Bolles School Hires Peter Verhoef as New Head Swimming Coach

Peter Verhoef has been announced as the new head swim coach at The Bolles School. He’ll take over for Jon Sakovich, who announced in September that he would resign at the end of 2018. Verhoef’s tenure will officially begin on January 7th.

Verhoef has spent the last 3 years as a Seniro Coach and High Performance Director at SwimMAC Carolina in Charlotte. There he worked with the Senior 1 program (the club’s top 15-18 year olds program) and coach athletes to National Junior Team positions and to win Junior National Championships. The club also produced the most Scholastic All-Americas in the country.

For the 6 years prior to that, Verhoef worked in David Marsh’s Team Elite program before Marsh (and his elite training group). That group won 8 medals at the 2016 Olympics. He concurrently served as an assistant coach at Division II Queens University from 2013-2015, including during their 2015 NCAA Championship season.

“I am thrilled to have the opportunity to be a part of an internationally known swim program like Bolles and to work with young men and women to help them achieve their best level of success,” Verhoef said.

Verhoef swam at the University of Georgia as an undergrad, where he graduated with a double major in Management and MIS in 2007. He was a finalist at the 2004 and 2008 Olympic Trials and swam as a team captain at the 2007 World Championships. His biggest international success was a silver at the 2005 World University Games.

Earlier this month, the Bolles School won its 28th-consecutive Florida State Championship in the girls’ meet, and 31st-consecutive boys’ meet. The school swims in Class 1A, which is dominated by private prep schools and very small public schools. The Bolles program is historically one of the best high school programs in American swimming history, having produced 13 Olympic medalists (winning 20 total medals), in addition to 9 other Olympians who weren’t students but trained at the Bolles club team.

The coaching job has often been a stepping stone to major collegiate positions, especially at the University of Florida, where the recently-retired Gregg Troy was a former head coach at Bolles, as is current Florida head women’s coach Jeff Poppell. Virginia Tech’s new head coach, Sergio Lopez, was also a recent head coach at Bolles. Bolles coaches and former coaches have had a presence at every Olympics since 1988.

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From the Bolles announcement: “One of Peter’s many objectives with SwimMAC, which he looks forward to bringing to Bolles, is an emphasis on a culture of unity among the coaches and student-athletes in order to promote long term development of excellence in competition and beyond.

This, in and of itself, would be a fantastic achievement.

Sounds like a great hire. Hope he is smart enough to put his own person in charge of the non-Bolles-HS group and that he says what he means and means what he says, and backs it up with actions. Good luck coach and welcome to Jacksonville!

Bolles fan

I heard that Brent Arckey from Sarasota interviewed. Given their history of success and that he is from Florida, I’m surprised that he didn’t get the job….curious

what is going on?

Bolles fan I also noticed that. Something fishy seems to be going on with that program. For example, the Katz family (Austin/Arik) left the program after being a staple on it for years. Now the youngest swims at another Sarasota team. After noticing that, I looked into it a little deeper. They have had a bunch of kids leave the program. The sharks have also had numerous coaching changes over the past few months, including Sherwood Watts who had been with the program for years. Anyone know wht is going on here?


Given their track record I’m sure that they are doing what is absolutely best for the program. They have put a lot of thought into this and prior coaches like Troy were part of the process. Restructuring isn’t a bad thing especially when you have such a successfull head coach that is simply making moves that are best for themseves at this time in their career. As far as naming names of kids or people that leave the program there can be all types of personal reasons from finances to relocating as a family. Nothing “fishy” to me. Looking forward to seeing traditions continue while a new coach is handed the torch and brings in new ideas. I’m sure Verhoef… Read more »


a great hire. Peter Verhoef is an extremely caring person and in the culture that he wants to build, everyone will benefit. And not just in swimming performance either.


Wow, Charlotte will miss you. Best of luck to Peter and new challenges at Bolles!

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder of He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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