Sean Baker Hired As New Coach of Markham Aquatic Club

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.

Baker was also an Honorable Mention for the 2014 Canadian Coach of the Year Swammy Award.

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.

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Old timer

I’d like to point out 4/5 swimmers mentioned that participated at Markham in the 2015-2016 season were old Ajax swimmers who only went to Ajax because they had to. They were not “produced” by Markham.

Mama Eagle

What is dead may never die.


And Ruslan Gaziev was actually a product of Etobicoke Swim Club up until the spring of 2017. Kevin Thorburn was his coach of record when he was selected for World Junior Championships in Indianapolis. He only swam for MAC for a year after he left Eswim and before he went off to university.


And the other swimmer not from Ajax developed at Etobicoke and swam at TPASC before attending college in the US, Markham was just an affiliation, like how most of the TPASC athletes represented their old club teams. So 0/5 of them were “produced” at Markham


I really thought that Sean was going to be coach. Great hire for Markham


Any word who will be taking over Etobicoke?


The position is currently open for applications.


Me too! I was almost sure that he was going to move to ESWIM, giving all the circumstances and his long friendship with coach Thorburn. Curious, why it’s not happening…


Darren Ward was a great coach rip


What’s happen to him?!


He didn’t die, he’s taking over as head coach of Hamilton Aquatic Club. Are you maybe thinking of Kevin Thorburn form ESwim? Or Murray Drudge?

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Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder of He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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