Get to know the keynote speaker – John Leonard

Former Executive Director of the American Swimming Coaches Association

           John was the ASCA Director from January, 1985 to Dec. 31, 2019 . Today he continues to assist in the ASCA office on a part time basis in “retirement”.  Prior to that, he coached in Syracuse New York and Lake Forest, Illinois. In both places, he coached his club teams to national top ten team finishes. He helped develop his first Olympian in 1976 in Syracuse. He is still an active Coach today, with his coach owned team, SwimFast, in Fort Lauderdale. His special coaching interest now, is ten and under and novice swimmers.

          At the ASCA since 1985,  John has grown the association from 1,100 to 11,000 Members, created the most respected Coach Certification Program in the world (over 24,000 certified coaches), built a national Learn to Swim program, SwimAmerica, and led the ASCA efforts in Advocacy, especially in Anti-Doping, support of collegiate swimming, actively supported the  creation of the  (ISL) professional swim league for athletes, and oversees an educational program of over 28 courses for swimming coaches. He is one of the best-known names in world swimming circles. He has lectured in more than 40 countries on 130 occasions.

        What is he most proud of? “In today’s highly competitive world of organizational finance, the ASCA has managed to maintain our complete independence from any other administrative body. This allows our Board and staff to freely express our opinions on topics of critical importance to the future of the sport, without fear of influence from other entities. We’re truly INDEPENDENT!”

     Among John’s beloved mentors is the founding father of the ISHOF, Buck Dawson himself. “Buck was a larger than life presence and he taught me an incredible number of lessons about swimming and life over weekly breakfasts at the Floridian in the 1980’s. His genius shines through with his saying “People Don’t Care About Swimming, they care about SWIMMERS!”

         John lives and coaches in Fort Lauderdale Florida and maintains a home on 30 acres in Fort White Florida on his beloved Santa Fe River that he calls “home.” He splits his time between north and south Florida. He welcomes visiting coaches to come visit his swim team, SwimFast, in Fort Lauderdale and promises to put all visitors to volunteer work coaching during their visit!

Want to hear John speak in person? Book your spot now!