By Sharon Robb
PEMBROKE PINES, September 16, 2020—Jack Davies has come full circle with South Florida Aquatic Club.
Davies swam for SOFLO for four years (100 and 200 backstroke) before his family moved to The Woodlands in Texas. From 9 to 13-years-old, Davies was mentored by Coach George, Coach Luis and Coach Rose.
Davies will reunite with his former coaches on September 28, his first day as SOFLO’s new Silver and Senior Developmental coach at Academic Village Pool.
“I am extremely excited to be back,” Davies said. “It’s an awesome opportunity and one I can’t pass up. The coaches I was swimming for years I now am going to have the opportunity to coach with them. It is bittersweet leaving my old job, but there is a ridiculous amount of excitement to offset the sadness.”
Davies is currently wrapping up his coaching duties with the CSP Tideriders in St. Louis, Mo., where he coached all age groups and masters, from ages 4 to 60. He was also a private swim instructor at McKendree MetroRec Plex.
Davies graduated from McKendree University in Lebanon, Ill., where he swam Division II until getting injured. He earned his Bachelor’s degree in mathematics with a background in data analytics, projections, basic administration and business environment theoretical techniques.
Davies graduated from The Woodlands College Park High School where he was captain of his swim team. He also competed for The Woodlands club team for five years and was a junior national team member from 2014-2016.
The Bishop Auckland, England-born Davies started swimming when he was 4 years old and has been in love with the sport ever since. His passion for swimming and coaching is a win-win for SOFLO.
“When I swam at SOFLO it was a good atmosphere,” said Davies, whose sister Leonie swam for SOFLO and parents were USA Swimming officials. “I had such an all-around good experience with good coaching, good assistants and good staff. It’s such an appealing program. It’s a set-up I know and am familiar with. Any job is going to be hard work. It might as well be hard work you enjoy.”
Midway through his sophomore year at McKendree, Davies injured his back and took four months off. The injury forced him to quit competitive swimming and started doing private lessons.
“Then I made the jump to coaching and never looked back,” Davies said.
The transition from competing to coaching took time. “It was very different, I took it in steps,” Davies said. “I started with private lessons and at one stage I was running the private lessons facility, doing the scheduling and using all the instructors in addition to teaching. Stepping into a coaching role felt natural and I enjoyed it.
“Swimming is something I have done my entire life. It’s something I understand. My desire to coach goes back to being injured. I feel like I have unfinished business. Coaching allows me to stay in the sport. I definitely want more to my swimming story than what I accomplished in the water.”
Davies loves the idea of working alongside CEO and head coach Chris Anderson and his former mentors.
“I hope to stick around as long as possible,” Davies said. “They all have such great experiences in swimming and coaching. I want to have as many good experiences as possible and I know I have a good network around me during the bad experiences. Swimming provides such a great environment because it’s not just about swimming but also about growing in life.”
Davies said he has followed the success of SOFLO, the Florida Gold Coast’s largest USA Swimming Club and one of the most successful in the state.
“It’s good to see what they have accomplished, these coaches are great coaches,” Davies said. “I’m not surprised how well they have done. They have good athletes and get the most out of them.”
With SOFLO’s program back in full swing while weathering the COVID-19 pandemic for seven months, Anderson is looking forward to having another coach on staff.
“Jack is a nice addition to the program,” Anderson said. “He has a lot of passion and energy. He interviewed well with Coach Lou, Coach Rose and myself. He is extremely excited to be here. He knows the area and parents. We are very excited about it.”
Sharon Robb can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org