Allison Beebe, Head Coach of FCST and Simone Manuel, Accepts Position With Santa Clara Swim Club

  77 Braden Keith | May 30th, 2014 | Club, Featured, National, News

Jared Anderson contributed to this report.

Allison Beebe, the head coach of the First Colony Swim Team in Sugar Land, Texas, has announced that she will resign effective the end of the 2014 long course season. She told the team’s membership of the move in an email on Thursday, and confirmed to SwimSwam on Friday morning.

“I’m going to be coaching the Santa Clara Swim Club with coach John Bitter,” Beebe said of her future plans. “I’m still very invested in the team here, and I want my swimmers to have their best seasons this summer.”

“It’s definitely a bittersweet event. I love the program [at First Colony], and it was a very difficult decision. [the departure] was very amicable…I love the families here, they’re very important to me.”

When Beebe began with the program 9 years ago, it didn’t have a single swimmer qualified for NCSA Junior Nationals. In under a decade, Beebe and her staff have turned the team into a USA Swimming Club Excellence program “silver medal club,” meaning that it is ranked as one of the top 100 clubs in the country.

The best-known swimmer to come out of the program in Beebe’s tenure is high school senior and Stanford commit Simone Manuel. In 2013, Manuel swam to a 7th-place finish in the 50 meter freestyle at the World Championships in Barcelona, Spain and earned a gold medal as a prelims-only swimmer on the 400 free relay. Both came just past her 17th birthday.

Manuel, who will be wrapping up her time with FCST just as Beebe is this summer, also holds 5 National Age Group Records in the 15-16 and 17-18 age groups.

While Manuel is the best swimmer to come out of the club in the last 9 years, she’s not the only successful one to do so. The program has become a hotbed for Division I talent. Names that stand out are Maddie Locus at Georgia, Skylar Smith at Texas, Eegan Groome at Missouri, and Romy Landeck at Texas A&M.

In addition to Manuel’s many national honors, First Colony also put an open water swimmer, Daniel Graviss, on the 2012-2013 Open Water Junior National Team. The women’s team placed 25th at this year’s NCSA Junior Nationals, and went on shortly after to win the prestigious NASA National Jr. Cup in Clearwater, Florida.

Prior to her time at First Colony, Beebe was the Head Age Group Coach at the City of Mobile Swim Association, where she was voted the Southeastern Age Group Coach of the Year in 2004 and 2005.

The Santa Clara Swim Club, Beebe’s future employer, is famous for among other things hosting the annual Santa Clara Grand Prix. That club has a huge resume of elite swimmers having passed through its doors, including names like Eric Ress, Tom Jager, Linda Jezek, Pablo Morales, and more recently rising talents like Aidan Burns, Alex Wold, Sam Shimomura, and Sophie Krivokapic-Zhou.

The Santa Clara Swim Club is located just a short 17-mile drive from Stanford University: the future home of the aforementioned Manuel.

Comments

  1. swimcoach says:
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    Congratulations to Allison. Before she leaves, I would love to have Allison share some thoughts regarding the training she has done with Simone. I think it would be interesting for a lot of people to hear.

  2. kevin m says:
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    Allison is a class act and proud to say a good friend… she has done a remarkable job at first colony (not only with simone, but with the team and the swimming community as a whole).

    congrats allison!

  3. Johnny says:
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    What position/role/title will Allison be assuming at SCSC?

  4. Sue Chen says:
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    Allison is one of the most underrated coaches out there today. Congrats to her and to SCSC for picking up one of the brightest coaches out there. Can’t wait to see her excel in California.

  5. SCSCfan says:
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    Congrats from Santa Clara!!! We can’t wait for such a class act to be joining our team!!! Welcome Allison!

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    Congratulations Allison. And to think this all started in St Petersburg with the masters. Very well deserved.

  7. Ann Nominous says:
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    I think it’s important to note there is always other sides to the story. I will not argue her coaching skills/abilities. She obviously can coach. But, if anyone has paid attention to the FT coach turnover at that club in the last 5 years, they would have to question why.

    Yes, coach turnover is common, but not at the rate it has/had been happening. While FCST loses a HC coach who has been a part of the program for a significant amount of time, they will be gaining so much with her departure. Part of a successful club program is not just what you produce, but how you treat your staff. Hopefully FCST will find a great replacement that not only has the ability to coach kids to the next level, but also know how to manage a staff with empathy, compassion, and kindness. Best of luck to all.

    • Robert says:
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      Don’t know about her treatment of coaches on her team, but her treatment of others in the Gulf (officials & volunteers) has been horrible. She only has one interest, what’s best for her and her top level swimmers. Absolutely no consideration for how she treats others.

      • completelyconquered says:
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        I can see how your perception can be misconstrued. I think every coach has the best interest in their swimmer. There are going to be times where an official will make a call, whether incorrect or not, and the coach is going to question that call, because we are looking out for our swimmers. That’s part of our job. It shows the swimmer that we are looking out for them and it helps us get clarification of what happened or what the official saw compared to what the coach saw. A big problem in the Gulf is that there are a lot of uneducated officials who make bad calls.

      • ColinH says:
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        I can see how you might think that way. Allison is a very driven coach who loves her job and commits to it 100%. It’s simply BECAUSE her dedication to her swimmers is unrivaled that she might come off as brash. After all, she treats her swimmers like her own “kids”. What kind of “parent” wouldn’t go out of their way to fight for their child(ren)?

