Jon L. Baca
Water Polo Lead
Coach Baca arrived in SW Florida in 2013 after a 28-year career as a Naval Flight Officer having served 5 different Presidents. During this time, he never lost his passion for swimming or water polo. He began his swimming and water polo journey in 1973 at The Heights YMCA in Albuquerque, New Mexico. As a swimmer he was AAU state record holder and HS State champion (1978, 100 Breaststroke). His swimming club also played serious water polo between swimming seasons. He was a scholarship swimmer at the University of New Mexico where he earned his BS in Ed, majoring in exercise technology in 1984. Ever the athlete, he holds masters swimming top ten time set in Pacific Northwest in 2006-07 where he was 7th in the world at the FINA Masters World Championships (2006, 50 Breaststroke) and competed at YMCA National Championship in 2016.
In 1981, he started coaching summer league at the Albuquerque Country Club. He was also a HS head swimming coach from 1981-1983 improving his boys’ team from 17th to 5th and his girls from 8th to third place in two seasons. In 1983 he established UNM Water Polo Club where he had a 23-5 record as Head Coach including a victory over NCAA Division One USAF Academy. During that time, he was selected as Mountain Zone representative coach for the National Junior Water Polo Team Training camp at the US Olympic Training Center.
During his service as a Navy Officer, he coached swimming and water polo whenever the opportunity presented itself. Coaching included, Swimming: Dale City Frogs, Sigonella Sicily, Italy, Anacortes Masters, WA, Rockbridge Storm, VA, Assistant coach at Virginia Military Institute. Water Polo: Anacortes, WA and Assistant Coach at George Washington University.
After retiring from the Navy, he took a position as Senior Naval Science instructor at Lemon Bay HS, where he immediately became an assistant swimming coach for his first year. From there he became the lead coach at SKY Family YMCA, Englewood site, where he coached the first ever FLAG qualifier from that site, Joey Sacco. In 2015, Jon left swimming to focus on water polo, founding Sun Coast ‘PUMA’ polo with the help and support of Bruce Patmos and the SKY Family YMCA in Venice, FL. His club has produced numerous quality players and his players helped move VHS water polo from humble beginning to District runner ups in just their second season of the sport.
Jon is excited at the opportunity to become part of the Hurricane organization and to return to the YMCA where he learned to love swimming and water polo and the positive things they can do for an athletes character and passion for life.