The Newmarket Stingrays in suburban Toronto have found a new head coach. Dave Ling from the St. John’s Legends Swim Club in Newfoundland will take over for the retiring Alan Swanston, who has led the team for over 30 years.
“I have a great deal of respect for Alan Swanston and what he has built with the Stingrays,”says Ling, “I would consider it a great opportunity to continue the tradition of excellence in the pool while also developing high-quality community members outside of the pool that Alan has cultivated.”
The transition will happen on July 1st, 2020.
Ling spent the first 8 years of his coaching career with the nearby Toronto Swim Club, where he worked his way through the ranks under big-name coaches Byron MacDonald and Bill O’Toole before moving east to take his first head coaching job in St. John’s.
Ling takes over a Newmarket program that has produced a number of elite athletes in its history which began in 1975. The team finished 40th at the 2019 Canadian Junior Swimming Championships and has produced a number of swimmers who have gone on to race internationally.
That includes 2008 Olympian Lindsey Seemann, who was the youngest member of the Canadian Olympic Team that season. Seemann finished fourth at the 2008 World Junior Swimming Championships in the 200 backstroke where Swanston was the team’s head coach.
Among the program’s other notable alumni are Alan Swanston’s sons Jeff and Matt Swanston who swam collegiately at USC and Stanford, respectively. Matthew was a 6-time All-American for the Cardinal. The club’s most recent noteworthy product is 22-year old Danielle Hanus, who swam at the 2014 Summer Youth Olympics and 2014 Junior Pan Pacific Championships while training with Newmark.
Hanus won 4 medals, all silver, at the 2019 Pan American Games; was on the 2018 Pan Pacs team; took bronze at the 2015 FINA World Junior Swimming Championships in the 50 back; and was the 2019 Canadian Natoinal Chapion in the 50 back.
At the 2019 USports Championships, Hanus won the 50 back, 100 back, 100 fly, and 200 fly.
The retiring Swanson was the 2008 Canadian Junior Coach of the Year and a 5-time Ontario Age Group Coach of the Year. He began his coaching career in 1981 with the Region of Waterloo Swim Club as an assistant coach. He also had a stint as an assistant with the Windsor Aquatic Club before becoming head coach for the Newmarket Stingrays in 1986.
As an athlete, Ling swam for the University of Toronto where he was a three-time team captain. He also competed at the 2000 and 2004 Canadian Olympic Trials.