Highly experienced coach and performance director in Paralympic Swimming, national & international experience and recognition
Julie O’Neill currently serves as the Managing Director of Paralympics for the United States Olympic Committee (USOC). In this position, O’Neill oversees the high performance planning and support processes and sport development projects for the 28 Summer & Winter Paralympic sports. She also directs the day-to-day operations for the “internal Paralympic NGBs”, the 5 Paralympic sports managed by the USOC – Athletics, Cycling, Swimming and Alpine & Nordic Skiing. She began her USOC career in 2003, when she joined U.S. Paralympics as an Associate Director and Head Coach of the U.S. Paralympics Swimming National Team.
Through the 2008 Paralympic Games, O’Neill directed all high performance planning and coaching support for U.S. Paralympics Swimming including implementing the Paralympic Swimming Resident Program at the Colorado Springs Olympic Training Center. In this position, O’Neill also developed the national certification processes for Paralympic swimming officials, classifiers and coaches.
Under her leadership, the 2008 U.S. Paralympic Swimming Team achieved unparalleled success as the team finished first in the medal standings for the first time, winning 17 gold medals at the Beijing Paralympic Games. With 44 total medals, nine more than they took home from Athens (2004), the team proved their ability on an elite international stage. The U.S. swimmers set a total of 16 world records, 23 Paralympic records, 48 Pan American records and 99 American records.
O’Neill was involved with coaching Paralympic swimming on an international level for over a decade, first serving as an assistant at the 1998 IBSA World Championships in Madrid. She also served as an assistant coach for the 2000 U.S. Paralympic Swimming Team and made the jump to head coach for the U.S. at the 2002 International Paralympic Committee (IPC) Swimming World Championships in Mar del Plata, Argentina (the first female Head Coach appointment for any US team to a major international championship).
In 2006, O’Neill led the U.S. team that won the overall medal count at the IPC Swimming World Championships in Durban, South Africa. It was the first time the U.S. had won the medal count at an IPC World Championships or Paralympic Games in the sport of swimming. The U.S. performance led to O’Neill being selected as the 2006 U.S. Olympic Committee Paralympic Coach of the Year.
O’Neill has served as the Team USA Chef de Mission for the 2014 Sochi Paralympic Winter Games, 2015 Toronto Parapan American Games, and 2016 Rio Paralympic Summer Games. In 2015, she was honored by the International Swimming Hall of Fame with the Paragon Award for competitive swimming.
Prior to her work with the USOC, O’Neill spent the previous eight years as a swim coach and administrator for various USA Swimming clubs including Rocket Aquatics (Syracuse, N.Y.), Kansas City Blazers, Liverpool Jets (Liverpool, N.Y.) and West Coast Aquatics (San Jose, Calif.).
She is a graduate of Purdue University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Russian where she was an Academic All-Big Ten Conference honoree in swimming, and Ohio State University with a Master of Arts degree in Slavic and East European Studies.