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.
Paul Silver has had an illustrious career that spans well over 40 years coaching up-and-coming swimmers to success, and that continued in December as the Marlins of Raleigh swimmers competed at the Winter Junior Championships – East in Greensboro, N.C.
Silver, who spent two years as an assistant with the Bolles School Sharks and then 17 as the head coach of the Raleigh Swimming Association, formed the Marlins of Raleigh in the summer of 2001 and has been leading the club to sustained success ever since, including earning Gold Medal recognition from USA Swimming in 2017, 2018 and 2019.
Among the highlights from the Marlins of Raleigh swimmers at Winter Juniors were Wells Walker, an 18-year-old NC State commit, dropping lifetime bests to place seventh in the boys’ 50 free, 13th in the 100 free, and leading off the club’s 800 free relay with another PB of 1:38.93.
The 800 free relay squad placed ninth in a time of 6:40.61, with Walker joined by 16-year-old Hudson DeGroote (1:40.38), 18-year-old David Quaresma (1:39.58) and 17-year-old Wilson Tuttle (1:41.72). That was the team’s top relay finish, though they finished 14th or better across all five boys’ events.
Quaresma, who is committed to UNC, followed up a prelim PB of 1:38.33 in the 200 free by clocking 1:37.63 in the final to take 20th. DeGroote also had a very strong showing in the 500 free (4:29.18) to place 27th, while Tuttle took 18th in the 1650 free (15:31.17).
Mason Hetzell, a UNC Wilmington commit, was another standout for the Marlins as he swam to a lifetime best of 54.66 in the 100 breast, placing 10th, and added best times in the 100 fly and 200 IM. The 17-year-old also dropped some blistering splits on the club’s medley relay, producing a 24.77 50 breast leg on the 200 medley and a 54.00 split on the 400 medley.
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Congratulations Coach Silver. I was a lifeguard at Optimist Club Pool for several years in the mid 80’s when RSA brought in this new young brash head coach. I watched you many hours on the pool deck and could tell then that you were a great coach.
Credit to MOR Site coaches Mike Laubacher who coached Quaresma and Christian Smith along with Coach John Fischetti who coached Hetzell at Jrs. East