The Markham Aquatic Club in suburban Toronto has announced the hiring of Sean Baker as its new head coach. This makes it the 2nd big suburban Toronto program to hire a new head coach in the last week, after the Newmarket Stingrays hired Dave Ling.
Baker will take over at Markham with the beginning of the 2020-2021 season.
“It is with tremendous excitement and enthusiasm that I will be joining the Markham Aquatic Club as your new head coach,” Baker said of his appointment. “Together we will embark on a challenging and exciting journey to become one of Canada’s best youth organizations. With a foundation grounded in old fashioned values & principles, our program will not only help develop world class citizens, but outstanding swimmers as a by-product. It is my distinct pleasure to be your Head Coach and I look forward to leading the team towards a bold and exciting future.”
Up until his departure in the last few months, Baker spent the last 10 years as the head coach of the Oakville Aquatic Club, where he built the program into one of the largest and most successful in the country. Oakville finished 5th as a team at the 2019 Canadian Swimming Championships.
Among the swimmers to come out of the Oakville program under Baker’s tenure include Mabel Zavaros, Marni Oldershaw, Tera van Beilen, Tess Cieplucha, Mack Darragh, and Evan White. Zavaros won a gold medal at the 2017 World Junior Championships as part of a relay and finished 4th in the 200 fly. Darragh was on the Canadian Olympic Team in 2016 as a member fo the 400 medley relay and also swam at Worlds last year.
Cieplucha won the 400 IM at the 2019 Pan American Games.
He also has previous stops at the Hamilton Aquatic Club for 9 years an the Nanaimo Riptides for 6 years.
He takes over the post from Darren Ward, who was listed as Markham’s head coach going into the coronavirus shutdown.
The Markham Aquatic Club also has a history of international-caliber swimmers. That includes names like double World Championship medalist Kayla Sanchez, double World Championship medalist Javier Acevedo, Danika Huizinga, Ruslan Gaziev, and Ryan Telford.