The First Colony Swim Team in the southwestern suburbs of Houston, Texas has announced the hiring of Peter Wright as the club’s new head coach. He will take over for Allison Beebe, who is heading to the Santa Clara Swim Club at the end of the summer.
Wright comes to the team from the Middle Tyger YMCA in South Carolina, where he has led the YMCA powerhouse for the last 13 years. His women’s program were the 2014 YMCA Short Course National Champions.
In taking this new position, Wright both leaves a hotbed of talent and joins one. At Middle Tyger, he had a density of young talent that is matched by very few programs nationwide, including swimmers like:
- Jessi Snover (15 – 53.6 100 fly
- Katrina Konopka (16 – 54.02 100 fly/22.46 50 free/54.2 100 back)
- Brad Oberg (17 – 48.97 100 fly)
- Savanna Faulconer (15 – 2:11.90 200 breast)
- MaKayla Brooks (15- 55.55 100 fly)
- Ali Galyer (15 – 1:58.20 200 back)
- Sydney Baker (14 – 2:19.22 200 breast/4:52.64 500 free)
(Based on ages and times from the 2014 YMCA Short Course National Championships)
If his girls’ team especially continue their advancement, by the time they graduate high school in a couple of years they’ll rival a lot of very good NCAA Division I programs. This list doesn’t even include many other very successful recent graduates.
By the time Wright takes over fully at First Colony, the program’s best-known swimmer Simone Manuel will be on her way to begin her freshman year at Stanford. There are several other high-profile swimmers on this team, including Chris Yeager, who qualified for the 2014 Junior Pan Pacs team in the open water 10k in June. He earned that spot by placing 16th in the race at just 15 years old.
Other recent First Colony alums include Georgia’s Maddie Locus, a big part of their two NCAA Championship teams; Missouri’s Eegan Groome and Daniel Graviss; and Wisconsin’s Brett Pinfold.
Wright is at least the third big-name YMCA coach to make a move this year. Sarasota YMCA head coach Steve Brown is leaving for an assistant job at Arizona, and Matt Donovan from the Somerset Valley Y is leaving to take the head coaching job at the Broward County YMCA.