Coaches Talk About Being Part of 2013 ASCA Fellows Program

FORT LAUDERDALE, Florida, June 7. TEN coaches were named to the American Swimming Coaches Association's Fellows program today, including Olympians Dana Kirk and Ozzie Quevedo.

The list, released by ASCA today, consists of nine age group coaches and one collegiate assistant coach who will spend the next year working on a research project. According to ASCA, this year's project requires the coaches “to research a rationale and a manual of how coaches become leaders in our sport. By looking at the historical paths some of our great coaches took to reach their leadership positions, and by examining the historical reasons, the rationale, and the major issues that have led coaches into positions of leadership and power in swimming, the class will use their research to identify leadership roles and the roads that lead to them.”

This year's ASCA Fellows:

Stuart Jefferies — Island Aquatics (Hawaii)
Dana Kirk — Palo Alto Stanford Aquatics (California)
Amy Montgomery — Fallbrook Associated Swim Team (California)
Jackie Norgren — Western Kentucky Aquatics (Kentucky)
Ozzie Quevedo — NTC Aquatics (Florida)
Kim Seaman — Stingrays Swimming (Georgia)
Joey Sementelli — Palo Alto Stanford Aquatics (California)
Annie Stein — De Anza Cupertino Aquatics (California)
Brian Thomas — Western Kentucky University (Kentucky)
Chris Van Slooten — Fork Union Miltary Academy (Virginia)

This is the 13th year of the ASCA Fellows program. Previous coaches in the program include NCAA Division III Coach of the Year Jessen Book, Navy head coach Bill Roberts and former USA Swimming national team member Jeff Julian.

Quevedo was an Olympian in 2000 for Venezuela, and is completing his first year as head coach of NTC Aquatics, based at the National Training Center in Clermont, Fla., after many years coaching at his alma mater Auburn University.

Kirk, who competed in the 200 butterfly at the 2004 Olympics, head coach of Dana Kirk Swimming, a branch of Palo Alto Stanford Aquatics. She'll be joined in the ASCA Fellows program by another coach on the PASA staff: Joey Sementelli, the head age group coach at the club's Stanford site.

“I've always been interested in leadership, and examining the different paths that coaches have taken to leadership position in the sport is very important,” Sementelli told Swimming World. “I think that it's going to be an awesome experience to meet the other Fellows and to learn from the diff erent coaches that are part of ASCA. I know coaches that have done the ASCA Fellowship, and they've highly recommended it.”

Western Kentucky Aquatics will also have two coaches in this year's program, with Jackie Norgren and Brian Thomas. Thomas is an assistant coach for the Western Kentucky college team, while Norgren works exclusively with the age group team.

As the only college coach on the list, Thomas said he's excited to bring his experience of coaching at the college level to the group.

“Hopefully I bring a broader perspective, but I think the club coaches doing the program as well can bring as much if not more to the table,” Thomas said, adding that he keeps in touch with age group swimming in Kentucky with a position as the safety coordinator for the Kentucky Local Swimming Committee. “I ran a club for four years, so I've hit all ends of the coaching spectrum.”

As for working on the research project, which will involve extensive interviews with the country's top coaches, Thomas said “you'd be absolutely silly to not get excited about working with and learning from the best coaches out there.”

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