Stuart Isaac, Vice President Sales & Marketing - Speedo
2002 Paragon Award / Water Polo
In aquatics all his life, Stu Isaacs career has spanned competition, coaching, administration, writing and business.
Growing up in Amherst, NY, Stu set multiple National Age Group Swimming records in breaststroke (1960s). He went on to swim at the University of Michigan earning All-American honors all four years. It was here that Stu first played water polo. His senior year he captained the Wolverines to the 1973 Midwest Collegiate Championship.
During his college years, Stu first became involved in the AAU as one of the first athlete reps in amateur sports, serving as committee chairman of the Athletes Committee. In 1975 he was named one of two swimming Athlete Representatives to the President’s Commission on Olympic Sports, culminating in the Amateur Athletic Act of 1977, which spurred the creation of USA Swimming, Water Polo, Diving, and Synchronized Swimming. Stu was a driving force behind the growth and development of the role of the Athlete Representative in the aquatic disciplines. In 1975 and 1976 his featured column “Athletes Forum” appeared monthly in Swimming World Magazine.
In 1974 and 1975, Isaac coached the University of Michigan’s Men’s Water Polo Team, winning the Midwest Collegiate Team Championship (1975). From 1974-1983 he was also head coach of the women’s swimming program leading the Wolverines to five Big Ten Titles and two top ten National finishes.
During his coaching career, Stu started as a part-time consultant for Speedo joining the company full time in 1983 in the marketing and promotions area. For the last four years, he has been Vice President of Sales and Marketing for the Speedo division of Authentic Fitness Corporation. He has overseen an increase in corporate sponsorship of all aquatic sports federations to include clubs, athletes and education programs. His direction has resulted in new partnerships between Speedo and USA Water Polo that go beyond traditional sports sponsorships. Together, they have put together new programs to include direct support of athletes, new club development and recruitment, women’s water polo, public relations and marketing and product development research for the National Team. Under Stu’s guidance, Speedo has remained USA Water Polo’s longest continuous corporate sponsor.
Isaac’s role in Speedo has allowed him the great opportunity to turn his years of dedicated involvement in the aquatic disciplines into significant, tangible programs benefiting all those involved.