The national headquarters for the American Swimming Coaches Association is located in Fort Lauderdale, FL. Programs and services are provided to the membership through the national headquarters. Among the many services are publications, educational programs, resources and general information about swimming-related activities.
The national office staff is available to assist you in answering questions or providing general information about the American Swimming Coaches Association. The different staff of ASCA and SwimAmerica are listed below, along with a general description of responsibilities. If you need to update your address with the ASCA please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Questions on ASCA policy and procedure, Board of Directors, Ethics and Boards of Review, and Club Assistance Programs, Customized Coach Education Programs. Contact at 1 (800) 356-2722.
Executive Director, American Swimming Coaches Association (1985-)
Executive Director, World Swimming Coaches Association (1988-1994, 2004-)
Since assuming the role of the Executive Director of the American Swimming Coaches Association (ASCA) in January of 1985, John Leonard has grown the association from 1,600 members in 1985 to 11,000 members as of February 27th, 2017. Leonard has also overseen:
- Staff-developed educational programs and services that include 24
different types of coaching schools.
- The development of ASCA’s Certification program that has certified
over 9,400 coaches in 22 years.
- Organized a model national learn-to-swim school (SwimAmerica) which
has taught over 1.5 million of the USA’s youth to swim.
- Turned ASCA into an advocacy force to be respected in national and
world swimming, and world sport.
Prior to coming to ASCA, Leonard was a coach. He began his coaching career in Syracuse, New York, where he developed numerous national qualifiers, national scorers and a 1976 Olympian, while building an 800 member swim team and managing a 35-pool city aquatic program. In 1978, he moved to Lake Forest Swim Club and Lake Forest College in Illinois, where he developed a nationally powerful club team and USA National Team members.
Leonard helped found the World Swimming Coaches Association in 1988. He received USA Swimming Athletes Appreciation Award in 1996 for his strong anti-doping actions in world sport. In 2004, he received the Paragon Award from the International Swimming Hall of Fame. In 2005, he was honored with the Collegiate/Scholastic Trophy from NISCA for his contributions to swimming and was named one of the 25 Most Influential People in Aquatics, by Aquatics International magazine. In 2015, John Leonard was inducted into the ASCA Hall of Fame. Currently, he serves on multiple committees for USA Swimming, including the Olympic International Operations (OIOC) and International Relations Committees (IRC), and is a member of FINA’s Coaches Commission. John has served on 14 USA National Team Staffs, and has worked for American Swimming at 6 Olympic Games.
An accomplished writer and editor, Leonard has authored over 1000 articles on the sport of swimming, written four and edited three books on swimming, and made clinic presentations in 26 countries. He currently lives and works in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. His hobbies include reading, running, boating, and coaching his own team – SwimFast, where he works with the Senior group and the Age Group swimmers.
Questions about employment and club management: Job Service, Contracts, Resumes, Interviews, Coach-Board relations, Long Range planning for clubs, Club Structure, assistance for Boards of Directors. Questions on technical matters and managing skills for young coaches and coaches of age group and high school teams. Home study courses.
Guy Edson serves several roles at the American Swimming Coaches Association’s national office. His business card includes the titles of Technical Director, Job Service Coordinator, and Club Administration Advisor. His two favorite roles are consulting with club coaches and their employers on coach-employer relationships and presenting ASCA courses to young coaches. He teaches several courses including the Level 1 Foundations of Coaching, Level 2 Stroke School, Level 3 Physiology School, Personal Organization for Coaches, Age Group Sports Psychology, Dryland Training, How to Write Workouts, the Level 4 Administration School, and Working Successfully for Swimming Parents.
Before joining ASCA Edson was a full time professional coach for 15 years coaching state champion age group teams in three states and placing over 40 swimmers on the national top 16 listing including one national record holder. He continues to coach part time with a local team where he delights in teaching a novice group of 20-30 swimmers. He does this for fun, to keep his teaching skills sharp, and to stay close to the day to day concerns of athletes, parents, and officials. He is an ASCA Level 5 Age Group Coach.
Coach Dillon is a Level 5 certified ASCA and USA Swimming coach and instructor. He has been walking pool decks internationally on every continent for over 25 years. Coach Dillon is equally talented at hosting swimming meets at every level and provides a unique, one of a kind insight into both the swimmer and the swimmer’s world. As a swimmer, Dillon was a two-time NCAA Champion at Florida (1983-87), and helped lead the Gators to a team title in 1984. He also earned USA Swimming National Titles before transitioning to coaching.
