Candidates for the ASCA Board of Directors – September, 2019


NEw ASCA Board of Directors – September, 2019 At the annual business meeting on Friday, Sept. 6, (9:15 AM) the members present will elect 5 Board Members.

  • Coach Dave Gibson
  • Coach Ken Heis
  • Coach Jeff Julian
  • Coach Mark Schubert
  • Coach Jim Tierney

What follows are brief bios and submitted statement of purpose from the candidates who are NEW to the Board. We have several long serving members, (Gibson, Schubert and Teirney) whom we did not ask to go through this exercise. Each has served multiple terms on the Board in the highest tradition of service to our profession. (JL)

Coach Ken Heis

Dear Coach Leonard,

I am writing to express my interest in being nominated for the ASCA Board of Directors. Over the past 20 years of coaching swimming, I have gone from “knowing it all” to realizing that there is always more to learn. ASCA has been a big part of this journey and would like to give back to the sport and organization that has given me so much. I feel blessed to have learned so much from all of the educational and networking components that ASCA has provided me over the last 21 years to help mold me into a successful swim coach.

Currently, I am the head swim coach of the Mason Manta Rays. I have enjoyed my experience with Mason from starting the team and growing it to where we are today. I have had the opportunity to work with all levels of swimmers from Swim America beginners to Olympians. I have worked well with swim parents and have successfully built a city owned club with low expectations to one of the best clubs in the country. These experiences, along with the experiences from my previous teams, have made me a well-rounded coach and prepped me well for this opportunity.

I am eager to serve on the Board of Directors. Just as I do as a coach, I would enjoy looking back on what strategies have worked well in the past and how we could make the organization better in the future. From my perspective as a “younger” club coach, I can offer ideas on how to better serve the club swim coaches, grow membership, and raise the perception of what it means to be a professional swim coach at the club level. I would work hard and give my best effort to make the American Swim Coaches Association even better for the current and next generation of coaches.

Coach Jeff Julian

My name is Jeff Julian and I am writing today to express my interest in joining the ASCA Board of Directors. As a brief bio of my swimming experience, I have been the Head Coach of Rose Bowl Aquatics (Pasadena, CA) for the past 16 years. During my first 12 years in this role, I also took on leadership roles within our LSC and Committee, including Vice-Chair of Southern California Swimming, Coaches Rep on the SCS Board, and Chair of Pacific Committee Swimming (committee of SCS). As a coach I have been an assistant coach at multiple National Select Camps, conducting clinics around the US and internationally, and been able to both develop swimmers to the international levels and help top level swimmers reach international gold medals. As a swimmer, I was able to experience much of the National swimming path within USA Swimming by achieving and attending Select Camps, National Jr Team competitions, and ending my career with a silver medal at the World University Games as part of Team USA.

My interest in joining the Board though comes from my passion for this sport and my hope that we can help create a time where great coaches are truly valued within the sport and are supported in the process. My mother instilled a love of this sport in me that I believe will always last, but I am coming to a point where I believe I have two choices. The first option is to cut bait and move on to a different role, whether in the sport or out. The second option is to attempt to make a difference on behalf of my peers and the future coaches of this incredible sport. As I wasn’t taught to give up easily, I am choosing option 2, and see the ASCA Board as a way for me to explore that more.

I will end with some quick thoughts. I believe this sport to be in a crucial time for it’s future. The safety of our athletes is paramount, but to do it by putting coaches in an impossible task to follow guidelines only set to cover institutions and will lead to pushing our best coaches out of the sport is exactly what we don’t want. We, as coaches, need to stand together (with all coaches across the Nation that are in it for all the best reasons) and fight for the safety of our athletes, the respect we deserve for the life lessons we teach and the differences we make in these athletes lives, and for the passion and skill we bring to the table. USA Swimming needs to recognize and truly support our coaches, especially those that are the backbone of this USA TEAM, club coaches. We must provide more, USAS supported, education, especially for the smaller teams across the nation. While on one hand I believe we’ve allowed too many small teams to pop up and it is starting to impact performances, on the other hand, if we have them, we must do something to help those coaches grow and become better coaches. I believe that while USA Swimming is our TEAM, that it’s also allowed, like many large organizations, leadership to be more worried about keeping their high paying jobs than making a difference for the people they serve. I know coaches will have strong opinions, often opposing opinions, and while I may not have the answers, I do believe most lie within the coaching community, as we are seeing things firsthand. We must be willing to do the work, find the best solutions for the swimmers and those working the hardest to make USA Swimming what it truly is, and begin to grow this sport in not only a sustainable way but a way to allow future growth as well. If those paid to do this job can’t/won’t, then coaches will need to stand and to that work. At the same time as I believe coaches need to be focused on their own health and happiness as well. We teach dedication and commitment for a career, we cannot view ourselves in the same light as the swimmers we are teaching. The thought that if swimmers are on deck, then we need to be on deck, needs to be re-evaluated and each coach supported in that process. We must be willing to take time for ourselves and our families, we must have a governing body that teaches parents how to be the best swim parent possible, and like it or not, coming from an extremely competitive person, we cannot allow competition and results be what drives us most. We need to go beyond the talk of life lessons and make it our leading value. It’s on us to be transformational leaders and make sure our governing body has the same values. Not only can we be transformational leaders and get top results, it’s what our swimmers need and deserve as we find more and more of our top athletes dealing with their own struggles. We are the greatest swimming nation in the world, but if we rest on that, we are not serving our families, coaches, and everyone involved in the sport the way we can, and I only hope that I can make the smallest of positive impacts for the future.

Go USA Swimming!

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