        Obviously some of her actions have perturbed you in some way. But have you ever talked to her in person? Have you even tried to be friendly and start up a conversation with her? Or is your perception of her simply from what you’ve heard from others or what you’ve seen in a professional environment? Because simply put, what you’re seeing is a woman who will do anything for her team. (I mean, is that really wrong? If she didn’t, she wouldn’t be doing her job.) Clearly it’s nothing personal.

    • ColinH says:
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      Agreed, the coach turnover has been quite dynamic in the past five years. But what you’re saying is mostly speculation based off data, is it not?
      If you look more into it, many of the ex-coaches had personal reasons for leaving. Whether it be advancing their career, finishing a degree, or other personal reasons, I can assure you: it’s not all about Allison.

      Sure, some coaches may have been given the pink slip because they failed to produce desired results. But isn’t that the way ANY professional environment works? If you don’t do your job well, frankly, you’re not cut out for a top-level team.

  8. Robert says:
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    And she has led the effort to alienate every official in the Gulf and transition all power to the coaches. She has ridden the Simone train as long as she can and has burned numerous bridges.

    • completelyconquered says:
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      So, what’s the problem with this? Is it a power issue? Who’s more knowledgeable in the sport officials or coaches?

    • COACHA says:
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      Officials get carried away , they think they run the sport ,they forget they are volunteers and they are in for 5 years (as long they kids are swimming at higher level)
      Please continue to support swimming.

      • Fred Wagner says:
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        I am sorry you feel that way and want to lump all officials into one bucket. Most officials have the interest of the swimmers at heart and I am sorry that you feel jaded in some form or fashion towards those that have spent countless hours on the pool deck whether their kids are swimming or not. A coach that teaches proper stroke, turns, and technique should rarely have issues with any official on deck as I have never met an official that is looking to disqualify any swimmer in the pool The official observes what they see a swimmer doing in a pool.

      • PsychoDad says:
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        >Officials get carried away , they think they run the sport ,

        Wow. I hope you do not tell that to your swimmers. Although there are some officials with big egos (like everywhere else), they are very small minority. 95% officials DO NOT think they run the sport.

  9. coach alec says:
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    Congratulation to Allison great opportunity.
    to all sour grapes
    Great can not be with out some false.
    best off luck .

  10. Anonymous says:
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    What is the problem here? Is there any sport where the top athletes in any organization do not get the most attention?
    If I was a top swimmer I would want my coach to focus more on me than on lesser athletes.

  11. Fred Wagner says:
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    As a former Gulf official, I have had nothing but the most utmost respect for Allison personally and professionally. I have always been impressed with how prepared her swimmers are; starts, turns, technique etc plus her demeanor on the pool deck.

    For those posting under pseudonyms or partial names, please show some guts and post under your real name whether you are going to compliment or disparage.

    • Mark Cianciolo says:
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      Thanks Fred, you only get the full truth when you sign your name to it.

      • anon says:
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        Mark,

        Your statement is not true. Many people do not write their names because they know their family WILL be retaliated against. I for one, do not write my name so no further harm is done to my kids.

        • Fred Wagner says:
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          Anon, if it is so bad in your mind that “further harm” would come to your kids it would seem that a move to a new club is appropriate.

          • Really Be Real says:
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            Fred, that’s juvenile. So if someone is unhappy, they shouldn’t complain, they should leave? Maybe they like their group coach and are waiting for sunny days again? Your comment is putting words in ANON’s mouth. They state a FACT. If parents speak up to the wrong person, at the wrong time on FCST, bad things happen. Yet many hope for a day where this behavior stops. See, many want FCST to get better. Shining a light on the bad stuff doesn’t mean we need YOUR suggestion to leave. Anon wasn’t being smug, but honest. Apologists, love em. Always have an answer.

          • ANON says:
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            Fred,

            My comment wasn’t in reference to FCST. I was reading the article and comments and disagreed with Mark’s comment. People have valid reasons not to sign their names and it does not mean they are not telling the truth. Unfortunately, we DO live in a world where athletes and families are retaliated against and NO the families should not have to leave a team because others are acting improperly!

  12. John Doe says:
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    Congrats Allison, well deserved!

  13. John Doe says:
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    Allison is a trailblazer in the sport, good luck in with your next step.

  14. ColinH says:
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    This statement could not be any further from the truth.

    “I have yet to meet another parent with whom Allison has ever spoken a single word.”

    Are you serious? First of all, she’s a busy woman who manages her own groups. It’s a BIG team. This system of ‘implementation’ is there for a reason. Just like the government; have you ever spoken to the mayor of your town? Do you know a lot of people who have?
    Just because she hasn’t talked to many of the parents perhaps in lower level groups doesn’t mean she can’t “love the families”. FCST holds intersquad meets every so often. With all the families that gather outside the pool, it’s really difficult to not fall in love the the spirited people/parents/families that show.
    And secondly, she’s obviously not going to talk to any parents that she doesn’t know. If she doesn’t coach your kid, she won’t know you (Or talk to you!). But if you approach her and talk to her (or even get to know her), of course she’ll talk to you!

    Also, with the group that she manages full-time, I am about 99% certain that she has spoken to EVERY parent one time of another about their kid and their competitive swimming future. Frankly, your comment is a blatant lie.

  15. PsychoDad says:
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    Nitro Swimming will be swimming against FCST in a dual meet next weekend at Nitro’s second facility in Austin. Our kids will swim and I will be observing the coach. Never heard of her before this, but I do respect FCST swimmers – I notice in every meet they are well prepared. Although most likely swimmers she does not personally coach, she does gets credit for hiring good coaches.