Coaching Honors and Team Achievements
- Olympic and Pan Am Games Head Coach, Panama, 1999-2000
- Coached 1st Pan Am Games Silver Medal winner in country’s history
- 2 gold/1silver medal at South American Champs
- USA Swimming 5K Open Water National Champions, Women 2011
- Team USA Coach, Junior Pan Pacific Championships, 2010; 2 gold and 1 silver medals
- Several team top 20 team finishes at the USA Junior and Senior National Championships
- Over 40 High School State champions and over 100 High School All-Americans
- 5 high school valedictorians
- Multiple Sectional / Regional Championships
- Multiple LSC Championships
- USA Swimming Club Excellence Program Silver Medal Club 4 years in a row
- United States Masters Swimming National Champions Overall 2010; Women 2011
- Youngest Coach in history to achieve ASCA Level 5 Age Group certification
United States Swimming, Board of Directors, 2003-2007
Also served on Audit Committee, Membership Marketing Task Force, Open Water Swimming Task Force, Diving Safety Task Force, and National Board of Review Appeal Committee
Florida Gold Coast Swimming, Chairman, 2003-2007
Also served as Safety Chair, Diversity Chair, Vice Chair, Senior Chair
- American Swimming Coaches Association (ASCA) Level 5 Certified; USA Swimming & Age Group
- American Red Cross Lifeguarding Instructor
- National Swimming Pool Foundation (NSPF) Instructor
- Certified Pool Operator (CPO)
Matt Hooper is a former world-ranked swimmer and USA National Team member, having swum from his age-group through post-graduate years in Texas, and now continuing on as a Masters swimmer. He comes to ASCA with work experience within the sports industry (San Antonio Sports Foundation, USOC), as well as various club related duties (coaching, newsletter production, meet entry and system operations). Hooper swam for the Texas Longhorns, where he also received his Bachelor’s degree and has a Masters in Communications from the University of the Incarnate Word. Primary duties with ASCA include the Fellows program and development of the World Swimming Coaches Association.
SwimAmerica National Director, current status, requirements.
Julie Nitti has been with ASCA for over 20 years, and is currently the National Director of SwimAmerica, supporting all Program Directors as well as taking full responsibility for all of their training and servicing. As Director, she also organizes the Learn-to-Swim and Business Owners’ Clinics. Prior to joining ASCA, Julie held management positions with Eastern Airlines and Copylite Products where she successfully directed main key strategic programs. Julie has also recently taken the reigns as Director of the American Learn-to-Swim Teachers Association (ALTST).
Jackie comes to ASCA with a performance based background from a multitude of areas. Prior to joining ASCA, Jackie started coaching while in Colorado. After moving out to Tennessee to pursue her bachelor’s degree in Classical Violin Performance at Belmont University, she continued to coach for teams such as the Nashville Aquatics Club (NAC) and the Gordon Jewish Community Center (GJCC). Upon graduating, she went on to pursue her Masters in Sports Administration and Recreation at Western Kentucky University. During that time, she served as a volunteer assistant coach for the Men’s and Women’s Division I swimming team and oversaw all of WKU’s recreational aquatic programs, facilities and services.
In spring of 2013, she joined the 2013 ASCA Fellows which were tasked with researching how historically successful coaches also became prominent off-deck leaders.
Media inquiries, questions on ASCA print and online publications, including:
- American Swimming Magazine
- The ASCA Newsletter
- Swim Parents News
- The American Learn-to-Swim Teachers Association
- The ASCA Online Store
Wendi oversees the creative process of ASCA’s web and print publications. Prior to joining ASCA, Wendi was the senior web developer with Vant-Edge E-Learning, a web based educational services firm with offices in New York, North Carolina and Florida. Wendi developed cutting edge training solutions in a wide range of industries for two decades. In that time, her services helped Fortune 500 and small business clients alike increase profitability while improving customer relations through web based training. Wendi led the development of the Vant-Edge Online Learning System, her deep knowledge of web based training makes her an invaluable resource to ASCA’s online courses and web entities.
Wendi is a native of Tyler, Texas and has lived in Fort Lauderdale, FL since 1994, where she enjoys fishing, spending time at the beach, traveling and learning new technology.
American Swimming Coaches Association
Business & Information Systems
Questions on computer resources, Website, Journal of Swimming Research, Online Training, International membership, Swimming In College.
Questions about ASCA advertising, marketing, and sponsorship opportunities.