Texas Ford Aquatics Announces Coley Stickels Pro Team

by Emma Edmund 37

January 24th, 2022 Club, Industry, News

Texas Ford Aquatics, located in Frisco, Texas, announced Monday a new pro team to be led by former Alabama head coach Coley Stickels.


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The TFA Pro Team will not only cater to professional athletes, but senior TFA club swimmers will have the opportunity to train with and learn from the members of the pro team, TFA said in a statement.

“This will be a great addition to our long-standing program and for youth sports in Frisco, Texas,” TFA said.

Stickels is a member of the 2021-22 US National Team, and head assistant coach of the International Swimming League’s Tokyo Frog Kings. 

From 2019-2020, he was the head coach of Alabama’s swim team, and during his tenure Alabama swimmers broke 23 school and 9 SEC records, TFA noted. Stickels resigned mid-season in 2020 without public explanation, though he did say he wanted to prioritize training swimmers for the Tokyo Olympics and other national and international competitions. Many of his athletes, however, like Margo Geer and Ian Finnerty, retired prior to Olympic Trials. Geer ultimately took over his position at Alabama.

Prior to his time at Alabama, he was an associate coach at Indiana, an assistant coach at Dartmouth, and was the head coach of a number of clubs, including Phoenix Swim Club.

Stickels himself swam during college at the University of Arizona, where he was a 14-time All American.

Stickels has trained several high-profile professional swimmers, including Daiya Seto, who came to America to train with him, and Beryl Gastaldello, who will be moving to Frisco to train with the new pro team. Other swimmers he has coached in the past include Olympic gold medalist Abbey Weitzeil, during her time at the Rio Olympics; and Roland Schoeman, a former world record holder in the LCM 50 butterfly, SCM 50 freestyle, SCM 100 freestyle, SCM 100 IM, and the LCM 4×100 free relay.

TFA has undergone a massive undertaking to make itself a nationally recognizable club, including hiring an all-new coaching staff in 2009. In 2014, it opened a new 30,000 square foot aquatic center, which the team has attributed as a major turning point in becoming the age group powerhouse it is today.

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1 year ago

Interesting choice… quite odd to be honest. TFA has a lot of potential in their age group, but they still like some depth. Their National Team is slowly fading, with most of the faster guys/girls moving to LAC (top team in TX), or Metroplex aquatics, which I’d say both have a stronger coaching staff and great National Teams. Although, it is an interesting choice. Could we see Coley and his swimmers stay at TFA for the long-run? I don’t think so, to be honest. If I’m wrong and TFA ends up becoming a National team/Pro team powerhouse, then I’ll look pretty dumb. But in my opinion, I think Coley will move to a larger, more developed team like LAC which… Read more »

Jack Macquitty
1 year ago

Coley is working strength and conditioning for pro tennis players as well. After US pro Taylor Fritz was injured in 2021 Coley started working with him? So I see this position in Texas a plus for him! Plus he’s got a great swimming mind

1 year ago

Where did the article about Troy go?

Reply to  Swimmer
1 year ago

Was wondering the same thing.

1 year ago

Oh, just wait until the pro’s suck all of the limelight from the up and coming age groupers….not to mention the age group programs dues going to fund this operation. Good luck with that!

1 year ago

There aren’t enough pros to go around. Salo marsh Schubert Julian now coley and maybe Troy.

Reply to  MCH
1 year ago

Fratus training by himself in South Florida

Ol' Longhorn
Reply to  Olympian.
1 year ago

I think his wife (coach) would take offense to that.

Reply to  Olympian.
1 year ago

Doesnt Brett Hawke work with him?

I understand he may not always be on deck training him but at 30 plus you don’t need to have someone making sure you are doing what you have to.

I’m sure he has some people swim with him Jason Lezak had a couple guys the trained with him

Reply to  MCH
1 year ago

Which pros are swimming for Salo, Marsh, Schubert or Julian…or Troy? 4 out of the 5 are retired or semi-retired and one was an age group coach.

1 year ago

Interesting location, swam masters there for a while. Wouldn’t imagine it as a pro hub other than it’s a nice up and coming area. Basic facility, not much dry land or weight training at the facility unless they’ve expanded recently

sticky rice
1 year ago

The Coley Stickels circus makes its next stop in Texas

Roll tidings
1 year ago

Good luck TFA! You’re gonna need it…