ASCA Names Coaches Ariel Hodges, Chad Onken to Lead Revamp, Expansion of Coach Education

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The American Swimming Coaches Association (ASCA) announced its intent to upgrade and expand educational offerings for coaches with the appointment of Coach Chad Onken as Director of International Clinics and Coach Ariel Hodges as the Director of Communications and Education.

Onken will be responsible for teaching as well as organizing ASCA coaches clinics outside the U.S., while Hodges will oversee domestic and online education, and communications.

“ASCA has always been a leader in coach education, and now we are going to take it to the next level,” said ASCA CEO Jennifer LaMont. “We are going to redesign all our offerings with the latest research and proven coaching methods, provide an advanced, state-of-the-art learning platform with an emphasis on community building, and a provide a modernized certification process.”

Hodges, originally from Warren, Michigan, has been involved with the swimming community for many years. Her past swimming experiences include representing OLY Swimming, Ohio University and coaching for Bobcat Swim Club. She comes to ASCA from the City of Dublin, where she coordinated all aquatics programming for the city. Previously, she worked at Ohio University where she served as the graduate assistant for the Aquatic Center while earning a Master’s in Computer Education and Technology as well as a PhD in Higher Education.

“I’m excited to join ASCA and get to work creating and promoting an engaging online and in-person learning community among coaches!” said Hodges.

Onken, who will continue in his role as CEO and Co-Owner of the Quest Swimming program in his hometown of Midlothian, Virginia, will work to nurture new and existing international partnerships and coordinate the delivery of ASCA certification clinics around the globe. He will recruit other ASCA Level 5 certified coaches to make sure these clinics are taught by elite, experienced, championship level swim coaches.

“I am very excited about working to increase ASCA’s presence throughout the world,” said Onken. “The ASCA certification is the gold standard for swimming coaches. I want coaches everywhere to have the opportunity to obtain this education.”

Primarily known for the discovery and development of world record holder, NCAA Champion, and 2008/2012 US Olympic Gold Medalist Cullen Jones, Onken has 20+ years of successful championship coaching experience throughout age group, high school, YMCA, and NCAA championship swimming. In addition to being a Level 5 certified coach by the American Swimming Coaches Association, Onken is also a seven-time recipient of the ASCA “Award for Coaching Excellence.”

Onken has coached at the highest levels of the sport. He coached two athletes to international success at NC State University. He was a part of two NCAA winning championship teams while an assistant at Auburn University. As the Head Coach/Senior Director of Competitive Swimming at the YMCA of the Triangle Area (YOTA), Onken was responsible for the development of four US National Junior team members and a handful of team championships won at YMCA Nationals.

In addition to his coaching success, Onken has served on the ASCA Board of Directors, the Virginia Swimming Board of Directors, the NC Swimming Board of Directors, as well as a number of various USA Swimming, YMCA of the USA, and LSC committees and governance organizations. Chad already has extensive experience in speaking and teaching clinics all around the world, having taught in Australia, Canada, Bahrain, and Dubai – including several clinics and speaking engagements throughout the United States.

— The above press release was posted by Swimming World in conjunction with ASCA. For press releases and advertising inquiries please contact

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