John Hulvey Returning to His Roots in Gainesville With Gator Swim Club

John Hulvey

John Hulvey Returning to His Roots in Gainesville With Gator Swim Club

The Gator Swim Club welcomed John Hulvey as its new head coach last month and he is excited to be back in Gainesville. The position was vacated by Robert Pinter, who joined Jeff Poppell’s staff at the University of South Carolina. Hulvey, a Gainesville High School graduate and University of Florida Class of 2006 alumni, feels right at home in “the same town, although it has grown quite a bit in 15 years.”

Prior to his move back to Gainesville, Hulvey coached in and around Jacksonville, Florida for the last 11 years. He has coaching experience at all levels, ranging from 5-year-olds learning how to swim to age group swimmers, high schoolers and at the NCAA level. He has been a head age group coach, head coach, and has served on numerous Florida Zone Team staffs and Florida All-Star staffs. At one point, he even started up his own team. Most recently he was with Loggerhead Aquatics, where he helped the team rise from a top-400 ranked program to 74th nationally this past year.

Through an IM-based coaching approach and incorporating a lot of equipment such as parachutes, socks, towers and bands, Hulvey hopes to keep the athletes engaged by keeping the training fresh. He plans to teach the group skills that allow the swimmers to “build their swim IQ while learning to find their strengths and weaknesses in a race.” Hulvey plans to continue to increase the Gator Swim Club’s presence at national meets while continuing to create the best opportunities for each swimmer as they continue in their careers.

Hulvey shared his excitement about the new position and sees it as an opportunity to progress his coaching career with great facility access.

“I have worked hard through my career in some very grassroot situations at times and taking the keys to a well-oiled machine is quite an exciting prospect,” he said.

At some of his previous positions, he worked at the same time, too, getting only a few hours of sleep a night. He says he often shares that story with his swimmers, saying “hard work pays off.” That is how he defines his coaching mindset.

“I have never been afraid to work and that is the attitude that I bring to Gator Swim Club,” Hulvey said.

With this approach in mind, he shared that his top priority as a coach is to “allow the athlete to realize their potential, the hard work it takes to achieve it, and then the joy once they see it pay off.”

After the difficult year that 2020 was for many club teams across the country, Hulvey plans to do some rebuilding based on the past success of Gator Swim Club. The Gators have been a USA Swimming Club Excellence Silver Medal Club every year since 2017. The program’s history and those on deck with him provide inspiration.

“When you stop and look around the deck and you have the likes of Coach (Anthony) Nesty, (Stephen) Jungbluth and (Whitney) Hite coaching right before you and Coach (Gregg) Troy coaching outside, it really motivates you to keep getting better.”