Coaches Ron Aitken and Brent Arckey Will Accompany US Olympic Team to Hawaii

Lindsay Mintenko, the managing director of the USA Swimming National Team division, says that the expansion of the U.S. coaching staff for the Olympics to include 8 assistants will not be the standard going forward.

“Unlike previous Games, we had credentials remaining in our allotment and chose to use them in the most efficient and beneficial way possible for the team,” Mintenko told SwimSwam on Monday in an email. “In this case, that allowed us to bring an additional two coaches to help our team navigate what is going to be the most unique Olympic Games ever, with a large team!”

The U.S. will take 50 pool swimmers (26 women and 24 men) to the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. That’s bigger than recent teams, with 45 pool swimmers named to the team in 2016 and 47 pool swimmers named to the team in 2012.

There will be more pressure on the larger-than-normal staff, as the team won’t be accompanied to their first training camp in Hawaii by home coaches, which is the traditional practice. This means that the 10 pool coaches, plus 2 additional coaches in attendance (more on that later), will be responsible for on-deck training of all 50 athletes for 5 weeks, instead of the usual 2 (of course with input from their home coaches).

Also unusual this year is that athletes have the opportunity to go home, pack, and regroup before heading out to the training camp. Often, athletes have to leave directly from Trials to the Olympics, save for a few who live in geographically favorable places. While the rescheduled Olympic Trials moved them a week earlier in the cycle as compared to previous years, USA Swimming had a few extra days built in anyway – the original camp in 2020 was scheduled to begin in Palo Alto on July 5, which was the same week after the end of Trials.

Additional Hawaii Coaches

In addition to the 10 coaches formally named, the staff will be supported by two other coaches for the two-plus week portion of the camp in Hawaii.

Ron Aitken of the Sandpipers of Nevada and Brent Arckey who coaches the Sarasota Sharks will also attend the camp.

Aitken, the most controversial omission from the formal Olympic staff, directly coaches three swimmers who have qualified for the US team: distance swimmers Erica Sullivan, Katie Grimes, and Bella Sims. In addition, he was the youth coach of 4×100 free relay Olympian Bowe Becker, who represents the team at national meets but doesn’t currently train there. A 5th Olympian, Blake Pieroni in the men’s 400 free relay, represents the club in national competition but has never regularly trained there.

Arckey, meanwhile, is the coach of Emma Weyant, who won the women’s 400 IM at the Olympic Trials.

With a number of young pre-collegiate swimmers on the team this year, Aitken and Arckey’s experience working with age group and high school-aged swimmers will be crucial, especially with families not able to travel to Tokyo this year.

Normally, the camp is packed with home coaches, but this year, those numbers have been limited because of the ongoing pandemic. In this setting, Aitken and Arckey are not considered “home coaches,” though they are the home coaches of athletes on the team.

Training Camp Details

  • Training Camp 1 – June 27-July 12, 2021 – Honolulu, Hawaii
  • Training Camp 2 – July 13-19, 2021 – Tokyo, Japan
  • International Training (move into the Olympic Village) – July 21-23, 2021 – Tokyo, Japan
  • Olympic Games Opening Ceremony – July 23, 2021
  • Olympic Games – Swimming competition – July 24-August 1, 2021
  • Return home – August 2, 2021

Tokyo 2020 US Olympic Swimming Coaching Staff

  • Greg Meehan, Stanford – Head Women’s Coach (Pool)
  • Dave Durden, Cal – Head Men’s Coach (Pool)
  • Catherine Kase, Unattached – Head Coach (Open Water)
  • Peter Andrew, Michael Andrew Swim Academy – Assistant Coach (Pool)
  • Jack Bauerle, Georgia – Assistant Coach (Pool)
  • Bob Bowman, Arizona State – Assistant Coach (Pool)
  • Todd DeSorbo, Virginia – Assistant Coach (Pool)
  • Ray Looze, Indiana – Assistant Coach (Pool)
  • Teri McKeever, Cal – Assistant Coach (Pool)
  • Anthony Nesty, Florida – Assistant Coach (Pool)
  • Gregg Troy, Gator Swim Club – Assistant Coach (Pool)

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Steve Friederang
10 months ago

Peter Andrew “can” learn a lot in going to the Olympics. He can learn how to teach his ONE swimmer to pull with the bottom arm first under his body in freestyle, for example. He can learn how to pace his ONE swimmer so he has something left in the 200 I.M. instead of a ridiculous 30.0, perhaps the worst percentage of a swimmer’s best 50 free in the finish of a 200 I.M. in history. He might also learn to improve the knees in breaststroke of his ONE swimmer or train him for the 200 instead of the 100 with that slow a turnover. What he can bring to the team is how to impart the best genetics, perhaps… Read more »

NCAA>ISL
10 months ago

No Eddie Reese?? I thought he was retiring after Tokyo

Coach
Reply to  NCAA>ISL
10 months ago

I am sure he turned down the position. I don’t think he’s traveled with Team USA in awhile.

