SJAC has hired Louis Petto as the Director of Athlete Development

Tyler Santangelo

South Jersey Aquatic Club of Voorhees, NJ, has hired Louis Petto as the Director of Athlete Development. Petto comes to the program with almost 30 years of experience, most recently at Greater Somerset County YMCA as the Competitive Aquatic Director and National Team Coach.   At Greater Somerset, Petto’s team was ranked 17th in USA Swimming’s VCC for the 2021-2022 season. His girl's team took 1st place overall at the 2022 Short Course YMCA Nationals and the combined team took 2nd. He also placed 2 girls on this year’s USA Swimming Junior Pan Pac Team. 


Prior to his time at Greater Somerset, Petto spent 7 years at Upper Main Line YMCA as the Competitive Aquatic Director. During his time at UMLY, Petto produced the number one high school recruit in 2019, Brendan Burns. Burns was a member of the 2019 USA Swimming National Junior Team that competed at the World Junior Championships in Budapest and is now swimming at Indiana University under Ray Looze.  UMLY was a multi-year USA Swimming Silver medal team during Lou’s tenure.  


Since 2013 Petto has been a part of the US Paralympic National Team Coaching Staff and has helped coach these athletes all over the world for Championships and Paralympic Games. He was a member of the 2016 Paralympic Games coaching staff in Rio.  


Petto also spent 12 years at Ocean County YMCA. This is where he met and built a strong relationship with Peter Holcroft, South Jersey Aquatic Club’s Founder, Head Coach, and Director of Competitive Swimming.


In Petto’s new role as Director of Athlete Development, he will be working closely with Peter Holcroft and the SJAC coaching staff to provide the best swimming experience possible for all 608 competitive swimmers at SJAC. Petto will be working with all the groups providing quality control and primarily focusing on the age group swimmer’s progression through the program. 


“We couldn’t believe a coach of Lou’s caliber was even available! We are very excited to have Lou join the SJAC family! Lou and I have always had similar philosophies on training and developing the whole swimmer, for all strokes and all distances. Adding Lou to an already great coaching staff is a game-changer.” Said Holcroft.


SJAC was ranked 45th in the country in USA Swimming’s VCC for the 2021-2022 season. Also, achieving the Bronze Medal Club status.  SJAC strives to provide the highest level of customer service and an outstanding swimming experience for their members.  The future is looking bright for SJAC!