Coaching Legacy of the Santa Clara Swim Club
George Haines founded the club in 1951 by George Haines, considered by many to be the finest swim coach in the history of the sport. Starting the club with just 13 swimmers at the old Santa Clara High School, Haines coached the club for 23 years, leaving Santa Clara in 1974. Between 1960 to l988, George Haines, coaching maestro of California's mighty Santa Clara Swim Team, produced a total of 53 Olympic swimmers who won 44 gold medals, 14 silver and 10 bronze medals. Enshrined with Haines in the International Swimming Hall of Fame are fifteen Santa Clara Club swimmers, more than from any other club. George Haines was three times Head Coach of the United States Olympic swimming team, and served on the support staff of four other Olympic squads. He was Head Coach of the United States team to the World Championships in West Berlin,1978, a team considered the most successful in United States Swimming history in terms of medals won.
Mitch Ivey assumed the Head Coach position at Santa Clara Swim Club in 1974 and led the club for five years. Mitch was uniquely qualified for the challenge. He was an Olympian under George Haines earning a silver medal in the 200 meter backstroke in 1968, and bronze medal in the same event in Munich, Germany in 1972. Mitch not only swam under George, but he grew up right next door to him. He knew first hand the rewards of mentoring youth for success. Under Mitch's leadership SCSC finished second in overall team standings at the Short Course Nationals in Cincinnati and at the Long Course Nationals in Kansas City. In 1976, he placed three swimmers on the Olympic team. Currently, Mitch and his wife live in Florida where they are raising their twin boys. Mitch continues to coach with passion the sport he loves, swimming!
Don King was at the helm of SCSC from 1980-1981. During his brief stint as head coach, SCSC placed an impressive 4th at the Senior Nationals in Clovis. A native of Santa Clara Valley, Don graduated from the first class of Sunnyvale High School and from Foothill College. He coached for De Anza Swim Club, Kona Kai, Green Meadow, and Santa Clara High School locally. Additionally he coached for the Industry Hills Swim Club in Southern California. After leaving SCSC in 1981, Don created the Mission City Swim Club, and then moved to Portland, Organ. He coached at Lewis and Clark for 13 years, and is currently coaching Kings Swimming of Lake Oswego. Don and his wife, Christine are very proud of there 23 years of marriage and their 18 year old son, Dustin.
Jay Fitzgerald was named head coach of SCSC in 1985. In his ten years with the club his goal to build and manage a successful swimming program to produce athletes that were competitive at all levels of swimming was realized. The SCSC was ranked in the top five at the USA Senior Nationals from 1989 to 1992, and took first place in 1992. In addition, Jay coached several swimmers to the Olympics between 1984 and 1996. Jay has had extensive international coaching experience and has contributed as a technical assistant for the Olympic Swimming coverage for NBC news. Jay and his wife have been married for 32, and the couple are proud parents of three sons. Jay is currently the Head Coach of a USA Club Team in Florida, where he continues to coach Olympic swimmers, and was recently been named Coach of the Year by the Miami Herald.
Dick Jochums; SCSC Head Coach, July 1995 to 2007 is a veteran coach who has been successful at all levels of swimming, and brings a wide range of professional and educational skills to our club. Dick has held coaching positions at University of Washington where he earned his B.A and M.S., University of California at Berkeley also his Ed.D degree earned there, and California State Hayward. During his tenure at Cal-State Hayward, he founded the Concord Swim Club (now known as the Terrapin Swim Club). Dick moved from Hayward to Long Beach State and then on to the University of Arizona in 1978. In his 20 year career in collegiate swimming, his teams had 12 top ten finishes. His club programs have won 5 national titles and were always in the top ten with 18 top five finishes. At SCSC, he returned our club to the title of National Champion with the 1996, 1997 and 1998 Summer Long Course Men's National Championship Titles. Dick has trained a number of Olympians and his swimmers have been awarded 12 Olympic medals, set 25 world records, 60 American records and 7 NCAA records. Equally important a great family record as well, Dick and his wife Mara of 40 years have one son, three daughters, and three grand sons. Dick acknowledges that swimmers are a unique breed and the sport provides an opportunity to learn about the value of oneself. He is proud to be a part of the swimming brotherhood, a sport that enables athletes to take a challenge of which they are never defeated. Dick stresses that "winning is much more than taking first place…it's a lesson that stays with a swimmer for life ~ Kids make coaches!"
John Bitter – Current Head Coach
Considered one of the nations leading young coaches, John joined SCSC in September, 1995. Formerly the head coach of the Las Vegas Gold Swim Team, John also spent one year as the head senior coach at Click Tucson. During these two stints, he produced 6 Senior National qualifiers, 11 Junior National qualifiers and 1 Canadian champion; with one Senior National Champion and one Junior National Champion. John has also worked as an assistant coach at the collegiate level at both the University of Arizona and at the University of Nevada Las Vegas. At the University of Arizona, he trained the 1989 NCAA champion in the 1650 freestyle. John has also served as a coach at two USS Zone Distance Camps and USS Select Camps. John has also served as a USA Swimming coach representative at World Cup meets in Europe in 1999 and 2002. John swam for Dick and was the men’s team captain his senior year at the University of Arizona. He has a B.A. in history from the University of Arizona.