SIMI VALLEY, California, July 14. CONEJO Simi Aquatics (CSA), a premier aquatics club serving the Simi and Conejo Valley areas, today announced that Gardner Howland has been appointed Head Coach and Director of Swimming for the team.
Howland joins CSA after a 14-year tenure with Pilot Aquatics Club in Knoxville, Tenn., where he coached numerous junior nationals, nationals and Olympic trials qualifiers. Howland brings with him more than 20 years of experience successfully managing teams and coaching swimmers.
During his 14 years at Pilot, he grew the team from 80 to 175 athletes and placed swimmers on multiple Pan American Games, World University Games, Goodwill Games, and National Junior teams, as well as placing an athlete on the 2000 U.S. Olympic Team. He also helped Pilot achieve Gold Medal status in the USA Swimming Club Excellence program.
Howland is a five-time recipient of the Southeastern Swimming Coach of the Year award and an inductee into the Tennessee Swimming Hall of Fame. He has served on numerous USA Swimming teams including Head Coach for the United States National Junior Team in 2003-2004 and 2007-2008, Assistant Coach for the United States Goodwill Games Team in 2001 and Head Coach for the United States National Junior Team Camp in 2003 and for the US Swimming Zone Distance Camp in 1999, 2000 and 2001.
Prior to joining Pilot, Howland served as CSA's Head Coach from 1991-1994 and previously, was Head Age Group Coach and Head Masters Coach for Santa Barbara Swim Club from 1985-1991.
In addition to his successful coaching career, Howland was a notable athlete himself; he was a 7-time National YMCA Champion, a National YMCA record holder, a high school and NAIA All-American and an Olympic Trials qualifier.
Originally from Southern California, Howland is excited to return to his roots and be part of Southern California Swimming again.
"Southern California has a long history of excellent swimming, and I am pleased to return to participate in that tradition," said Howland. "Conejo Simi Aquatics has provided a quality competitive swimming program since its founding. The people and the aquatic resources of the Conejo and Simi Valleys combine for unlimited potential. I am excited and grateful for the opportunity to lead CSA and to train its athletes."
"With new facilities like the Samuelson Aquatics Center at Cal Lutheran University, the Conejo Valley is poised to become a swimming mecca and CSA plans to be at the forefront of this movement," said Jon Irwin, board president for Conejo Simi Aquatics. "Gardner brings years of experience, leadership and a reputation for excellence to our club and we're thrilled to have him back in Southern California and back at CSA."
Special thanks to CSA for contributing this report.