  16. Becky says:
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    Congratulations Allison! Much deserved. And to all those posting nasty, hateful comments, stop being jealous for whatever reason or at least keep your poison to yourselves. I’ve know Allison since we swam together at CMSA as kids and can think of no one who loves swimming more or who is a more committed coach to their swimmers. Even as a kid it was evident that swimming would be a path she would take in life and I remember my parents commenting that someday she’d be a coach. Well, she is, and clearly an excellent one at that!

  17. William T. Sprague, III says:
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    This is a competitive sport, not daycare. Look at the numbers and take the emotion out. Coach Allison has grown the Team. She has surrounded herself with a coaching Team that can produce at every level AND that can do the administrative side of the business at every level. That is the Head Coach’s job. She was NOT hired to stroke the parents and officials ego’s, she was hired to perform. She and her staff are expected to perform everyday.

    When coaches make decisions, you’ve got to support those decisions unless they’re proved otherwise. The last thing that I’m going to be is a Monday morning quarterback like everyone else in this world. These are hard decisions, I’m sure that Coach Allison had reasons for every decision she made and you’ve got to respect that.

    In all fairness, I’m going to tell you from the coaches’ perspective, I’m not going to listen to one fan or parent about how the team should compete or be operated. Not to disrespect, but it is our job to make those decisions. You make those decisions and you live with them. She has her reasons and that’s in her realm of responsibility about how she wants to articulate that and move her team forward.

    Allison Beebe is one of the finest coach’s I have come across in recent years. Coach, I am very proud to know you, and to consider you a friend. Good Luck at Santa Clara Swim Club. You will be missed.

  18. Summer League City says:
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    For those who aren’t familiar with the Houston swimming scene, and especially Sugar Land, I’ll put some of the above complaints in context.

    Houston as a whole is a very ‘summer league city.’ Which is not to say there’s not some great club teams and coaches, because there are, but the summer league, country club mindset is pervasive. This is especially true in Sugar Land/First Colony.

    Parents expect that the HEAD COACH will be hands on with their little princess or superhero every day. Afterall, isn’t that what they’re paying for? The idea in Houston is about the prestige of having the head coach pay attention to your swimmer, because in summer league that’s what matters, and that’s how everyone knows that your kid is special.

    Hopefully, in the next few years the area can start to mature beyond that. I mean heck, to presume that the head coach of a club team is even the best person to coach the 11 year-olds is in many cases a fallacy. In many cases (can’t say for sure at FCST) there’s a head age group coach or even just an assistant coach who is better equipped to deal with swimmers at that age under the broader guidance of the head coach.

    Hope that helps clear up some of the above concerns.

    • A Proud FCST Parent says:
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      I’ve never thought about it in those terms but you are absolutely right about the mindset of this area.

      And you are also right that FCST has both head age group and head developmental coaches. And both of those coaches do an incredible job with the coaches, kids, and families of those groups.

  19. FCST Dad says:
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    COLINH has it right. Look at the facts regarding the progress of FCST the past 9 years. You’d need to remember what FCST was like back in 2005 to put her contributions in perspective. It’s also a fact that swimmers and families came from around Houston (and farther) to train with FCST, driving as much as 60 minutes each way daily. Can’t think of a stronger testimony.
    No, the team is not for everyone. Membership is open but optional, and has somehow grown to nearly unmanageable size. Alison knew and was open about what she wanted to achieve for the team and quietly knew how to go about building it, every day for 9 years with a dedication and level of competence that was constant. She will be missed, but has earned the right to make her decision.

  20. A Proud FCST Parent says:
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    I find it interesting that you “have had a swimmer on the team for 3 years” meaning you likely are still with the team. If you don’t like the coach, why? There are 3 other teams in the immediate area, two of which share the same pools that FCST uses. You clearly have other choices, but you choose to stay with FCST for a reason. Whatever that reason is, Allison is a significant part of it. While she may not have spoken to you, she’s spoken with and directed the coach you like or guided the training philosophy you like. You’re welcome to your opinions but you shouldn’t publicly criticize the leader of a program that you have enjoyed the benefits of especially when she’s the one that has had the greatest role in making it possible for you to enjoy a team of FCST’s caliber and quality.

  21. Swimmer says:
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    The outstanding swimmers that have come out of FCST were good before they were coached by Beebe.. Simone has been an amazing swimmer since the day she started. The other swimmers listed in the article (and I must add that not all of them are still swimming) were outstanding swimmers before Beebe got her hands on them. She takes credit for it all, but did not necessarily shape these swimmers into the athletes they are today.

    • FCST parent says:
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      Totally agree!!

    • FCST Swimmer says:
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      Yet those talents could easily have been wasted under a coach with a different training philosophy/regimen. They were good, she helped them become great.

      • Swims a lot says:
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        The GREAT swimmers who came from her group were GREAT before they got there. Atleast the ones listed in the article were. She helped them maintain that greatness, not find it.

        • ConnorM says:
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          Simone didn’t have an American Record in the 100 free or have gone to world championships when Allison got her. Almost none of her NCSA (and beyond) swimmers had those cuts getting into her group. I’m sorry, but that’s just plain inaccurate. Maybe you have one or two swimmers that come to mind, but I can counter that with dozens. There are kids that are faster and in lower groups because they don’t show the dedication and discipline of those in elite, and there are those in elite who get moved down due to lack of discipline. Kids didn’t just “maintain” their talent.

