CAAT Announces Addition of 4 Coaches from KING

The Central Area Aquatics Team (CAAT) in Seattle, Washington has formally announced the addition of 4 coaches to their staff. The coaches all come from the former KING Aquatic staff, where all-but-one coach resigned after CEO Sean Hutchison was publicly accused by former World Record holder Ariana Kukors of grooming her from a young age and later sexually abusing her.

Only 1 member of the KING coaching staff remains on the roster to serve under new head coach Jay Benner. Much of the rest of the staff joined CAAT – including the 4 named in the press release:

New CAAT coaches, and their new roles and locations:

  • Tommy Cunningham – Senior and Senior Performance – North
  • Keith Ure – Agee Group and Age Group Performance – Kent
  • Tomas Mendez – Senior, Senior Performance – Evergreen
  • Bill Inglis – Age Group and Age Group Performance – North

In addition, CAAT is expanding into new practice locations and expanding hours at existing pools as part of an effort to absorb more than 100 swimmers who have moved to CAAT from KING. CAAT says that the increased membership will allow them to offer more options to their members, not fewer.

CAAT has added pool space at the Evergreen Pool, Kent-Meridian Pool, Woodridge Swim Club, Newport Hills Swim Club, and are expanding hours at Seattle University and Mercerwood Shore Club. Most of these sites are former KING training locations.

CAAT finished 28th at March’s Federal Way Sectional Championships in the overall team standings. That’s a meet that KING won by 19 points over the Fort Collins Area Swim Team.

The full CAAT press release is below:

CAAT, a year round club swimming team in Seattle that values community, teamwork and performance, announced a significant expansion to the club today, adding four new practice pool locations, expanded hours at existing practice pools and the hiring of four veteran lead coaches and several assistant coaches.  

The pools being added are Evergreen Pool, Kent-Meridian Pool, Mercer Island Beach Club, and Newport Hills Swim Club.  The team is also expanding hours at Seattle University and Mercerwood Shore Club. Coaches Tommy Cunningham, Keith Ure, Tomas Mendez, and Bill Inglis joined the coaching staff. Their bios can be found at https://swimcaat.org .

CAAT, with its more than two-decade history of operating out of the central area of Seattle, will expand into South King County with these additions and now has the pool and coaching capacity to more than double the team size.  Since coming on to lead CAAT 4 years ago, Kenneth Spencer has been building an organization that both values performance and community outreach and inclusivity.

Since coming on as head coach, the team has stepped up its role in supporting regional swimming leading up to hosting one of the premiere meets for USA Swimming, the Speedo Senior Sectionals, in March at the King County Aquatics Center in Federal Way. The meet drew over 1000 swimmers from much of the western half of the country.  

CAAT is very focused on growing the swimming community – and being active in the communities where the team practices. Through Diversity and Inclusion initiatives, the team commits its USA Swimming Swim-A-Thon fundraising to its Financial Aid program.  The team has also actively reached out to grow the team’s diversity as well as help bring athletes to the sport who might not be able to participate in year-round swimming.

CAAT applies 100% of its fundraising dollars to its Diversity & Inclusion programs, having raised over $120,000 over the past two years alone.  CAAT received a Gold Medal Award from the USA Swimming Foundation for the most recent Swim-A-Thon completed – this means of teams in the same size category, CAAT raised the most funds and this is due to the dedication of the swimmers, coaches and their families to further the mission of outreach and inclusion.  

“This expansion is a big step for our team.  We have built a program at CAAT that encompasses performance and teamwork and we are excited to expand this to a new set of coaches, swimmers and their families.  Swimming is about more than performance and our program emphasizes teamwork, determination, and execution as well as values around character and citizenship that will sustain swimmers in the pool and beyond,” commented Head Coach Kenneth Spencer.  

CAAT will be hiring administrative staff and more assistant coaches in the coming months to support this growth.  

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Debbie Glenn

Why did everyone leave KING? It doesn’t make sense to me that CAAT would hire those 4 coaches en mas. It seems they knew, or should have known, what Hutchinson was doing. Why would all of those swimmers leave KING to go with them?

SWIMPARENT

See the article from Braden Keith for more information. https://swimswam.com/michael-brooks-resigns-as-king-head-coach-after-club-sale/ The comments section will be most enlightening to how people were feeling about why they left and/or stayed. It had much less to do with the allegations against Sean Hutchinson and much more to do with how the whole matter was dealt with (or not dealt with) in the weeks that followed. Some parents left immediately following the news, many others were in a “lets wait and see” mode since Sean wasn’t actively or on deck. Quickly following the news about Sean, word came that one of Sean’s friend’s and business partners was trying to buy the team, and that was supported by then head coach Michael Brooks. After 5… Read more »

Sccoach

Why should they have known?

dmswim

From what I’ve heard from someone on the team at the time, you could tell something was going on from observing Hutchinson and Kukors closely on deck.

CraigH

I heard rumors about it from 2 states away, back in the day. How can you not hear them when it’s happening in your own back yard?

123swam

Well when you heard the rumors, did you think of reaching out to the king coaching staff at the time or to usaswimming? Or did you just dismiss it as rumors?

Many programs aren’t able to have all of their groups practice on deck at the same time, so unless someone brings it to someone’s attention, it might not be as obvious when you aren’t at the same practices. Ari speaking out made it obvious and that’s probably one of the reasons why things happened recently.

Col. Trautman

Watch for the changes and try and keep up. – Marty McFly

Swimfan

Sounds like a planned exodus to me,shady.

Sccoach

Lol it’s not shady. This happens to almost all club teams when they are associated with a coach who is accused of sexual assault. You think swimmers and coaches want to wear the KING logo after being associated with Hutchison?

2Fat4Speed

Is Doug Djang with KING still?

Parent

Doug is now coaching at Phoenix Swim Club.

SWIMPARENT

Doug Djang is the 1 coach remaining.

See the article from Braden Keith for more information.
https://swimswam.com/michael-brooks-resigns-as-king-head-coach-after-club-sale/

2Fat4Speed

Wow, how did I miss that! I check this site a few times a day. Thanks for pointing me to it.

TSwim

According to the King website he is

123swam

Looks like he isn’t on website anymore…

King Mom

Doug is taking his planned time off to work with the Junior Nationals Training Camp and fulfill other national/international obligations and opportunities. Doug is being provided full pay and time to fulfill his Nationals obligations and step away from the KING transition drama for a few months. We are very much looking forward to having him back on the deck full time in August. Hopefully, all this negativity will go away, those who left the team will rise above the spite, and we can remember what is important – the swimmers.

Doesn’t make sense

Why would they pull him off the website if he’s just taking a leave of a few months? That doesn’t make any sense.

Fishy

Yeah, that does smell fishy. Was that communicated by Jay or Terry?

123swam

How long has the time off been planned for? Is he working with the junior nationals training camp in an official role? Usaswimming website isn’t the easiest to navigate anymore and I couldn’t find anything about that particular training camp. What do you mean Nationals obligations?

STILL AT KING

Glad he will be taking some time for himself and his family. I don’t think that he has ever been missing from the King pool deck he has always been so dedicated! We will miss him and look forward to his return. In the meantime, it is time to move forward and support all swimmer, all teams, and let the negativity go. Well said!

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder of SwimSwam.com. 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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