Jesús David “Jesse” Vassallo was born in Ponce, Puerto Rico. At the age of 11 his family moved to Miami, Florida, and later at 13, to Missión Viejo, California, where Jesse completed his secondary studies at Missión Viejo High School in 1979. In 1981 he moved back to Miami, where he enrolled at the University of Miami and graduated in 1985 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications.
He is the most accomplished swimmer in the Caribbean. At the age of seventeen, he set his first world record, unbroken for the next four years. At eighteen, he set his second world record, unbroken for the next three years. At the height of his career, President Jimmy Carter boycotted the 1980 Olympics to be held in Moscow and Jesse was unable to participate. He was inducted to the International Swimming Hall of Fame, in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and in Japan, an honor awarded to only 320 swimmers in the world. In 1979 Sports Illustrated also placed him in the list of the top 10 athletes in the world.
Nonetheless, Jesse is more than an accomplished swimmer; he is also a conscientious citizen who has served office for four years at the Municipal Assembly in Ponce and five years as president of the Puerto Rican Swimming Federation. After 23 years back home in Puerto Rico working in the family business and his own swim school, Jesse moved back to south Florida to do what he loves to do… to coach.
SWIMMING ACHIVEMENTS: 1980 & 1984 U.S. Olympic Swimming Team / Former World Record holder in the 200mt and 400mt IM / Two Time World Champion / Two Times Pan-American Champion / National High Point Trophy Winner / 1978 World Swimmer of the Year / NCAA Champion / Sixteen (16) Times US National Champion / Honor Member of the International Swimming Hall of Fame / Honor Member of the University of Miami Hall of Fame