NOVA of Virginia Aquatics has hired Jonathan Kaplan, the former head coach of the Panama City Swim Team, to join their staff in late August of 2013.
Kaplan will work primarily with senior-level swimmers, including the team’s three highest-level groups for high school swimmers: Senior Gold, Senior Silver, and Senior Development.
Kaplan led a big improvement in 7 years at the helm of Panama City, including their first ever top 10 finish at the Southeastern Swimming Championships in 2011, including putting three swimmers into Nationals and 11 swimmers to Junior Nationals, and the team’s first ever Olympic Trials qualifier: Auburn commit Michael Duderstadt.
Kaplan’s prior stops include as a graduate assistant at Florida State and coaching the middle distance group and acting as recruiting coordinator at Clemson.
“For years I have been aware of the incredible success NOVA has enjoyed, and it has been intriguing watching the program grow and improve into one of the premier aquatics programs in the nation,” said Kaplan. “In addition to its athletic dominance, I am thrilled to be a part of the NOVA family because of how dedicated the entire staff and membership are to building successful individuals through the sport of swimming. Our philosophies match perfectly, and I am eager to start working toward an even brighter NOVA future.”
The move is significant, as NOVA is one of the biggest producers of recruits for college programs on the Eastern seaboard. Among the well-known alumni from the group that Kaplan will be coaching include North Carolina’s Emma Nunn, Virginia’s Alison Haulsee and Rachel Naurath, and Florida’s Rebecca Rainer. The program has sent swimmers to the University of Virginia in each of the last 8 graduating classes.
Among the top swimmers still in the program include talented young distance swimmer Jessie Gvozdas on the women’s side, and a group of young male sprinters that includes Francis Haas, who as just a 15-16 this past short course season was 21.0/45.2/1:37.5/4:23.4 in the freestyles, with talent all the way up to a 9:10 in the 1000 and 15:16 in the 1650. Andrew Branin is another very good swimmer out of that wave, with a 56.8 in the 100 yard breaststroke.