After four seasons as an assistant at Georgia Tech, swim-blogger extraordinnaire Chris DeSantis has accepted a job overseas in Denmark as the head coach with the club Sigma Swim after the 2012-2013 college season.
DeSantis, who first rose to fame with the legendary Flo Swimming, leads the recruiting efforts at Georgia Tech, including signing the #6-ranked recruiting class in the country in 2011, according to CollegeSwimming.com. Among the swimmers DeSantis has specifically trained at Georgia Tech includes Andrew Kosic, who last season was the fastest freshman at the ACC Championships in both the 50 and 100 free. He also worked with Nico van Duijn, who is now the Swiss National Record holder in the 100 fly (breaking the mark of Dominik Meichtry).
His real specialty, though, is breaststrokers: he coached Anton Lagerqvist to the 2012 ACC title in the 200 breaststroke.
This move returns DeSantis to his ancestral home base of Denmark, where he has developed phenomenal connections with the elite members of their coaching community. His club, referred to casually as “Sigma,” is north of the capital Copenhagen. It is a joint effort between the clubs in the affluent suburbs of Allerod and Birkerod, and specifically caters to elite talent (junior and senior level swimmers).
DeSantis will be the head coach alongside current coach Simon Winther. DeSantis’ focus will specifically be on sprints and strokes, and after the departure of Winnie Wildeboer to join her husband Paulus, who took a high-level job in Australia, he will spend the summer coaching the juniors before moving on to the seniors.
Among the swimmers who officially represent the club include Mathias Gydesen, Lotte Friis, Mads Glaesner and Pernille Blume, all of whom were Danish Olympians. None of the four trained with the club on a full-time basis on the way to London, but they all do make regular appearances at practices and represent the program at national meets.
Friis recently returned to the club after a year away to begin the development of a professional group that the club aspires to build. They hope to work in parallel with the nearby National Training Center, except that Sigma will not be limited to only Danish swimmers. In summary: this project is designed to only work with the best-of-the-best in Denmark (they put 7 swimmers on the Junior National Team last year, and sent two to Euro Juniors).
DeSantis has a previous college stop as an assistant coach at Penn. He plans to continue running his current website, The Swim Brief.