August 11, 2014
As you know, I’ve spent the past months searching for the right person to become our Age Group Coach for Loggerhead Aquatics. I have spoken to dozens of people and received resumes from people interested from all over the country. I’ve talked to several candidates in the process, and the list of accomplished swim coaches interested in becoming a part of our program has been remarkable.
The common thread from all I’ve spoken to is how impressed they are with the strength of Loggerheads Aquatics. The reputation of our program is fabulous; they want to part of what’s been built by you and your swimmers. That’s why it was critical to find a person who understood and respected the foundation of our success and one who could help lead the next phase of our age group program. Today I’m happy to announce I’ve found the right person.
Coach Shawn Delifus comes to us from the successful Blue Eagle Swim Team in Pennsylvania. Previously he coached two years at the YMCA of Central Florida in Orlando. If his name sounds familiar, he also coached five years at the YMCA of Florida’s First Coast here in Jacksonville. Sean also coached at the collegiate level as an Assistant Coach with the NCAA Women’s team at the University of North Florida. He graduated in 2007 from the University of North Florida with a degree in Sports Management. Shawn is a member of the Florida swimming diversity committee and has been active in the community striving to create awareness for the sport and enhancing the development of equal opportunities for those who love it.
Shawn’s combination of swimming knowledge and proven record of success has earned him an ASCA Level 4 certification. He’s instructed all levels of swimmers and the list of their accomplishments is impressive –
· Several first time top-ten swimmers at both YMCA Nationals and Age Group Championships.
· Six top-ten nationally ranked age-group swimmers.
· Two state record holders.
· The 2010 state of Florida Swimmer of the Year.
· Four Olympic Trial qualifiers.
Shawn's understanding of what it takes to develop outstanding swimmers is well documented. He places a strong focus on stroke technique progressions combined with long-term strength conditioning. Everywhere he’s been, he’s made his swimmers better.
He also owns a company, The Stroke Doctor (www.thestrokedoctor.com) that has helped advance the sport of swimming nationally by using technology to improve swimming technique. Sean designed this program to enhance performance by using data, underwater video, and race modeling to provide technical racing feedback. Over the last two years this data driven system has been implemented into several programs and many swimmers have seen immediate and significant improvements within one seasonal cycle. By adding this cutting edge coaching to our program, and the knowledge it will provide to our swimmers, it will help take Loggerhead Aquatics to another level. It will also provide a one-of-a-kind innovative training experience in North Florida for our athletes.
I realize this process has taken longer than anticipated. I want to thank you for your patience in allowing me the time to hire the right coach. Shawn was among my first choices when this process began and just last week a conversation on how Loggerhead Aquatics has the right supportive culture to sustain elite level swimming convinced him to come home. Shawn said he believes, “Loggerhead Aquatics has the potential to develop one of the best programs in the country and take the next step into the future of swimming.” I couldn’t agree more. Teamed with our existing coaching staff, we are now perfectly positioned to build on the success we’ve enjoyed in our first six years and achieve new levels of swimming excellence.
Please join me in welcoming Coach Shawn Delifus to Loggerhead Aquatics. In the coming days I’ll have an announcement of when and where he will be on the pool deck and formally introduced to both swimmers and parents.
Coach Mark Corley