Mike Parratto Wins 2019 ASCA Coach of the Year (VIDEO INTERVIEW)

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Photo Courtesy: Swimming World TV

Swimming World TV’s Brent Rutemiller caught up with Mike Parratto, the 2019 recipient of the ASCA Coach of the Year Award at the ASCA Convention in Dallas earlier this month. Parratto is notably the head coach of the Riptide Swim Team in Minnesota where he coaches 17-year-old phenom Regan Smith, who broke two world records this summer in the 100 and 200 back in long course meters. Parratto has been coaching for a long time and he chatted with Rutemiller about arguably his best swimmer he ever coached: four-time Olympian Jenny Thompson.

Parratto compared Smith to Thompson and how they both showed similarities in intensity growing up. Smith is primarily a backstroke swimmer, but Parratto said she still trains for other events, most notably the 200 fly, an event where she was the national champion this summer. Smith also broke Mary T. Meagher’s national age group record in the 200 fly in yards at Winter Juniors in December that had stood since 1981. This was a special swim for Parratto, who noted that Thompson was the first to break a Mary T. world record in 1999 when she broke her long standing 100 fly record.

Parratto weighed in on the World Championships selection process in how USA Swimming picked the Worlds team a year out so the athletes could focus on training only for Worlds for a whole year, and if it affected Smith, but assured she was still able to swim an individual 100 back leading off the medley relay.

Smith, who just started her senior year, has already committed to Stanford. Parratto said he was going to be focusing on getting her ready for Tokyo this summer before she headed off to college in the fall of 2020 and won’t be focusing on those college transitions for her yet.