Letter to the Editor: Support for Swim Coach Erik Ran

Letter to the Editor: The Malibu Times

Dear Editor and Community,

Our local swim team recently fired its coach Erik Ran. I understand that these things have many different perspectives, but I never see anybody mentioning what Erik Ran’s swimming history included. I swam with him in college at USC. We finished second twice at NCAAs, and he was the highest-scoring swimmer on our team in the NCAA — on a team that included 10 Olympic swimmers and a world record holder, Erik was most valuable. He placed top 3 at NCAA in individual events — I can’t even remember how often he was All-American.

Next, a future coach learning most from his previous coaches, he was coached and taught by Peter Daland — one of the top swim coaches in the history of the sport and the man who coached Mark Spitz in 1972. The assistant coach at the time was Dave Salo, who also later took over USC and coached many, many Olympic athletes and at the Olympics.

And last, many of his former teammates are in the college and elite swimming community. For example, he was able to recruit Ray Looze, the national team coach for the U.S., to become a member of the Malibu club team board; my honest guess is that the board fired him to avoid Erik recruiting and having more influence for the board. Ray Looze is head coach at Indiana Univerity. At least two other teammates coach elite college teams. The reason I mention this is that in swimming, these type of connections are essential if kids want to swim in college, which is often the best outcome for their swimming career.

Erik Ran was an elite college swimmer who was coached by the best coaches and he is still very connected to the elite level in swimming. He knows the sport and Malibu should be begging for him to remain their swim coach.

Erik Hochstein
Malibu resident