CHARLOTTE, North Carolina, June 18. THE SwimMAC coaching staff roster added the name Julio Zarate to it recently, bringing in the 32-year-old coach into the program from Maryland.
Zarate had been the head coach of the Chesapeake Bay Aquatic Club since 2008, and guided his team to a ninth-place finish at the 2014 Maryland short course age group championships. His last meet with CBAC was, fittingly, at the Arena Grand Prix in Charlotte, where he was informed of his new hire.
“I still miss them (the CBAC swimmers) a lot,” Zarate told Swimming World. “I think I’ve got a greater appreciation for what we did there without the kind of staff or resources that’s here at SwimMAC. It was a tough choice, it wasn’t something I made overnight.”
Zarate has been working in a transition role in the Senior 2 group with Russ Kasl at Charlotte Latin School. At the end of the summer, Zarate will officially replace Kasl as head coach of that squad, which is made primarily of sectional qualifiers on the cusp of reaching junior nationals.
The goal is for me to bring them to the next level,” he said, “getting them prepared to do that senior-level elite training and get them from being a sectional swimmer to a junior national swimmer.”
Zarate said he won’t have much interaction with the Elite squad at SwimMAC, where such Olympic champions as Ryan Lochte and Tyler Clary train. But he did get to watch a couple of workouts and called it “an extra bonus” to see what goes on with that group.