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Our Story

Our Story

The Goodman Waves, Madison’s only public swim & dive team, is one of the 13 teams that competes in the All-City Swim and Dive League, a recreational summer swim & dive league that has been in Madison for over 50 years. Since then, hundreds of swimmers, between ages 5 to 18, have competed for the Waves in the All-City League. For many of our swimmers, the Waves is where they first learned and had an opportunity to swim competitively. Many have continued competitive swimming for area high schools and year-round USA Swimming clubs. In the Waves first season, more than 60 swimmers participated. As a testament to the program’s success, the size of the team nearly doubled in its second season to more than 120 swimmers.

A primary goal of the Waves is to provide competitive swimming & diving opportunities to children of all cultural, social, and economic backgrounds through affordable fees, generous scholarships, and high quality coaching. Support from the Madison Parks Foundation, the Goodman Foundation and SGF keep registration fee affordable for most families and provide scholarships for the families that need them, ensuring all kids have the opportunity to swim & dive.  Scholarships are made available through the City of Madison. 

The Waves prioritize and promote individual swimming skills and goals while having fun on a team. Children from kindergarten through high school are welcome to join. The Waves is not a lesson program; swimmers must be able to swim one length of the pool to join and divers must be comfortable in the deep end. Coaches work daily with children to help them learn to the best of their abilities and to help them experience the joy, friendship, and physical fitness benefits that come with participating on a swim team.

The Waves hold practice five times a week and participate in Saturday swim meets against other Madison area teams in the Madison All-City Swim and Dive League. The highlight of the summer is at the end of the season, when nearly 2,000 swimmers from all 13 teams compete in the All-City Swim Meet, one of the largest outdoor meets in the country. This is an experience you won’t want to miss out on and will be a memory of a lifetime. Dive team practice is held five days a week ending in a dive meet on Friday nights. The All-City Dive Meet is held at the end of the season and boasts divers from all 13 pools in the All-City League.

In addition to practices and meets, the Waves are committed to fostering community by holding team building activities and fun social events for athletes and their families. These events promote strong relationships with their coaches and making life long friends with other athletes. 

Several of team's coaches have extensive experience in All-City as swimmers, divers and coaches and have also coached for Madison's largest year-round swim club, Badger Aquatics Club (BAC). The Waves first head coach, Jacob Johnson, has coached for BAC for nearly 20 years. In 2015, Caleb Cole became the Waves head coach and has returned for seasons 2016 and 2107. Caleb brings knowledge to the team both as a swimmer and as coach. He swam in the All-City league with Parkcrest and at the collegiate level for UW La Crosse. He is also the head coach of Madison’s East High Girls’ Swim Team, an assistant coach with the East High and Memorial High Boys’ Swim Team and a coach with the Little Badgers, BAC’s youngest group.

The Friends of the Goodman Waves Board provides a strong parent community that is both supportive and fun. When first joining the Waves, many families had little or no experience with participating in swim and dive meets. A strong and friendly mentoring program has allowed parents to participate as timers, officials, announcers, concessions hosts, and other positions to ensure that Waves home meet are both fun and run smoothly. Strong community is built through potlucks and other social activities throughout the season.

The Goodman Waves will host their first All-City Dive Meet in 2020 and All-City Swim Meet in 2021.


In 2011, the  Goodman Waves Swim Team, was founded through a partnership between the City of Madison Parks, the Shelley Glover Foundation, and the Irwin A. and Robert D. Goodman Foundation to provide an affordable, competitive swim team opportunity for the Madison area community. Our team color is purple to reflect Shelley Glover's favorite color. The Dive Team was founded in 2017 by the City of Madison and the Friends of the Goodman Waves.

Both the Goodman Foundation and the Shelley Glover Foundation (SGF) have long supported swimming in Madison, the Goodman Foundation through its funding to establish Madison’s first public pool and annual funding for family pool memberships, and SGF through the Shelley Glover Pool Fund, a permanent endowment at the Foundation for Madison Public Schools, and through its annual Kids Swimming for Kids events which raise funds to support financial aid for pool memberships and swim lessons for children in need at the Goodman Pool. 

The SGF is an organization established to honor Shelley Glover, a gifted and compassionate athlete and leader.  Glover, a Madison, Wisconsin native, was a proud member of the Shorewood Pool swim team and also an Olympic-development team soccer player.  At the age of 15, she was named to the United States Development Ski Team, but died following a ski training accident in May 2004 at age 17. At a young age Shelley was quite aware of the disparity in kids’ access to sports, and wished most of all for all kids to be able to have as much fun with sport as she did, and to enjoy the benefits it provided her in the development of friendships, self-esteem and physical fitness.  She is remembered notably as one of the greatest alpine skiers to come out of the Midwest, yet is equally remembered for her compassion and humility.

To help realize Shelley’s dream, SGF was founded.  SGF is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting athletic activities and competition for youth of all ages and abilities with a focus on Shelley’s favorite sports, skiing, swimming, and soccer.  SGF will provide support for athletic opportunities and competition through the development of innovative programs and community partnerships that expand access to sports.

For more information on SGF and how you can support Kids Swimming for Kids visit