by Tim Joyce and Irvin Muchnick
From parent sources in Pocatello, Idaho, new details are emerging of the recent history of Dustin Perry, the club swimming coach there who fled town this winter under the cloud of at least his second USA Swimming misconduct investigation.
Inexplicably, the inquiries by USA Swimming’s favorite consulting investigator, ex-FBI agent Paulette Brundage, have made almost no progress, and Perry was allowed to become the head coach of yet another team, in Carson City, Nevada. It is the latest stop on an odyssey covering at least six states, plus Mexico, over the course of a decade and a half. (Not five states, as we reported previously; we missed one of his previous stops, in Southern Illinois outside St. Louis.)
The national sport governing body’s lack of diligence — on the virtual eve of child-protection expert Victor Vieth’s submission of an “independent review” of its Safe Sport program — is made all the more perplexing by the fact that Perry previously served an 18-month suspension, for sexual abuse while coaching in Oklahoma, where he also had been terminated by the local YMCA.
In today’s installment, we learn that Perry, with Tiger Aquatics in Pocatello, used a space more than a mile from the team’s pool for off-site “dryland” exercises. The space was known as the “Tiger Den.”
Our sources say Perry talked the team board into allowing him to rent the space. This apparently happened in the aftermath of Perry’s getting kicked out of the former office space the club used for workouts because of frequent verbal altercations with other tenants.
Male and female swimmers, almost all underage teenagers, went to the Tiger Den before and after pool workouts. The boys and girls alternated days.
But according to a source, the Tiger Den was not equipped with weight equipment or much other workout equipment. The space was also used by Perry to host “movie nights” for older swimmers. And Perry had the same strict “no parents” policy at the Tiger Den that he enforced at the pool deck. Several sources have confirmed that the windows were always shuttered at the “den.”
More information continues to come our way. Next, we’ll have background on Jack Simon, the American Swimming Coaches Association Hall of Fame coach who gave Perry a job in Mexico when he was serving his 18-month USA Swimming suspension.