This week the ASCA World Clinic has been underway down in New Orleans, Louisiana. Tonight the annual awards banquet and hall of fame presentations were on the schedule, and Bruce Gemmell was announced as the ASCA Coach of the Year.
The ASCA Coach of the Year Award is given annually to coaches who have contributed the most towards American swimming excellence on the world level. The ASCA Board of the Directors votes on the winner of this award each year.
Gemmell is the first coach other than Bob Bowman, Eddie Reese or Greg Troy since 2002 to win this honor. Teri McKeever won the award back in 2002, still the only female coach to win the award. Gemmell took over as the Head Coach of the NCAP Georgetown Prep location, when Yuri Suguiyama took the Cal Men’s assistant coaching job.
Gemmell was instrumental in guiding Katie Ledecky to four gold medals in Barcelona this past summer, where two of her swims were new world records (8:13.86, 800 freestyle & 15:36.53, 1500 freestyle). She went on to be named the Female Swimmer of the World Championships.
Gemmell has also has coached his own son, Andrew Gemmell, to an Olympic berth in 2012 in the 1500m freestyle.
There were four finalsits for this award this year, include Gemmell. All the finalists had coached their American swimmer to a World Championship gold medal this past summer. They included:
Rick DeMont (Matt Grevers, 100 back gold)
Todd Schmitz (Missy Franklin, six gold medals)
Greg Troy (Ryan Lochte, three gold medals)
The first ASCA Coach of the Year was given to James “Doc” Counsilman in 1961.