Hall of Fame Coach Murray Stephens — Accused Sex Abuser Who Founded Michael Phelps’ North Baltimore Aquatic Club — Resurfaces After Years Underground

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by Irvin Muchnick


The Baltimore Sun, among others, is reporting that Michael Phelps and his coach Bob Bowman, who relocated to Arizona before the 2016 Olympics, have returned the management of their old home base — Meadowbrook Aquatic Center, headquarters of the North Baltimore Aquatic Club — to Murray Stephens.

As usual, neither the Sun nor anyone else in the mainstream or swimming media is telling the important part of the story: Stephens, an International Swimming Hall of Fame coach, had relinquished his position as the face of both NBAC and Meadowbrook (the latter of which he has continued to own and profit from all along) after allegations surfaced of his sexual abuse of one or more female swimmers in his charge.

With Senator Dianne Feinstein spearheading new Senate Judiciary Committee probes of the national disgrace of widespread and covered-up abuse in our U.S. Olympic Committee-sanctioned youth sports programs, the decision by Stephens to reemerge from underground could be viewed as the height, or deep-water depth, of arrogance. Then again, maybe he’s just going with the flow in a world in which the president of the United States thinks he can get away with firing the FBI director who is investigating him.

The guts of the Murray Stephens story were broken in 2012 by my colleague Tim Joyce. For his trouble, Tim got booted off his spot commenting on USA Swimming abuse scandals on Baltimore radio station WBAL.

See “NO LONGER CENSORED: Investigative Reporter Tim Joyce’s Story on Sex Abuse Allegations,” October 12, 2012, https://concussioninc.net/?p=6178 and http://muchnick.net/joycewbalarticle.pdf. (The latter is a screen grab of WBAL’s double-clutch restoration of the report after pulling it — and before triple-clutching and taking it down for good.)


NEXT: More of the sordid history of the North Baltimore Aquatic Club and its players.

Readers who can’t wait for the next installment can plug “Murray Stephens” into the search field on the left-hand side at this site for our entire archive of more than 80 related articles.

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Concussion Inc. - Author Irvin Muchnick