Simpson College swim coach Tom Caccia was recently inducted into the Wisconsin High School Hall of Fame. Caccia has been coaching at Simpson for four seasons now. Under his leadership, the Storm, has erupted. The Storm have set 38 new school records lead by Kyle McKin who won the Iowa Conference 100 breaststroke title back to back in 2014 and 2015.
Before moving to Iowa, Caccia spent more than 30 years making a difference in high school swimming. The decorated coach has been recognized as Wisconsin’s High School State Swimming Coach of the Year 4 times. The National Federation of High Schools (NFHS) named Caccia the Midwest Region Coach of the Year and Caccia was also a finalist for the National Coach of the Year award. He gained this recognition after coaching Platteville High School swimming to almost 400 dual meet wins.
“The induction is a validation of the work, not so much that I did, but the work my kids did over the years.”, Caccia told SwimSwam, “It validates the patience of my family to allow me to pursue a vocation that I truly love.”
Tom Caccia was once Platteville’s own successful student athlete before he took over as a coach. Caccia set 25 school records himself and was awards Most Valuable Swimmer twice in his career.
Before coaching, Caccia began as a teacher. In 1977 and 1978 he worked at Argyle High School and in 1979 he worked for a year at Fennimore. In 1980 Caccia was offered the opportunity to both teach and coach at Platteville High School. Caccia was inducted into UW-Platteville’s school Hall of Fame in 2011 for his accomplishments as both a student-athlete and as a coach. In 2011 Caccia was given the National Outstanding Service to Swimming award.
Caccia found out about his induction about 2 months before the actual induction. “My daughter had worked through this with Mike Slagle nearly 2 years ago, but unfortunately Mike passed away and the notes were lost. So Coach Mike Schulke from Neenah picked it up and made it happen.” Caccia reflects on finding out, “my first thoughts were that of appreciation to Coach Schulke for his work. Secondly, I was very appreciative of WISCA for their work and finally, appreciation to all the great coaches I was lucky enough to work with at camps and clinics over the years from whom I learned so much.”
“I never thought about the impact. I wanted to contribute to a great sport.” Caccia on how big of an impact he made on the Wisconsin community, “Wisconsin and the coaches and the kids there are a real treasure. I think whenever you get to work with people who share your passion, being recognized for your contributions isn’t something that is at the forefront of your thoughts. It’s just about trying to make things better for everyone involved.”
“I’m very honored and humbled by this recognition,” Said Caccia on being inducted, “It’s the kind of recognition you could never expect or anticipate. I was very blessed to have such great kids to work with and a supportive administration. To be able to continue doing what I love at Simpson has been more than I could have imagined. I hope I can continue to work with such great people for many more seasons.”