Dave Smith has been coaching swimming in Macomb County for over 25 years. He grew up in the sport in Warren, MI, where he swam for the Warren Jaguars and then earned his varsity letter all four years at De La Salle Colligate High School. During his high school career, he competed at the State level multiple times.
In college, Dave began coaching for the Warren Jaguars. His high school coaching career began at Warren Mott High School. He also coached at Warren Woods Tower High School, Henry Ford II High School, and currently is the Head Coach of the Girls, Boys, and Middle School teams at Dakota High School. In his 10 years at HFII, Dave coached multiple MAC Champion teams and All-State swimmers from the girls and boys teams. Under his coaching, every girl’s high school record was broken. In 2014, Dave began working with the Dakota High School boys and in 2015, he took over the girls’ program. In his time at Dakota, the girls’ team has had multiple MAC Champion teams, several MISCA qualifiers, and Division I State Qualifiers, including the first relay in the school’s history to make it back to finals at the State Meet. While working with the boys’ team, there have been many individual Macomb County Meet Champions, MISCA and Division I State Qualifiers, including the first ever All-State performance in the school’s history in 2019. As a high school coach, Dave has been recognized as the MAC Coach of the Year multiple times, Macomb County Coach of the Year, and the MISCA Zone 1 Coach of the Year.
Perhaps his greatest achievement as a swim coach is the collaboration, founding, and building of the Great Lakes Tritons Swim Team. In 2006, Dave, along with seven families, saw a void in the sport of swimming in Macomb County. It was important to Dave from the beginning to create an atmosphere where swimmers and their families focused on not only the sport of swimming but also making friendships, memories, and encouraging positive character in young adults.
In the club’s first year, there were approximately 30 swimmers. Due to the hard work of Coach Dave and others, the team currently holds over 150 swimmers yearly and continues to grow. GLT’s swimmers’ successes have included multiple State Champions in SCY and LCM, numerous Zone Meet qualifiers, Sectional qualifiers, Junior National and Futures qualifiers. One of the most rewarding and favorite moments of Coach Dave’s experience at GLT is when former GLT swimmers who have gone on to swim at the collegiate level, return home to train with the team or just to visit and speak to the current swimmers about what GLT meant to them both in and out of the pool.
In his spare time, Dave loves to travel and be outdoors. He enjoys camping and kayaking. He is always thinking about what his “next adventure” will be. He lives in Clinton Township with his son, who attends Dakota High School.