    • JordanH says:
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      If you’ve ever had a conversation with Allison about this, you would know that she hates when people give her the credit for her swimmers’ success. Many of the swimmers you were referring to were only slightly better than average before she got there. She took those swimmers from being top state or gulf level swimmers to being top national level swimmers who made Olympic Trials. As for the swimmers that were good before she arrived, it’s incredible that they were still so successful as senior swimmers. More often than not, 10 & unders who are good burn out and quit or are mediocre senior swimmers. I know this from watching many of the other swimmers I went to camps with as an age grouper. Allison refuses to take credit for her swimmers success, but she deserves it. I attribute the majority of my success to her, and while I’m no longer swimming, I would have quit by the time I was 13 had it not been for her.

    • Fcstswimmer says:
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      There’s only so much talent can do. There is no swimmer that can reach their full potential without training. Allison nurtured their talent to give the best racing performances out of every swimmer that comes into her group.

  22. FCST Parent says:
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    Well, anyone on FCST for more than a year can attest to the iron hand, culture of fear of retaliation, and overall “don’t upset Allison” way of life. To her apologists, please follow her to California since you clearly need her to validate you. To her detractors, remember, times change and she doesn’t need FCST anymore. Que Sera Sera.

    • FCST Swimmer says:
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      “FCST has no team spirit because Allison was never involved and she only cared about her Senior Elite swimmers. Parents have seen practices where the senior elite group occupied most of the lane space while other age groups had 7-8 swimmers to share a lane.” Before I address the comment I’m replying to, I want to address this statement. For starters, there is a size difference of the people in those groups, and the wakes that senior elite creates in the water makes it extremely hard to swim with more than 3-4 people in a lane. Secondly, you’re forgetting that EVERYBODY in senior elite went through that 7-8 swimmer per lane age group setting to get to the top, and that no excuse mentality is how they got there in the first place. Lastly (for this part), you have shown nothing but absolute negativity towards this team, and pinpointed all the lack of FCST team spirit on Allison, but that attitude is just as terrible for team spirit as anything a coach could have done.

      Now to address this…”To her apologists, please follow her to California since you clearly need her to validate you.” You talk about her being unreasonable and rude, yet never in my career on FCST (and I was there from before she got there and through her hiring) would I have heard HER make such a blatantly rude comment. No coach is perfect. If you want a happy little merry-go-round team, summer league is the place to be, not a powerhouse club team.

    • Colin says:
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      Excuse, me but why are you still posting as “FCST Parent”?

      I admit, my comments have been a tad abrasive in how I defend First Colony. But this comment takes it to a rude and immature extreme.

      ” FCST for more than a year can attest to the iron hand, culture of fear of retaliation, and overall “don’t upset Allison” way of life”
      ~This is actually hilarious. You’re comparing a swim coach to the Soviet Union. Do you hear yourself? It’s laughable to believe that hardly anyone will “attest” to this, outside of the people that she has personally affected. You’ve clearly had some sort of conflict with her, but rather than insubstantially bashing on her, why don’t you either cite specific examples (or even resolve it yourself!) than go and make unsupported remarks.

      ” To her apologists, please follow her to California since you clearly need her to validate you.”
      ~Look, we’ve got a comedian right here.^

      “To her detractors, remember, times change and she doesn’t need FCST anymore.”
      ~First of all, she got a new job. Of course she doesn’t need FCST anymore; that doesn’t mean she won’t keep some connections with the team. Secondly, can I ask why you’re imposing this statement on her detractors? They’ve probably moved on already. You should too.

      …Que Sera Sera,

    • Annoyed says:
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      I’ve been on FCST for over 10 years and I couldn’t agree with you less

    • Former FCST Coach says:
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      As a former coach (more than just a few seasons), we didn’t get paid enough to deal with her.

  23. Club Coach says:
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    From what I have read, it just seems some have had good interactions with her and others have not.

    She is an extremely hard worker, and has created an environment (with the help of current/past staff) of competition and striving to get to the next level.

    I don’t think any comments here take any of that away from her. And she will continue to succeed as she moves on because she is dedicated to this sport.

    At the end of the day, it would appear there has been some issues, and without people giving complete details, some assume it’s just jealousy or sour grapes. But, to use words like “nasty, hateful, jealous” seems a bit dramatic. No one knows what happens or has happened behind the scenes.

    Not everyone has to get along, agree on coaching styles/approach, etc. But I think what some are trying to say is beyond all that – there were some issues through the years with her and how she interacted/treated her staff/officials. It is what it is.

    And while it would be great for everyone to not use psuedonyms, we don’t live in a world where people have the luxury to say something truthful, and not see repercussions in some way, shape, or form. No reason to get abrasive or “caught up” in the moment and respond to others by questioning whether they understand/know the program.

    Iv’e known Allison for years, and have been on deck in the Gulf at many a marathon meet. Coaches share relationships/friendships with each other, and they do share the ups/downs as we work in a unique profession of long hours in a chlorine vacuum surrounded by hundreds of athletes. The comments I have read regarding treatment of staff can be verified – and the line has said to have been pretty deep. Regardless, life moves on.

    Post the good, but realize, people have the right to express the other side, should they choose.

    Whoever FCST chooses as there new head coach will find themselves surrounded by some amazing kids and amazing families. It’s a new beginning for everyone – have fun with it and enjoy the ride!

    • Colin says:
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      I’m sorry. I think what you’re trying to do is really respectable. You’re taking in considerations for both sides and you think everyone should be able to voice their opinions on the matter. Thank you for ending your post with an optimistic outlook on the future.
      However, I would like to address some remarks you made (largely to justify my actions).

