Erin M Quinn
This is my tenth year as Head Coach of Hawks Swimming. I began as a volunteer parent assistant coach and within two years was named Head Coach. I inherited a small, young team and have been proud of its exponential growth both in terms of number, performance and as a swim family/community.
My first athletic love was swimming, having joined the local summer recreation team, The New Paltz Seahawks when I was five years old. I lived at the local pool all summer long, but unfortunately, there was no club or Varsity team in New Paltz at that time. My parents could not afford to pay for me to join and travel to a year-round swim team. In the off-summer months I pursued and excelled as a gymnast, a cross-country runner and eventually as a Nordic skier.
I was able to compete at the Division 1 collegial level in Nordic Skiing at New England College, probably one of the greatest challenges in my life. I also continued to be a distance runner, entering all kinds of races, including biathlons, 5K’s, half-marathons and marathons. Because of the incessant pounding I became injured and required surgery on both feet. It was then that I returned to my aqua-home, hitting the pool at the University of Oregon every day reaffirming my love, proficiency and passion for swimming. And I can still do handstands, so the gymnastics paid off!
Like me, our three children joined the Seahawks at age 5 and I soon heard about the Hawks. I was delighted to learn of a year-round swim team right here in New Paltz! I quickly signed our first son, Seamus, up for the team and the rest is history. I understand swimming from the competitive level, the professional level and as a swim parent to our three Hawks swimmers. Swimming, like any art-form or athletic endeavor is always evolving and to that end, I’m constantly attending clinics, conferences with the best minds in the business, and the best athletes on the worlds stage. I’ve been asked to be interviewed by Swimming World Magazine about my approach to “taper.” I’ve also covered many elite swim meets for Swimming World and have published two articles for them including one on Michael Phelps second DUI and the ramifications for his young fans as well as an in-depth article on Nation’s Capital Swim Team, home to World Record holder, Katie Ledecky.
I never stop learning, nor does my passion for the sport abate. I’m always seeking to improve my knowledge, place more tools in the proverbial coaching tool-box and learn from my peers and my role-models in the swim world. More than anything, I see swimming as a life-metaphor with so many valuable lessons for myself, our coaching staff, our parents and most importantly our swimmers.