Swim Torrance in Torrance, California has hired Julio Zarate as their new head coach. Zarate will leave his old role as the Senior II Lead Coach at the massive SwimMAC Carolina program in Charlotte at the end of the summer long course season.
Zarate says that he hopes to bring a taste of his east coast experiences from his former club, which ranked 2nd nationally in last year’s USA Swimming Club Excellence program, to help bolster the Swim Torrance program’s reputation. Swim Torrance consistently sends swimmers to college scholarships every year, but hasn’t turned out a true star since Vlad Morozov in 2010, who would go on to be an NCAA Champion and U.S. Open Record holder for the USC Trojans.
“The team now has 135 registered swimmers but that number will increase after our registration leading in to the Short Course season,” Zarate said of his new club. “Right now (Swim Torrance’s) highest achieving athletes in the Senior group are Sectional level. Which is obviously a much lower level from what I have been a part of here at SwimMAC but that is a big reason why they are bringing me in. Their age group program is large, growing, and starting to really improve.
As a swimmer, Zarate was a Capital Athletic Conference champion in both the 100 and 200 backstroke and was eventually inducted into the St. Mary’s College of Maryland Athletic Hall of Fame. After graduation, he took over as the program’s assistant coach, and also spent 6 years as the head coach of the Chesapeake Bay Aqutics Club.
He joined SwimMAC in May of 2014, where he worked primarily with top-end Sectionals and Futures meet qualifiers who are on the cusp of achieving Junior or Senior Nationals time standards.
Zarate takes over the program for former head coach Tim Murphy, who is no longer with the program. The team’s Head Age Group coach Julie O’Brien has been serving as the interim head coach.
More from coach Zarate on his new opportunity:
For me it is a very exciting opportunity. Seeing the potential of the age group division, working with the current senior group to set up a program that will help them move towards competing on a National level and giving them the skills and path way to swim in College. These are all things that really did exist at Swim Torrance with their current structure. My major job this season is to help create a competitive team structure from the learn to swim/pre-comp side all the way to a senior division that has a logical progression and that promote continuity.
My goal is to create a comprehensive program that pushes the performance level to a place where we are competitive with the best teams in California. Its no secret that I will be using a lot of what I have learned in my last 2 years working with SwimMAC but I will also be taking much from my previous experience as Head Coach of Chesapeake Bay Aquatic Club, and my early coaching experience with Nations Capital(then Curl-Burke) where I also did my club swimming. With it being the beginning of the next quad its a perfect time to set some long term goals for Swim Torrance, the biggest being getting a group of athletes to the next Olympic Trials. In the meantime first step is getting an athlete to Junior Nationals.
The Coaching staff and I have a lot of work to do before we get there but I am confident that as long as we remain focused on the work and on developing young athletes to be passionate about the process we will get there. At the end of the day my main hope beyond any performance goal is for athletes to be able to look back at their time at Swim Torrance and it have been a positive experience. Swimming done right is one of the most fulfilling things you can be a part of. I owe so much to my club coach. He helped change my life for the better by supporting me and teaching me the value of hard work and commitment. That’s why I coach, and if I can help an athlete at Swim Torrance the way my coached helped me then we will be going in the right direction.