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

  79 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.

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


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swimcoach
2 years 3 months ago

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.

kevin m
2 years 3 months ago

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!

Johnny
2 years 3 months ago

What position/role/title will Allison be assuming at SCSC?

Sue Chen
2 years 3 months ago

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.

SCSCfan
2 years 3 months ago

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

2 years 3 months ago

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

Ann Nominous
2 years 3 months ago

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
2 years 3 months ago

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
2 years 3 months ago

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
2 years 3 months ago

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
2 years 3 months ago

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.

Robert
2 years 3 months ago

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
2 years 3 months ago

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

COACHA
2 years 3 months ago

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
2 years 3 months ago

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
2 years 3 months ago

>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.

coach alec
2 years 3 months ago

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

Anonymous
2 years 3 months ago

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.

Fred Wagner
2 years 3 months ago

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
2 years 3 months ago

Thanks Fred, you only get the full truth when you sign your name to it.

anon
2 years 3 months ago

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
2 years 3 months ago

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
2 years 3 months ago

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
2 years 3 months ago

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!

John Doe
2 years 3 months ago

Congrats Allison, well deserved!

John Doe
2 years 3 months ago

Allison is a trailblazer in the sport, good luck in with your next step.

ColinH
2 years 3 months ago

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.

PsychoDad
2 years 3 months ago

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.

Becky
2 years 3 months ago

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!

William T. Sprague, III
2 years 3 months ago

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.

Summer League City
2 years 3 months ago

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
2 years 3 months ago

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.

FCST Dad
2 years 3 months ago

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.

A Proud FCST Parent
2 years 3 months ago

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.

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