The American Swimming Coaches’ Association (ASCA) has appointed Jennifer LaMont as its new CEO. LaMont becomes the first female CEO in the history of the organization, which was founded in 1958.
ASCA is a professional organization for swim coaches in the United States that, among other activities, provides training, certification, and clinics for their members.
Along with the announcement of the organization’s new leader, ASCA unrolled the concept of a “new ASCA” that will include expanded membership services, more coaches clinics, a reformatting of certification courses, and more support to new coaches who enter the profession.
LaMont is the organization’s 3rd CEO since John Leonard retired at the end of 2019. Leonard had been CEO for 35 years. Steve Roush was the first replacement, but he resigned after about 9 months in charge. Former Ohio State head coach Bill Wadley replaced Roush, but he too lasted only a few months, ultimately resigning in January under a cloud of personal issues.
LaMont is a former swimmer for the Cincinnati Marlins and a collegiate All-American swimmer at USC. With the Trojans, she swam as a teammate of Teri McKeever, another pioneering female in the sport who is the first and only woman to serve as the head coach of a U.S. swimming team at the Olympic Games.
Among the coaches LaMont swam for include ASCA Hall of Fame inductees Dennis Pursley, Frank Busch, Skip Kenney, Jay Fitzgerald, and Don LaMont.
She was a three-time Ohio High School State Champion and State Record breaker for Walnut Hills High School.
While LaMont herself doesn’t list much experience as a swim coach on her resume, she brings a new level of advocacy and professional organizing experience to the role that has been lacking from prior presidents: she has spent the last 17 years as the Chief of Staff for the Broward Teachers Union, the United Teachers of Dade, and for the union for nurses and doctors at Jackson Health System in Miami, SEIU. Prior to that she served in communications, organizational development and public relations roles for the United Teachers of Dade.
“We couldn’t be more excited to announce Jennifer as our new CEO,” said Mike Koleber, the President of the ASCA Board of Directors and Head Coach/Owner at Nitro Swimming in Austin, Texas. “Our Board is looking to take ASCA in a new and exciting direction, and Jennifer brings so many skills that will help us do that. She has a deep devotion to the sport of swimming and her enthusiasm is contagious.”
Sports is a common theme in LaMont’s household. Son Drake is a Graduate Assistant at Texas Tech University pursuing a basketball coaching career after being a two-time captain on the Western Michigan basketball team, and son Drew was an all-conference basketball player at Indian River State College. She also calls TJ Slaton a “son.” He is a young man who has lived with the LaMont family since ninth grade, played football at the University of Florida, and is now eligible for the 2021 NFL draft. Husband Dave LaMont is a veteran sportscaster who has appeared on ABC, ESPN and FOX Sports, among other networks.
Past ASCA CEOs
- Bob Ousley – 1972-1983
- Keith Sutton – 1983-1985
- John Leonard – 1985-2019
- Steve Roush – 2020-2020
- Bill Wadley – 2020-2021
- Jennifer LaMont – 2021-Present