Golden Goggles at a Glance: Coach of the Year
Each Wednesday until the 2013 Golden Goggle Awards in Los Angeles, USA Swimming will take a closer look at one of the eight awards that will be presented Sunday, Nov. 24. Online fan voting is open through Nov. 15, so be sure to cast your vote.
Today we look at the nominees for Coach of the Year, an award given to the coach whose athlete(s) performed at the highest level throughout the year, with special emphasis on the 2013 FINA World Championships. The nominees are:
Rick DeMont – Tucson Ford/University of Arizona
Widely considered one of the best sprint coaches in the world, Rick DeMont has mentored swimmers to multiple gold medals at the Olympic Games and World Championships during his 25-year coaching career. DeMont coached Matt Grevers to his Olympic gold-medal performance in the 100m back, and the two continued to train for the 2013 FINA World Championships in Barcelona. At the World Championships, Grevers and DeMont again found themselves with yet another gold medal in the 100m back. DeMont pushed Grevers to a sub-53 time, clocking a 52.97, to continue the U.S. dominance in that race. Grevers also won silver in the 50m back. This is DeMont’s first Golden Goggles nomination.
Bruce Gemmell – Nation’s Capital Swim Club
An assistant coach for the U.S. at the 2013 FINA World Championships, Bruce Gemmell looked to pursue a career as an engineer when he graduated from Michigan, but he kept getting pulled back to coaching. Coaching eventually became a full-time job and in his first season coaching at Nation’s Capital, he helped his star pupil, Katie Ledecky, to four gold medals, two world-record performances and an American record at the FINA World Championships in Barcelona. With an excellent reputation as a distance coach, Gemmell pushed Ledecky to gold in the 400m, 800m and 1500m freestyle, as she became the first American woman to win all three events at a single World Championships. Gemmell added a different race strategy to Ledecky by teaching her to come from off the pace, versus only swimming from out in front. In Barcelona, both approaches worked as she set world records in the 800m free (8:13.86) and the 1500m (15:36.53), as well as an American record in the 400m free (3:59.82). This is his first Golden Goggles nomination.
Dave Salo - Trojan Swim Club/University of Southern California
Dave Salo’s workouts have launched numerous athletes into the spotlight with the most recent being Haley Anderson. His leadership and coaching paid off this summer, as he led Anderson to the gold medal in the women’s 5K at the 2013 FINA World Championships, where he served as the women’s head coach for the U.S. team. Anderson – a silver medalist in the open water 10K at the London 2012 Olympic Games – established herself as one of the leaders early. As the race developed it became a two-swimmer race between Anderson and Brazil’s Poliana Okimoto. The long hours and grueling practices with Salo paid off, as Anderson was able to hold on for the win in 56:34.2. Salo also mentored Jessica Hardy to a trio of medals in Barcelona – gold in the 4x100m medley relay and bronze in the 50m and 100m breast. This is his sixth straight Golden Goggles nomination.
Todd Schmitz - Colorado Stars
As Missy Franklin’s longtime coach, Todd Schmitz has seen Franklin grow from a standout age-group swimmer to an Olympic and World Championships gold medalist. With Schmitz serving as an assistant coach for the U.S. team, Franklin took Barcelona by storm this summer, becoming the first woman to win six gold medals at a single FINA World Championships. She has now amassed a women’s record nine career gold medals in World Championships action. She swept the backstroke events, was victorious in the 200m free and led the U.S. to gold in all three relays. Franklin set a championship record in the 200m back with a time of 2:04.76 and set an American record in the 4x100m free relay (3:32.31). This is his third straight Golden Goggles nomination.
Gregg Troy – Gator Swim Club/University of Florida
Gregg Troy is a catalyst for success when it comes to swimming. Over the course of his career, Troy has coached more than 75 Olympians and is known for his ability to revamp programs into national and international powerhouses. This summer, Troy coached Ryan Lochte to four medals at the 2013 FINA World Championships in Barcelona. For the third straight time, Lochte topped the podium in the 200m IM with a swim of 1:54.98. He also secured his second consecutive 200m back title and pushed his career World Championships medal count to 23, including 15 gold. Troy also led Elizabeth Beisel to a bronze medal in the women’s 400m IM. This is Troy’s eighth straight Golden Goggles nomination; he won the award in 2010 and 2011.