      “But, to use words like “nasty, hateful, jealous” seems a bit dramatic”
      ~Comments such as:
      ‘ridden the Simone train as long as she can’
      ‘I have yet to meet another parent with whom Allison has ever spoken a single word. This includes parents with swimmers in her groups.’
      ‘She takes credit for it all, but did not necessarily shape these swimmers into the athletes they are today.’
      ‘FCST has no team spirit because Allison was never involved and she only cared about her Senior Elite swimmers’
      Well, anyone on FCST for more than a year can attest to the iron hand, culture of fear of retaliation, and overall “don’t upset Allison” way of life.’

      …really irk me. I hope you understand.

      As a former member of FCST (note that I said former), I refuse to sit idly by while one-sided arguments are made.

  24. FCST Swimmer says:
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    I hope no one gets the wrong impression of FCST due to the extremely negative opinions of a couple of parents. The kids across the board are very dedicated, as is the entire coaching staff. The negative comments are poor representation of what the team is actually like, and I would know after spending over a decade on it.

  25. FCST Swimmer says:
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    By far the best comment I’ve seen on this thread. Nobody is holding a gun to you and forcing you to be on the team. With this attitude, you would probably give more than a few people a smile by leaving…

  26. JordanH says:
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    As one of her past swimmers, I would like to say that SCSC is gaining an incredible coach. She creates an incredible motivating atmosphere and brought a lot of needed team spirit. The senior groups on the team used to be full of complaining and negative thoughts, but she transformed them. She encouraged us to motivate and congratulate one another in practice, and for those saying she didn’t care about the younger swimmers, she constantly nagged the senior group to cheer for them at meets and motivate them. It was impossible for her to have the time to visit every single group, but she did her best to make everyone feel important.

    In regards to her treatment of others, she has high expectations for her staff and can be hard on them, but I think it stems from how much she cares about her swimmers. She wants the best for them and wants their hard work to pay off at championship meets, and it must be stressful when it feels like something or someone else may compromise that. I don’t know what went on behind the scenes, but what I saw came from a good place. I can also say that from traveling to national meets with her, I saw that she had many coaching friends from around the country whom she got along fantastically with.

    Regardless, it’s clear by the number of her swimmers defending her on here that she is an incredibly loved and respected coach. She transformed First Colony into the impressive team it is today, and we were lucky to have her. I’m sure she’ll be successful no matter where she goes, and I hope that the team can have a more positive mature attitude than I have seen on here and wish her the best of luck in Santa Clara.

  27. Annoyed says:
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    She has probably done more for your swimmer behind the scenes than you could ever imagine.

  28. Club Coach says:
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    I agree some of the comments are spiteful and would irk most anyone, and nobody deserves that.

    But again, several are true as they have been spoken straight from those on the inside who have worked under her. Like I said, coaches talk and I don’t believe it’s been a huge secret for the last couple years that her treatment of her staff is poor.

    Maybe it’s just a simple case of great coach, poor manager. And there’s nothing wrong with that. We all have areas we exceed in and areas we completely lack in. Part of growing is figuring that out along the way.

    • FCST Dad says:
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      Sorry Club Coach, it’s not that simple. Alison is not a Poor Manager. Nine years of constant dedication and competence the team had never seen before. Yes, some communication style issues in a diverse team of 500+ but I can’t imagine anyone doing it better without burning out or taking their focus off the swimmers. The team became larger than the volunteer parent board could sustain. That board has ultimate accountability to parents and should be the avenue for their concerns.

  29. ConnorM says:
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    And to those wondering (who may or may not know me, don’t know because of the names used), it has been me posting under FCST Swimmer…I was unsure about putting my name out at first, but I feel like doing so will give my statements some legitimacy considering how long I’ve been/was there.

  30. FCST Supporters says:
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    Wow!

    Connor: Everyone loved your swimming & talent. Gig ‘em! Thing is, you had her as a coach, others had to work with her professionally. As “Club Coach” said – great coach, poor manager. We lost some great potential future swimmers over simple “my way or the highway,” black and white mentality. Face it, life is nuance and the best coaches find balance there.

    Colin: Impressed. You manage to come off the same way as the other detractors. You think you can impose your wisdom & think you know what happens behind the scenes? Secondly, can I ask why you’re imposing this statement on her detractors? “They’ve probably moved on already. You should too.” Well, no. Many great families have stuck with the team, paid their bills & Allison’s substantial salary, and still had no voice. Now that AB is gone, they will most certainly stay, why would they leave now? They like their group coaches, the office staff, the other parents. Their issue was Allison. That is what bothers you. You’re no longer with FCST – trust me, things have changed. It hurts, but it is true.

    These people posting anonymously are still scared about what might happen if they speak publicly. Come on, if it is clear that public comments that don’t agree with team dogma will be punished, how can we expect people to post publicly? Be brave and speak up and suffer? Nah, most people just want a team with great coaches (have it), great pools (yep), great families (yep) and transformational leadership with kindness (it’s coming). Not everyone is willing to fall on their sword for the greater good, Sometimes they want to share what they’ve been holding in, but that doesn’t mean they need to become Norma Rae!

    Everyone: Read what “Club Coach” has said. Read between the lines. This person is being fair and honest. He or she clearly knows AB and also knows FCST. Maybe an FCST coach (we wouldn’t be surprised). The truth hurts, but this person is being fair to both sides and is explaining that sometimes a great coach is not a great manager (or leader). Just saying AB is the best ever or the worst ever is not true. She’s human and she has found greener pastures.