Guerra
10 months ago

Below is Tim Hinchey’s reaction to Bob Bowman’s sexual abuse scandal in 2018. Not only does Hinchey dismiss the backbone of USA Swimming, the member clubs and their coaches, in hindsight the addition of Bowman to the US Olympic coaching staff shows how insincere his 2018 comments were. This is a slap in the face to club coaches, sexual abuse survivors and to the non-college member clubs….

Asked how he would have handled punishment during a similar situation during his time as CEO of the Colorado Rapids of Major League Soccer, Hinchey answered, “I’d like to think that that’s someone who wouldn’t be working with the Rapids.”

“Hinchey also said that properly handling sexual abuse issues are at the top… Read more »

Last edited 10 months ago by Guerra
Coach
Reply to  Guerra
10 months ago

It’s time to clean house, and that starts with our current board of directors.

Swamfan
10 months ago

Anyone know which island they are going to and if any practices will be open to the public?

Greg
Reply to  Swamfan
10 months ago

U of H and a few other sites on Oahu.

Diana LaMar
10 months ago

Great move. The ladies of Sandpipers are deserving of having their coach with them – these young ladies have worked hard and are the future

Nty
11 months ago

BOB BOWMAN NEEDS TO GO TO JAIL

Joel Lin
11 months ago

Seems perhaps the overlords of USA Swimming have been reading these threads. Club coaches & the clubs need to flex more. The ballast of US swimming prowess always has been, is & always will be youth development at the many terrific clubs here. Once upon a time it was the Mission Viejo Natadores, Cincinnati Pepsi Marlins, Lakeside, Gators in Boston & Tucson Farmer John doing incredible things. Now it is many many multiples of that. The NCAA coaches develop talent, no doubt, but they also harvest from this embarrassment of riches produced by the clubs. This time USA Swimming lost sight of all that.

Riccardo
Reply to  Joel Lin
10 months ago

What’s so dumb is that this should never be an adversarial relationship. They make it that way by freezing out club coaches.

DMacNCheez
Reply to  Joel Lin
10 months ago

Given what we found out about Joe Bernal I’m not sure you want to throw the Gators in that mix…

Joel Lin
Reply to  DMacNCheez
10 months ago

I overtly wrote in Gators In Boston & leave at that. I’m not a fan of washing away the great swimmers like David Berkoff & Scott Jaffa who repped USA swimming because of all that insipid stuff a coach did. Ditto that the prior NCAP, coaches at that club like Flanagan contributed greatly as well & all that deserves a positive note in history, has nothing to do with the other guy.

Swim3057
Reply to  Joel Lin
10 months ago

I’m not sure that you can include Berkoff in the Gator developed group as he switched over once he got to Harvard. He came from Shoulbergs program to Harvard. Jaffe was homegrown as was Bobby Hackett who was a NY Gator before the program moved north with Bernal.

Swammer
11 months ago

Maybe other swimmers did this at trials, and I didn’t notice, but I thought Phoebe Bacon showed a lot of class by wearing her Wisconsin cap to race, but took it off to reveal her NCAP club cap under it when being interviewed. A great way to represent two teams who both helped to get her to the Olympics.

AEH
Reply to  Swammer
10 months ago

Bryce Mefford wore his Cal cap, but in the 100 back, he had his Sierra Marlins club team cap under. In the 200 back, he had the cap from the summer recreational team that he started with, Glen Oaks Sea Lions, under the Cal cap. His mom has been coaching there for 30+ years.

PVSFree
Reply to  AEH
10 months ago

Woah repping your summer league team, 100% respect that, that’s awesome

Swamfan
Reply to  AEH
10 months ago

Summer league swimming? That’s so awesome

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder/co-owner 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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