Head Coach of Canyons Aquatic Club Heading to Palm Springs Piranhas

  11 Braden Keith | October 19th, 2012 | Club, News

Jeff Conwell, formerly the head coach of the Canyons Aquatic Club in Santa Clarita, California, has accepted the head coaching position for the Palm Springs Piranhas, about 130 miles east across the San Bernadino Valley in Southern California.

In 14 seasons with Canyon Aquatics, Conwell built the program into a regional power, including a victory at the SoCal Junior Olympics in August.

Among the swimmers to come out of his former club include USC Trojan Jordan Danny and former Cal All-American and Pac-10 Champion Nolan Koon. The most famous alumnus of the program, though is Olympic Champion and former World Record holder Anthony Ervin, who moved through the program at the end of the 90’s, just as Conwell was joining the team as the head age group coach.

Other swimmers who trained under Conwell are Riley Mita, Stanford’s John Criste, and Abbey Weitzeil, who is already one of the top recruits in this year’s sophomore class (aka Katie Ledecky’s class).

This is also a notable move, as it leaves the hosts of this spring’s Open Water Nationals without a head coach.

The move in terms of past team success isn’t a huge upgrade; the Piranhas have had some good swimmers in their recent history, including USC’s Lynette Lim and rising high school senior Indira Ceranic.

What’s really attractive about this position, though, is the fact that after a club restructuring, Conwell will receive a lot of control over his new program. “The Piranhas are giving me the opportunity to gain the important club management experience that I’ve sought after within a structure that ensures that I can be there for a very long time,” he said of the new opportunity.

The board of the Palm Springs club has been overhauled recently, and is now run by non-parent members: a rarity in the world of club swimming. This could be an exciting, and challenging, opportunity for Conwell, and if successful the model may spread to other teams that have struggled administratively.

In This Story


  1. Jill Brown says:

    From what I understand it is a non parent board NOW (not when Adam was there).

  2. Barbara says:

    Non-parent board??

  3. Swmdad says:

    Other notable recent Piranha alums Shannon Landgrebe ASU record holder and Emily Andelson UCLA , national jr team
    Conwell should be successful taking swimming in the Palm Springs area to the next level!

  4. Calfan1 says:

    Adam Schmitt is now out in California as the head coach of the Sierra marlins (Anderson girls club team)

  5. Lakeman says:

    what’s adam schmitt up to? he was only there for 2 years, wife is still listed as program director.

  6. Williecicci says:

    Good move!

  7. CoachAitken says:

    Coach Conwell Congrats on your new venture. I look forward to a travel trip to Palm Springs.

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About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

The most common question asked about Braden Keith is "when does he sleep?" That's because Braden has, in two years in the game, become one of the most prolific writers in swimming at a level that has earned him the nickname "the machine" in some circles. He first got his feet …

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