    • Colin says:
      6
      2

      ‘FCST Supporters’
      I don’t mean to be rude in any way. Your post, along with Club Coach’s, is very fair.

      However, your response towards my post does confuse me. Perhaps I misinterpreted the meaning of “detractor”, but what I extracted from FCST Parent’s post is that ‘Allison Beebe will leave with no regrets and she will not look back to the times she had on FCST.’ Naturally, I got a bit angry that someone would assume something like that about her.

      “You think you can impose your wisdom & think you know what happens behind the scenes?”:
      ~Definitely not, I don’t know what happens behind the scenes, However, not once did I deny the claims made against Allison. I defended her love for the team and I tried to alleviate the hatred towards her actions.
      As for your second statement, I agree. I misused “detractors” and interpreted it as people who have ALREADY left the team. I apologize.

      “Now that AB is gone, they will most certainly stay, why would they leave now? They like their group coaches, the office staff, the other parents. Their issue was Allison.”
      ~Club Coach’s comment describes how the varied complaints made against her were caused by conflicts in the professional environment. Families are a completely different issue. Are you saying that many families would’ve quit a swim team just because of one coach? (she probably doesn’t even affect them directly)

      “You’re no longer with FCST…”
      I mean, I only left a couple months ago… things honestly aren’t that different haha.
      I’m definitely not saying that Allison is the best ever. I have my own complaints against her. But I do respect her immensely.

  31. Annoyed says:
    9
    3

    So what would you call the Red/White/Blue meet? That was set up completely for team spirit, and if you don’t think the team has any spirit, you obviously haven’t been to any meets. To say that all of this is Allison’s fault is completely insane and uncalled for. I don’t know what your problem with her is, but you need to check your facts before you start spewing nonsense.

    • justacoach says:
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      Dear Annoyed. Yes, you are clearly annoyed. In the world in which we live, people will say things that you disagree with, even vehemently. Things you know are false. But to those people, it is often not nonsense. Their experiences, clearly, are different than yours. You mention a meet that shows team spirit. I trust it was fun for the swimmers involved. As a coach, the best team spirit comes from great communications with parents, swimmers, and administration. When I’m afraid of losing my job, things have to change. I doubt I’ll be on the short list for HC, but you can hope. Ha.

  32. swim coach says:
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    4

    i don’t understand why allison is getting all the flack. it seems that houston has more teams than you can shake a stick at. that said, if parents and their children didn’t like the program, there were numerous other options.

    i don’t understand why parents feel as though the head coach needs to be at every practice to coach every child of a team of 600 swimmers, as reported. paying monthly dues does not entitle you – parent – or your swimmer to the attention of the head coach. your dues pay salaries for your swimmer’s specific coach, operating expenses, etc. when you go to purchase a car, does the ceo of general motors call you, come to your house, service your car??? heck, we pay dues to usa-s… has anyone EVER received a call from chuck weilgus?

    if allison – i have never met her – was a tough coach… good for her. if she had to run a tight ship because that was her personality, or style, good for her. it seems the powers that be at FCST knew her style and still offered her the job years ago.

    at what time did the culture of the usa become so whiny, entitled, and of weak constitution?

    the successful person goes after what they want; they don’t wait for it to arrive. success isn’t easy, not always fun, and can hurt. lead. follow. or get out of the way.

  33. FCST swimmer says:
    4
    3

    I would like to say congrats to Allison. She is an amazing coach who knows how to push and inspire her swimmers to be the best. As far as the angry “FCST parents” I’m guessing known have them have actually personally known Allison. Most of these parents have swimmers in developmental or lower age groups. They’re kids’ coaches are not Allison and she trusts her fellow coaches to train their swimmers well. I’ve been on the team for 10 years and the longer I’ve been on the team the closer I have gotten to my teammates. I respect Coach Allison’s decision and she will be missed.

  34. T Hill says:
    13
    3

    Read with some interest some of the posts. First- Congratulations on the new position ! Like much of what you may read here though, some may be true and some is not accurate. In reality the team has continued to grow & improve under her leadership, along with the efforts of past boards, staff and folks who strive/support excellence. The dynamics of any team & other outside influences (facilities, summer league, High school swimming) are many and it is a big challenge where student-athletes are being pulled in many directions, but the bottom line people have to make choices that fit their goals & ambitions.

    What I find distasteful (agree with much of what club coach said, hateful/hurtful comments) in a public sharing is unnecessary comments without possibly knowing or understanding all that goes into coaching/managing a multidimensional organization that is serving the community/youth well. Yes, folks have the right to express their view, but if you’ve been or are unhappy you go to the source of who can have an influence on it and give them constructive feedback. You won’t always get what you want, nor satisfaction. The team offers many options for various levels of swimming & commitment, and we can & do make choices of what we feel fits us best.

    Best of luck on your new position & Santa Clara is getting a bright / hard working person. I look forward to seeing the changes that will occur in the future.

  35. ErinY says:
    16
    5

    As one of her former swimmers, the negative comments directed at Allison are extremely upsetting. I remember when Allison got to FCST- it was a team in transition, and in an extremely difficult place. Through the hard work of Allison and many others, the team grew and improved exponentially. With that team growth grew responsibilities as well. Allison may not have had time to oversee all of the workouts on the team (although there were many times when our workout would end, she would stay after to talk to the younger swimmers). However, she always encouraged us to cheer for and talk to the younger swimmers. She also stayed involved by making sure the younger groups had the best coaches she could find.

    As for her swimmers, I’ve never seen anyone have such a passion for their career. Allison dedicated her time here to improving our swimming and life skills. She wanted what was best for everyone, but she also wanted everyone to put 100% into whatever they did. She put her heart into it, and inspired her swimmers to do the same.

