Florida’s Montverde Academy Opens New Pool, Hires Brazilian as First Swim Coach in School History

Another Florida private school has thrown its hat into the swimming ring, as the century-old Montverde Academy in Montverde, Florida has hired their first ever swim coach: Brazilian Arilson Champam de Almeida. The school founded its team in 2011, but until now has not had a coach of its own. Even without a coach, the girls’ team finished 9th at last year’s Florida High School Division I (smallest schools) state championships meet, and the boys finished in a tie for 27th.

Montverde is a northwest suburb of Orlando and sits right on the massive Lake Apopka: the state’s third-largest lake.

The boarding school opened in 1912, but has never had a swim program until hiring de Almeida, and with quite a resume might become a power in a hurry. He has coached at both the FINA World Cup and the Pan Am Games for his native Brazil, and was the head coach of the Princeton University Tigers Aquatics Club.

Montverde Academy is a sporting powerhouse in central Florida, with a new $6.5 million athletics center and the two-time defending “National Champions” in boys’ basketball. The academy offers elite training institutes in both men’s basketball and men’s soccer.

They’ve got an athlete on the USA Basketball U18 training camp squad, and next fall will send 38 athletes (out of about 1000 students) to play sports in college, including 8 basketball players going to Division I universities.

In other words, Montverde has all of the tools in place to become a swimming powerhouse, and now with their own coach, and one with some credentials to put behind it, expect them to start fighting their way toward contention with Division I powerhouses like Bolles, Saint Andrew’s, and Pine Crest.

Among their biggest performers in the pool last season included Grace Redding, who won the B-Final at state in the 100 fly (56.61) and was 7th in the 50 free (23.69), Kendall Dawson who was 3rd in the 500 free (4:53.42), and Alex Condron who was 5th in the boys’ 100 breaststroke (58.35).

The team had been training at the National Training Center Aquatic Center, which has a 25 yard x 70 meter outdoor pool, but on Thursday, May 1, opened their own 25 yard pool on campus.

Yearly tuition at the school runs $42,000/year for boarding students, but only $11,800/year for day students.

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8 years ago

I am not understanding this hire. Can’t even find a bio on this coach. Princeton Aquatics age group team has never had a boy under 22 or 48 in the 50 and 100… no one break 1:00 in the BR…

I don’t get it… am I missing something here?

Knows Him
Reply to  Coach
8 years ago

You’re not missing anything — there are lots of questions. Lots of holes in resume/bio as these have been left out. Left last few coaching jobs in a huff at mid-season. Dig deep with Google and make sure that you check the spelling and you’ll be able to track.

8 years ago

A little insight into the high school swimming arena in Florida. Essentially the high school state meet is club athletes that train with their USA club during the season then throw the high school cap on for meets. Exceptions are the prep schools like Bolles, Pine Crest, St Andrews, Trinity Prep etc. The athletes listed above swam at the following clubs plus Ozzie Quevedo led the Montverde Academy team per the Auburn write up bellow.

Kendall Dawson – Fast Lane Aquatics
Alex Condron – NTC Aquatics
Grace Redding – UN Highlander

Auburn website
Ozzie Quevedo
Before his hire, Quevedo had coached on both the club and high school levels and was the head coach of National… Read more »

8 years ago

Yikes! 42K for tuition! GASP! 😉

Reply to  Braden Keith
8 years ago

It sure is a bargin many boarding go 50 to even 60.000 and many day are 15 and a large number 25.000 for day school. Check out the famed GA’s cost. Know the importance of all is the academic strength sand class size and the ability to be accepted in college. More powere to them if they add to the swimming scene.

8 years ago

I’m curious how they will stack up against other class 1A private school powerhouses like Bolles, Pine Crest, and St. Andrews.

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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