding member of the club. “Along with taking on a new name, we also will be taking our pride and history with us.”
During the 2011-2012 season, the club secured its second consecutive USA Swimming virtual club championship in both the long course and short course formats.
According to the press release, NCAP has more than 2,000 swimmers at 15 facilities in the D.C., Maryland, and Northern Virginia area. Following the news during the summer, the club lost two sites in Virginia and one in Maryland, but has not seen enrollment suffer as a result.
“Every facility we have is full,” Ugast said in a telephone interview. “We’ve always said we have provided ‘the finest swimming in the nation’s capital’ and we’re still committed to that. That hasn’t changed.”
The club will continue to host meets in the Potomac Valley local swimming community as well as its marquee event, the Tom Dolan Invitational, which has become the fastest winter championship meet on the east coast.