    In her time at FCST, Allison built an attitude of excellence. She instilled in her swimmers hard work, a good attitude, and respect for the team. It was a privilege to be able to swim under her. Good luck at your new team Allison, they’re lucky to have you and we’ll definitely miss you!

  36. CoachClassy says:
    5
    3

    Best wishes to Coach Allison as she heads into her next adventure! My spouse works for her. For all the comments I have heard about her I heard before they decided to accept a position with FCST. From day one and still going strong, this is the most they have grown as a coach and the happiest they have been at work. My spouse has been positively encouraged in everything they do at work. I look forward to FCST’s next hire and hope they continue to move in the direction of educating and improving all their staff, swimmers, and parents.

  37. Club Coach says:
    4
    4

    To all current/former FCST swimmers – your coaches (current/former), AB included, are invested in you and your success. Not one Lead Group coach didn’t spend days/nights thinking about how to make you better physically, mentally, and more. We chose this profression because we love swimming, and we love kids! Much of what is being discussed above is addressing the relationships away from the pool, and have nothing to do with any of the coaches commitment to you or the program.

    For those whose statements are false/incorrect -
    1) FCST has not been a 600+ team for 9yrs. Just 5-6 years ago it was a 300 member team, and this includes their masters swimmers which is a good size program.
    2) Recruiting was done by Lead coaches and volunteers who attended local summer league meets to “recruit” and market the team.
    3) To blame team spirit on the HC is silly. AB encouraged her Elite/Senior swimmers to interact with all of the younger swimmers. When she could, she offered them up to any coach who would to like borrow them (after their practice) to either talk about their experience at the OTC, Olympic Trials, Select Camps, etc. These kids would also stay and swim practices with our groups (10&U!). They loved it, and you can’t say that doesn’t create team spirit. The Red/White/Blue meet was another idea, although that idea came from a lead coach. We all shared ideas…some were used and some were not. Team spirit is about the whole team getting involved, if it’s not spirited enough, why not send over some ideas?
    4) No, AB didn’t HAVE to come to a practice that wasn’t her group. BUT, it was mentioned, and kids felt appreciated when it happened. Unfortunately, it didn’t happen as much as the kids would’ve liked, but AB had a lot on her plate. But to answer simply, yes, at one point, it was a goal for the groups to get a visit here and there and it really just didn’t pan out.

    To those who have not worked for/under AB -
    1) Please keep your speculations as to what happened behind the scenes, or what didn’t happen, at bay. Unless you worked for FCST on a full time basis, you cannot know how things were on a day to day basis. Coach turnover has been high since 2007-08. I could be wrong (a year off), but this was around the time AB took over as HC. No one has said it was all bc of AB, but there is no denial many left bc of her treatment towards them. Pink slips? Nada.
    2) Regardless of what happened behind the scenes, the coaching staff (former/current) are professionals. When we are on deck, we represent a team, not a person. Just as with any coaching job, you know the kids come first. All other issues we may have/had, we left off the deck as we knew how to behave as professionals.
    3) In stating AB could just be a poor manager, is speaking directly to her management of her staff in regards to professional/personal issues. You are talking about a staff that is mostly within a few years age of AB. She was not dealing with children or novice coaches. Many of the FT staff have been career coaches holding titles of Head AG coach/Developmental coach from teams prior to joining FCST. But the management of the staff was inconsistent. Coaches generally walked on egg shells so as to not do something to upset/irritate her in fear of how she would retaliate. And yes, these coaches spoke directly to her on many occasions about their personal issues. Nothing changed. To me, that sounds like an individual who just may not be the best manager of people.

    Remember this – It’s impossible for people to give specific examples of interactions they had with AB because then their identity would be known to the one person who they may still feel can/could hurt their career options in the future.

    As I said previously, FCST is full of amazing kids and families. Whoever gains this team will be very lucky and in good hands with the staff/board that remains.

  38. Brick Tamland says:
    5
    0

    I DONT KNOW WHAT WE’RE YELLING ABOUT!!!!!!

  39. mcmflyguy says:
    4
    1

    She is a really nice person. I don’t know her as a coach, my friend coaches there with her, and I’ve met her a few times. From time to time she would offer a suggestion for my training at meets. Super nice lady. Hope she does well at SC.

  40. Some Coach Not In TX says:
    7
    1

    Don’t know Allison, just have seen results. Impressive. And from the looks of it, a very fine job. As an observer, could it be that she strives and expects excellence out of swimmers and coaches? Anything less is unacceptable?

  41. AA says:
    8
    1

    You guys posting moronic thoughts are all a bunch of “idiots”, to quote Sir Charles Barkley. I don’t live anywhere near Houston and I’ve never met Allison or even heard of her, but the results speak for themselves. You are all concerned about the “how” instead of the “what”. The “what” is that Allison got results that put her in the top 1 percent of coaches, and she did it taking over a team that was not even close to as successful the first day she stepped on deck as the head coach as the last. The “how”, assuming she didn’t commit any crimes or abuse any swimmers, shouldn’t matter.

    Everyone is entitled to his/her opinion, and at the same time, successful people are true to themselves in order to get the best results. I’m sure Allison rubbed plenty of people the wrong way, but I’m also sure by looking at results that she stayed true to her thoughts and beliefs, and if she had compromised these, she may not be faced with as much negativity on this board, but she probably wouldn’t even be on this board because she would not have been as successful.

