NOVA of Virginia Aquatics Inc., one of the top swim clubs in the United States, has moved on from head coach Norm Wright.
Wright was removed from the team website earlier this week, and age group development coach David Schreck is now listed as the interim head coach.
Wright confirmed to SwimSwam Thursday that he and the board mutually parted ways after the club presidency changed hands on Wednesday, Feb. 1, with Katie Harrington taking over for David Fellowes.
Wright joined NOVA of Virginia in June of 2019 as an associate head coach, and worked alongside former head coach Geoff Brown for the remainder of the 2019-20 season before taking the reins as head coach in the fall of 2020 (a move that was scheduled at the time of his hiring).
NOVA of Virginia has long been one of the country’s top clubs, and in the fall of 2022, the team was recognized as one of 10 USA Swimming “Podium Clubs” for 2023, meaning they achieved Gold Medal status for at least four consecutive years.
In 2022, the club ranked seventh nationwide in the USA Swimming Club Excellence Rankings.
Prior to his time at NOVA, Wright spent four years as the head coach and CEO of the Northern Kentucky Clippers, leading the club to its first-ever Club Excellence Gold Medal Ranking while guiding Mariah Denigan to successful performances at the 2018 Junior Pan Pacific Championships and World Junior Open Water Championships.
Wright was also tabbed as one of two U.S. coaches for the 2022 World Junior Open Water Championships, having put Nathan Szobota on the roster.
Prior to his time with the Clippers, Wright coached the Shenandoah Marlins Aquatic Club (SMAC) from 2010 until 2015, and he also had a short stint as an assistant coach at Georgetown University during the 2009-10 season.
Schreck has been with NOVA for nearly 25 years, joining the club in 1998 on a part-time basis before taking over the age group program full-time in 1999.
Parent Boards are why good coaches leave coaching. Best of luck to Norm wherever his next stop is.
Perhaps. Thankfully though, decisions are not up to an online community, who may not know what is going on, or who hear one side, or rumors.
or people who lived it :shrug:
Swimnerd that you?
I think everyone in the comment section needs to take a step back and think about the problem, since it’s much more complex than if he was a good coach or person. Although the duties of the head coach may vary from place to place, I do know that at that program the head coach has a huge administrative responsibility. NOVA is a very large organization with a successful competitive year round team as well as a great lessons program. They also have two different locations that they personally built and own. To insult the board is just scapegoating, sure there’s the stereotypical “suburban parent” trope, but that doesn’t mean that’s what the board is like. In order to run… Read more »
The boards composition changed overnight. And then the composition of the teams coaching staff changed overnight (not just the HC).
I do not think that should be dismissed. This is a political decision and maybe a business decision.
What it’s not is a decision on the best interests of the kids on that club.
Like it or not – parents cannot separate themselves from being parents. It’s why parent run teams are – candidly – a joke.
I believe that A. is correct in pointing out that people/parents/coaches have strengths and weaknesses. Nova is a very large team of over 700 swimmers. Let’s say Norm feels his strength is coaching about 20 “elite” swimmers. To get the title and pay grade to do that, does not necessarily make sense to continue in that direction for the whole of the team. To say it is a political decision, I would be very much interested in hearing why that is a thought, or what would be political in finding a more appropriate fit. It was “mutual” so perhaps Norm found his niche?
Politics everywhere. There is always political element involved. Power play. They have to say “mutual” to sound nice? This is a new board.
Did he have a job already?
So the new board or old board made that “mutual agreement “? “insulting an obviously successful board”? But the board just changed hands, it hasn’t demonstrated its “success “ yet…
Norm is a great coach but not a good head coach. It took 2 year for NKY Clippers to recover financially. He likes to spend money.
Great post A. I see what you’re saying. The question is – does/did NOVA want a COACH or an administrator? Do they have the resources (probably) to hire someone to handle that aspect? In a perfect world your best coaches coach – not push papers or play politics.
Anyone knows what actually transpired?
No one knows exactly what happened.
But generally over zealous parents on boards look for reasons to ruin good things.
Richmond is truly an awful place
Let’s not besmirch an entire city over one club swim team.
Norm is a good dude and a good coach.
This is why I’d rather be dead than work for a clown town parent board.
Amen. Richmond sucks (I should know, I was born there). The quicker he gets out, the better for him.
I guess when the parent run board forces the team and coaches to be compliant with SafeSport, then it must be in shambles. This “mutual departure” is a coverup
Oh really? What kind of self righteous board demands that it’s coaches resign and the covers it up?
If this was New England – where SafeSport seems to be a recommendation for a handful of the biggest clubs that actively flaunt and protect sex offenders – your blurb would probably be believable.
It’s way more likely that the new presidents kid is too slow to be in the fast group. Take a lap little buddy.
You sound bitter. You must have a kid that was promised by Norm to get to a D1 school
Actually…you are the one that sounds bitter
You’re actually the one that sounds bitter
He’s not the only coach missing from the lineup.
Surprising change. Not privy to the goings on at Nova, but we were at the same meet as them in December in Greensboro, and kids looked really good. They have some 13-14 kids coming along that are already swimming with the big boys. Love him or hate him, Geoff Brown ran a steady ship for a long time even with his “extracurricular” activities.
Please tell us more!
with what now?