In 2014 the American Swimming Coaches Association (ASCA) partnered with the Fitter and Faster Swim Tour to create an award that recognizes the top ten Age Group Swim Coaches in the United States.
The Fitter and Faster/ASCA, Age Group Swim Coach of the Year Award highlights the importance of great age group coaching to set the stage for future success in the sport.
On an annual basis, ten coaches and the eventual winner, are honored at the ASCA World Swim Clinic. Past winners are:
2014: Beth Winkowski of Dynamo Swim Club in Atlanta, GA
2015: Tom Himes of North Baltimore Aquatic Club in Baltimore, MD
2016: Sherwood Watts of Sarasota Sharks in Sarasota, FL
2017: Rob Norman of TAC Titans in Cary, NC
2018: Rod Hansen of Irvine Novaquatics, CA
2019: Megan Oesting of Eastern Iowa Swim Federation
2020: Alex Rayle of Piedmont Family YMCA/CYAC in Charlottesville, VA
“Our clinics are all about connecting the success of our clinicians back to the habits, skills and passion they developed at the age group level. This award recognizes the accomplishments of the age group coaches who thrive on the opportunity to cultivate the talent of swimmers of all ability levels, keep swimmers in the sport, and lay the foundation for athletes to achieve success at the collegiate, national and international level. So, when the opportunity presented itself to create a new award recognizing the top ten age group swim coaches in the United States, we were all in.”
— David Arluck
Many parents of Olympians give significant credit to the Age Group Coaches for the young men and women that these athletes turned out to be. Some even say, that the age group coaches in some respect “helped raise the athletes”.
Every month, we speak with scores of thoughtful and passionate coaches of young swimmers who dedicate each day of their lives to the development of swimmers across America.
By presenting this award at the ASCA World Clinic, we are uniting Olympic, World Championship, and national-level success of the Coach of the Year Award with the significant achievement of the Age Group Coach of the Year award.
This is a natural step from what we do every day in our Fitter & Faster Tour clinics, where we unite those international-level athletes with those who comprise the foundation of the sport: the age group swimmers.