This decision comes after Kevin Zacher, the head coach and CEO for the past nearly-20 years, accepted the head coaching position at the Santa Clara Swim Club in April. Nguyen will start his role as head coach on August 16th, according to the SAC press release.
Nguyen joined BCST in 2010. There he worked as their strength and conditioning coach as well as their age group coach for 7 years, and has served as the head coach for the past 5 years.
The team earned their first-ever Gold Medal Club recognition in USA Swimming’s Club Excellence program under Nguyen. This award is given to teams that scored in the top-20 of USA Swimming member clubs, all teams with 2020 Olympic qualifying athletes, and teams where at least one 18&Under swimmer achieved a Gold time standard.
Some of BCST’s notable swimmers under Nguyen in recent years include Harvard’s Noah Brune, sprint specialist Gracie Felner of Alabama, Sarah Dimeco of Cal, Matt King (Alabama’s leading-scorer at 2021 SEC’s), and USC commit Charlie Arnold. Dimeco made the final at the 2021 U.S. Olympic Trials Wave I in the 400 free.
Scottsdale Aquatic Club board president Brian Esterly further listed Nguyen’s accomplishments at Bellevue in the press release:
- BCST winning their first-ever Winter Junior National title in 2019
- BCST placing 2nd at Winter Junior Nationals in 2018
- BCST winning Senior Sectionals in 2019
- BCST placing top 6 at Summer Junior Nationals in 2019
- BCST placing top 5 in USA Swimming Scholastic All-America Team
- BCST having the highest number of USA Swimming Scholastic All-America student-athletes in Pacific Northwest Swimming.
Nguyen swam at the University of Washinton during his collegiate career where he specialized in fly, back, breast, and IM events. He graduated in their class of 2010 with a Bachelor’s degree in Biology.
“I am very excited to join and lead the Scottsdale Aquatic Club. I want to thank Brian, the search committee, and the Board of Directors for this opportunity,” Nguyen said in the press release.
“I look forward to working with the SAC athletes, families, and coaches. Kevin has done an amazing job with laying the foundation and developing a culture of excellence. I am excited to go to work and to build and cultivate so that SAC will continue to reach our full potential as a program.
“I want everyone to enjoy the process as we do so as a team. I look forward to establishing a relationship with each family so that we can continue to be proud of all that we achieve together. GO SAC!”
The search took more than two months and involved more than three dozen applications. The SAC Board met with more than 12 applicants before unanimously recommending Nguyen to the Board of Directors.
The press release cited an unnamed parent whose child moved from BCST to SAC within the past year: “The culture of the club started from the top down and Andrew listened to parents, inspired coaches to be better, and brought a balanced focus to training.”