Background John Donald Ferrara, born on August 30, 1995, grew up in Livonia, Michigan with his parents, Linda and Chris, and his brothers, Adam and Eric. He started swimming with a summer league team at age 7, due to a near-drowning in a friend’s pool. At age 9, he started to swim year round for a local YMCA, and then at age 11, he joined Livonia Community Swim Club.
Age Group Swimming Under Joe Bublitz at LCSC, Ferrara made his way through the ranks of Michigan swimming. At age 12, he qualified for the state meet, eventually winning state titles; three in the 200 backstroke, and two in the 100 backstroke. When he was 14, he went to Central Zone Championships. Ferrara qualified for Junior and Winter Senior nationals at age 17, and competed in the Summer Junior National meets in 2012 and 2013.
High School While being on the honor roll, Ferrara swam on the Boy’s Livonia Stevenson High School Varsity Swim Team under Jeff Shoemaker. During his time at Livonia Stevenson, he qualified for the Division I high school state meet all four years, achieved All-State eight times, and was a scholar-athlete from 2011-2013. In the 2012-2013 season, his senior year, Ferrara got voted in as a captain, was selected as part of the MISCA Dream Team, achieved All-American status in three events, led his team to a Kensington conference championship and helped his team achieve third place overall in points at state meet. Individually at the 2013 state meet, Ferrara briefly held the 100 backstroke state record and finished 2nd in the 100 back. Ferrara graduated summa cum laude.
College Career Freshman Year Ferrara joined the Oakland Golden Grizzlies in Rochester Hills, Michigan in the fall of 2013. Under head coach Pete Hovland, Ferrara lowered his times in the 100 and 200 backstroke and the 200 IM. He helped the Golden Grizzlies win the first Horizon League championship in the school’s history, placing 3rd in the 200 backstroke and 5th in the 100 backstroke. Ferrara is majoring in pre-physical therapy.