“I moved to Plainfield in 2002 and was looking for a place to swim. I have been a competitive swimmer for most of my life. I thought this Y had the best pool in the community. The first time I came here, I ran into my friend who knows about my background as a Swim Coach. He asked if I’d be interested in coaching here. My two favorite things are swimming and working with young people. I do have a day job, but I always say I’m a swim coach trapped in an engineer’s body. I find that kids who come to our program have a lot of fun while being challenged. Each year, it’s gotten more competitive and the kids are getting better. As for my background, I grew up in Washington, DC and went through the DC public school system. During the summers, we swam as our form of recreation. In 1978, I participated in the National Youth Sports Program, which provided high-risk youth with opportunities. This program was geared toward keeping young people off the streets. I met my high school swim coach, Stanley M. Gainor, through this program. He developed a system and found a way for underprivileged youth to go to college through swimming. His motto was books and chlorine – you had to take care of school before getting in the pool. This is where my passion for swimming comes from. He worked with kids that people had given up on. After high school, I received a scholarship to Tennessee State University where I got my degree in computer science and was a member of the Tiger Sharks Swim Team. Mr. Gainor was able to spot the talent in young people and help them achieve their goals. Like he did for me, I enjoy giving kids advice and being a mentor. I want to have an impact on them and show them that you don’t have to be the fastest swimmer, but it’s important to be a positive influence on the team. It’s not just about swimming, it’s about life.”