Competitor Coach of the Month: Bruce Marchionda & TAC Titans

Competitor Coach of the Month is a recurring SwimSwam feature shedding light on a U.S.-based coach who has risen above the competition. As with any item of recognition, Competitor Coach of the Month is a subjective exercise meant to highlight one coach whose work holds noteworthy context – perhaps a coach who was clearly in the limelight, or one whose work fell through the cracks a bit more among other stories. If your favorite coach wasn’t selected, feel free to respectfully recognize them in our comment section.

Clubs across the United States are first and foremost limited by how the coronavirus pandemic is impacting pool availability and youth sports gathering rules. And while every state, city, and club has its own landscape to address, it’s clear that the TAC Titans are making the most of their opportunities.

Coach Bruce Marchionda‘s TAC Titans competed several times in the month of August, with some very headline-grabbing results.

16-year-old Claire Curzan was the show-stealer, as she often is. The rising high school junior (ranked #1 in the nation for her recruiting class) blasted a 49.73 in the 100-yard butterfly, becoming the youngest woman ever to break 50 seconds in the race. The teenager sits #5 in history in that event, where just six women have broken 50 seconds.

That swim was one of four for Curzan at the TAC Titans Invite from August 6-9. She also went 21.61 in the 50 free, 47.76 in the 100 free, and 51.42 in the 100 back. Curzan has previously been a tick faster in those three races (21.51/47.23 in free; 51.01 in back), but her August times are still elite-level times for 16-year-olds.

17-year-old Lance Norris (also a rising junior ranked inside the top 20 nationally for his recruiting class) also had a number of big swims. Norris swam some distance races at the TAC Titans Invite, going 4:23.80 in the 500 free, 3:51.57 in the 400 IM and 15:05.89 in the 1650 free. That included a 16-second drop in the mile and a 1.3-second drop in the IM.

A week later, Norris competed again at the TAC Titans Challenge. Taking on a much more sprint-based lineup, Norris hit personal-bests in the 200 free (1:39.34), 100 free (46.37), 50 free (21.41), 100 back (49.38) and 200 IM (1:48.68). That included his first-ever 200 IM under 1:50 (a four-second drop) and his first-ever 200 free under 1:40.

Yet another star junior, Charlotte Hookswam at both meets as well. At the TAC Titans Invite, Hook dropped almost five seconds off her 500 free, going 4:41.83 to challenge Claire Tuggle for the top 500 free time in the nation for the recruiting class of 2022. In that same meet, Hook improved her 200 fly, which already led all class of 2022 recruits, from 1:53.70 to 1:53.49.

That came in a busy meet lineup with six swims. And within a week, Hook was back at the TAC Titans Challenge, going 1:53.93 in the 200 fly to once again challenge her best time. Hook also came within a tenth of improving her lifetime-best in the 50 free (she was 22.93).

Those were just three of the many TAC Titans to shine in the month of August.


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Texas swims in a short pool
1 year ago

One of the best in the business!

1 year ago

Claire is gonna look good in an NC State cap!

Reply to  AuggieBuschFan
1 year ago

I’m hearing it’s down to UVA and Stanford.

Texas swims in a short pool
Reply to  swimapologist
1 year ago

Who are you hearing this from… Its tiring hearing people make such claims when they actually have no inside information.

Reply to  Texas swims in a short pool
1 year ago

If you tired either take a nap or dont read any comments. She will look great and swim fast where ever she goes!

Texas swims in a short pool
Reply to  Ladyvoldisser
1 year ago

I agree. just frustrating to see people make claims who don’t even know her or her intentions

Gator Chomp
Reply to  Texas swims in a short pool
1 year ago

Do you know her intentions? Or are you just wanting everyone to continue to believe that she’s going to end up at NC State?

Relax – you don’t know where she’s going either, you’re just a fan like the rest of us. Don’t take it too seriously just because the speculation/rumors aren’t naming your school

Reply to  Texas swims in a short pool
1 year ago

I have no idea where she is looking but I would think with Braden taking over the spring group at nc state. She would at least consider it.

Reply to  Swimfan
1 year ago

I don’t have any idea either but I’ve found most kids have strong feelings one way or the other about going to school that close to home. I’d expect NC State for her would come down to “do I want to go to college where I grew up and my parents live?”

X swimmer
1 year ago

Michael Cotter is another one, fastest 200 free in rising junior class when sophomore ranks came out and dropped more time this summer

Reply to  X swimmer
1 year ago

Yup! Michael is definitely swimming well! Looking forward to seeing him progress.

1 year ago


Reply to  Ladyvoldisser
1 year ago

New TAC 100 fly open record also set by Titan Russell Exum in August, as well. These Titans gonna be fun to watch this fall!

1 year ago

TAC is clearly taking care of their business. If you’ve been to their pool (which can support training and lessons while hosting meets) you see the advertisements, concession stand, swim shop, etc. They have true business people and are able to host big meets with their own pool and area. It’s a huge opportunity in the booming metro area. Glad to see they can make the most of it. Just not feasible with most of the clubs across the country.

1 year ago

Did the TAC kids swim fast and kick butt in the last month and a half? Yes, they were great. Congrats to them.
Did the TAC kids likely have 2X more opportunities to train than most teams in the US? Yes to that.
Did the TAC kids have 3X more opportunities to compete than most teams in the US? Yes to that, too.
Just to add some context …

Reply to  HeadTimer
1 year ago

Irrelevant to the fact that VERY few clubs in the nation are anywhere near this club’s level

Jennifer Mihalik
1 year ago

Bruce is a great coach. TAC is lucky to have him and Claire and every other swimmer on TAC will continue to improve if they follow his plan. He coached me from the age of 14- 20 and I went from being a sectionals or AAAA swimmer to an All-American at Clemson.

Paul Gold
1 year ago

Ask Bruce about Western Kentucky!

About Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson swam for nearly twenty years. Then, Jared Anderson stopped swimming and started writing about swimming. He's not sick of swimming yet. Swimming might be sick of him, though. Jared was a YMCA and high school swimmer in northern Minnesota, and spent his college years swimming breaststroke and occasionally pretending …

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