Philadelphia, PA, June 26, 2008 – Jeff Poppell, Head Swimming Coach at the University of Arkansas, and Barry Roffer have been appointed to lead Maccabi USA’s Open Swimming team. Collectively, they bring over 35 years of competitive coaching experience to the USA Team which will compete at the 18th World Maccabiah Games in Israel, July 13 – 23, 2009.

Poppell brings many years of Swimming knowledge, both as an athlete and coach, to Team USA. He recently completed his second year as Head Coach at the University of Arkansas, where he has guided the program to its most wins since 2002-03. Poppell’s recruiting class ranked fifth in the nation by CollegeSwimming.com for the 2006-07 season, and during the 2007-08 season, he has led the Women’s Swimmers and Divers to eleven new school records and a total of six NCAA “A” automatic qualifying times and 38 NCAA “B” cuts. Prior to his current position, Poppell spent 13 years coaching at The Bolles School in Jacksonville, FL, one of the country’s most dominant high school and club swimming programs. As a collegiate swimmer at the University of Georgia, Jeff was a two-time NCAA qualifier and captain of the swim team.? He represented the United States Open Swimming team at the 14th Maccabiah Games where he brought home a gold, silver, and two bronze medals.

Roffer, an accomplished swimmer and part of the Maccabiah Games Swimming staff during the 16th and 17thMaccabiah Games, brings a wealth of experience to the USA Swimming team.? He was the New York State 100 Breaststroke Champion in 1964 and 1965, was a seven-time NAIA All-American, and has been named to the All Presidents Conference.? Roffer has been the head coach of Three Village Swim Club in East Setauket, NY for more than 20 years and has coached three national swimming champions.

Both Poppell and Roffer are thrilled to be appointed to coach the Open Swimming team. When asked how it feels being appointed to represent the USA Maccabiah Team, Poppell replied, “I feel very excited about the opportunity to coach for Team USA in an international competition. This will be an unbelievable experience for all involved.” ?Jeff and Barry both share the same goals for their team: to be competitive, work hard, create lifelong friendships, and to bring home the top medals.

About the organization:

Maccabi USA/Sports for Israel (MUSA) has an extensive history of enriching Jewish lives through athletic, cultural and educational programs.? The organization is the official sponsor of the United States Team to the World Maccabiah Games, the Pan American Maccabi Games and the Maccabi competitions in Europe and Australia, as well as a co-founder of the JCC Maccabi Games for teens in North American.? As the official Maccabi representative in the U.S., Maccabi USA supports Jewish athletic endeavors, enhanced by cultural and educational activities in the United States, Israel and throughout the Diaspora.

MUSA develops, promotes and supports international, national and regional athletic-based activities and facilities.? We strive to provide Jewish athletes the world over, the opportunity to share their heritage and customs in competitive athletic settings.? We support programs that embody the Maccabi ideals of Jewish continuity, Zionism and excellence in sport.?

The World Maccabiah Games are a quadrennial event that takes place in Israel.? The 18th World Maccabiah Games, scheduled for July 13 – 23, 2009 will be the world’s third largest international athletic competition.? Over 9000 of the world’s best Jewish athletes from over 60 countries will compete at the Games.