Kevin Zacher Named Head Coach at Santa Clara, Leaves Scottsdale

Photo Courtesy: Melissa Lundie

Kevin Zacher has been named the head coach of the Santa Clara Swim Club.

Zacher is the current coach at the Scottsdale Aquatic Club and he will continue to coach there through the Olympics. He has been a part of the Scottsdale Aquatic Club for nearly 20 years.

He started in Scottsdale in 2002 before being promoted to head coach in 2007.

The Santa Clara program has not had a formal head coach since former coach John Bitter was arrested on embezzlement charges.

During Zacher’s tenure, the Scottsdale Aquatic Club has earned three junior national championships and in 2016, the club sent 10 swimmers to the Olympic Trials, including Amy Bilquist and Ryan Hoffer. He also recently coached Canadian Olympian Taylor Ruck prior to her heading to Stanford, then training with the Canadian national team.

Since 2002, Zacher has grown the Scottsdale Aquatic Club to more than 400 members, attained USA Swimming Gold Medal status, coached numerous swimmers to NAG records, individual championships, national Top 10 rankings and Olympic Trials cuts.

Prior to coaching at SAC, Zacher was the head age group coach for King Aquatic Club in Federal Way, Washington.

Zacher discussed his coaching style with Swimming World in a recent interview, prior to the pandemic.

“More of a guidance counselor. It is important to understand your swimmers and know when you can push and when you need to pull back. I want healthy, motivated and happy kids in the pool. If we can foster that, really good things happen,” Kevin Zacher said. “It is important to know your athletes as people, as swimmers and how they learn. We have kids who listen well. Others are more visual. We constantly look for ways to coach and teach by using different methods. We have days where we print workouts for each lane. Other times, we explain each set verbally. I think it is important for the athletes to listen and process information that way. We also use video so swimmers get a visual image of the skills we want them to master.”

He will now bring that philosophy to Santa Clara.

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