Swimming Has No Better Friend Than Brent Rutemiller

Swimming Has No Better Friend Than Brent Rutemiller

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

Brent Rutemiller has focused on shaping and creating a positive environment in the swimming world since he first started coaching at the Brookwood Swim and Tennis Club in Edgewood, Kentucky in 1974.

Since that time, he has relentlessly shared information, commentary, prognostications, trends, results, race summaries, and luminaries of the sport through his dedicated activities on deck and behind a desk.

During the 1980’s, he served as the coach at O.A.S.I.S. in Cincinnati, Ohio, South Dearborn High School in Indiana, Mission Viejo Nadadores in California, and Phoenix Swim Club and Scottsdale Aquatics Club in Arizona. But it was in 1985 when he really started to make his voice clear in the sport when he took over the helm of Swimming World Magazine.

He has continued as CEO and publisher of the leading swimming publication for 36 consecutive years. Swimming World has been a worldwide media outlet and trusted source for swimming news, training programs, techniques, and aquatic lifestyles.

In 2017, he became the dual CEO of both Swimming World and the International Swimming Hall of Fame. The merger is described as the most dramatic and radical move to assist the aquatics community in keeping its history real and relevant. Swimming World distributes content online, in print, and via social media and video platforms that is augmented by the history, library and initiatives of the International Swimming Hall of Fame along with Swimming World BiWeekly, Swimming Technique, and Swimming World Vault (a vast database of international swimming news, images, and more since 1960).

Brent has been a strong leader, addressing controversial topics and hailing the heroes of the sport,” says Steven Munatones. “He has been there, decade after decade, calling attention to up-and-coming age group swimmers, new products, swimming camps, water polo tournaments, synchronized swimming and diving events, while always covering national and international championships around the world. And he is in the middle of reconstructing an entirely new and innovative design for the International Swimming Hall of Fame home in Fort Lauderdale.”

But he sent a letter to his staff and the International Swimming Hall of Fame Board of Directors yesterday that took everyone by surprise. He wrote, “In March, I celebrated my birthday with a 5.94 km swim (6,500 yards). Fast forward to this past Memorial Day weekend which I spent in the hospital getting a week-long battery of blood tests culminating in a bone marrow biopsy.  Not all flip turns are in water.

The blood results indicate that I have Plasma Cell Leukemia and will require very aggressive treatment. I feel well overall, but have frequent bouts of fatigue which I have been fighting for the last few months.


We have no idea on the length of my treatment.  It will hopefully not interrupt my work as CEO of ISHOF and Publisher of Swimming World Magazine.  I plan to be on stage come October 9th to welcome our 2021 ISHOF Inductees into our sacred Hall.

I am blessed to have a wonderful wife and supportive family and honored to be working with an incredible board, dedicated and loyal staff, trusted city mayor, passionate commissioners and a visionary city manager.

Please excuse this notification, but I feel it is necessary that everyone know today’s challenge and our path forward.  Thanks in advance for your understanding and support. 

I truly feel that this will just be a footnote to all of our success on the horizon.

John Lohn, the Associate Editor-in-Chief, reminded everyone of the kind of person who Rutemiller is, “Throughout his time in the sport, Brent Rutemiller has worn numerous hats. He has been an athlete, coach, parent, journalist, host, publisher and CEO – to name just some of the roles he has handled. At one point, he coined the phrase: ‘If you want to win, first help someone else win!’ It is a tagline that stresses selflessness and one Rutemiller has frequently used, often at the end of an interview he conducted.”

As he prepares for his treatment of plasma cell leukemia, Rutemiller is determined to recover, “This is my Olympics.”

Rutemiller is, without a doubt, a winner.

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Steven Munatones