    Most people have no comprehension or understanding of how difficult it is to do what Allison did. Like not even a fraction of a percent of an understanding.

    Having seen the comments from her detractors, it’s a wonder Allison stayed around this long. It seems she’s moving to a place where parents have somewhat of an understanding of how elite club level swimming and coaching is supposed to function, and I’m sure this will be a well-needed and much welcomed cultural adjustment for Allison.

    Be thankful this goal oriented and successful coach stayed around as long as she did. Nine years is a long time to put up with this type of negativity from people you are devoting your life to help. Good luck Allison!

    • FCSTSWIMMOM says:
      4
      1

      Your comments are spot on. Everyone wants to believe their child is special, deserves attention, etc… Many on this team expect to receive it REGARDLESS of what training group their kid is in – REGARDLESS of the talent/dedication/potential. They wanted that attention from Allison. Most didn’t get it – how’s she supposed to give individual attention to several hundred kids?? She coaches the Elite group – you know, where the cream of the crop rises to… those few who’ve dedicated themselves to swim, to achieve the highest level of swimming possible. Of course that is where her focus is going to lie… and damn she’s good at it. She sees potential, culls it, encourages it, supports it, improves upon it. As my swimmer began making strides in lower groups – with other coaches on our team – she took notice. She reached out, she encouraged. When my swimmer went through a year of personal difficulty BEFORE she got to her group, Allison was a source of such compassion and support – it helped not only my swimmer, but this mother through a tough time. The accusations of her not caring are utterly ridiculous and false. That she couldn’t pay attention to every single swimmer is neither her fault… nor her job. Jealousy is a green-eyed monster, and this team is rampant with it.

      We are devastated to lose Allison, wish we had more time with her….and wish her all the best.

  42. Lane Four says:
    3
    1

    I can’t imagine what Allison will be thinking or feeling when she walks on the Santa Clara deck for the first time as a coach. The history and legacy from that club is unrivaled. The number of Olympic medalists and GOLD medalists is enough to shiver over. To now be a part of that history is unbelievable. Good for her!

  43. Club Coach says:
    2
    3

    Nothing more entertaining than a thread of “comments” from an array of individuals.

    We aren’t promised that we will all be treated the same…that we will all share the same experiences…or that we will all understand why “this” happened and that “didn’t”. Life’s a lot of things, but fair is not one of them.

    This thread has become tit for tat. Positive experiences vs Negative experiences…vs the “I’ve never had a personal experience” experiences (but I still have a comment).

    It’s not black and white. It’s actually pretty colorful.

    And I guarantee some pretty colorful things will come FCST’s way as well as AB’s way. Best wishes to both…

    End Scene.

  44. Jill Brown says:
    0
    2

    The success that coach Allison has brought FTSC will give them quite a few options for a new coach. Program was ok before but shes taken it to a different level

    The new coach will have their work cut out for them.

  45. BOURAOUI says:
    0
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    I have 2 kids swimming at Santa Clara Swim Club, New Allison coach will bring a new air and experience in our team and we have a great respect to FCST team.

  46. Sharon Power says:
    1
    0

    I was very sad to hear that Allison is leaving FCST and Gulf Swimming. In all of my dealings with her, she has been professional, demonstrated the utmost care for all athletes and acted with the highest level of integrity. Along with other Gulf Swimming Coach leaders, she has been an architect of change within Gulf Swimming. If an organization is to continue to improve, then changes must happen. Sometimes change is uncomfortable, a bit scary and can challenge individuals. I have no inside knowledge of FCST – only looking from the outside at an organization that continues to produce excellent athletes.
    Being a Head Coach my self, I know the trials and tribulations that accompany the job. Most people do not understand what it takes to get teenagers to commit, work hard and perform, let alone be in charge of a staff who must also be ‘coached’. How many people ‘love’ their boss every day? Sometimes the ‘Boss’ has to get on the case of their employees in order to ensure the job gets done at the highest level. I for one would have been disappointed in myself were I not to live up to the high standards that great performance demands. Time to put your ‘big boy’ pants on and get with the program!
    Being part of such a successful organization like FCST is a privilege. The coaches and swimmers who have had the opportunity to work with Allison may not realize just how fortunate they have been. We all know the words to the old song ‘you don’t know what you got ’till its gone’ will be ringing in Sugar Land for a long time to come.
    I for one, am very proud of having the opportunity to spend some time with Allison; respect her commitment, work ethic and dedication to the sport; and will always count her among my friends .
    Both Gulf Swimming and FCST have become richer for having Allison’s involvement, and while not everyone has what it takes to appreciate such a tough and driven woman, her effect on all of us has been profound.
    Allison, it will be our great loss, and Santa Clara’s great gain. I wish you all the best. You go Girl!

  47. Swim coach says:
    0
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    I am a head coach of a team with over 300swimmers. I currently leave my home early and get home around eight each day. I probably get about 20-50 emails a day. I try to provide an environment for my swimmers which will encourage them to reach their full potential. Not always the easiest thing to do. I can’t attend every single practice of a multi site team. Reading the above comments the coach can’t be all things to all people. Many times we are dealing with less than optimal conditions. I feel the team is doing pretty good if we have qualified, caring coaches who are on time and do their jobs. I don’t think ag parents understand the love and commitment we give to our swimmers. If you are unhappy or needing answers to a specific problem address it to the correct team person. I may not have all the answers but I always have an open door policy and try to be fair and a problem solver. Coaches have to be self directed, strong individuals or we could
    Don’t successfully do our jobs. Good luck to this outstanding woman coach

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