The Brains Behind Bolles School Swimming

  22 Garrett McCaffrey | October 22nd, 2012 | Club, College, College Recruiting, Featured, High School, News

Sergio Lopez has built one of swimming’s hotspots at Bolles School in Jacksonville, Florida. Garrett McCaffrey sits down to discuss Sergio’s views on high school swimming, college recruiting, and future career plans. If you want to hear more from Sergio check out his blog

Should top level swimmers (Jr. National qualifiers or faster) compete for their high school?

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22 Comments on "The Brains Behind Bolles School Swimming"

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Katrina Radke
4 years 2 days ago

Keep SHINING Sergio!! 🙂

4 years 2 days ago

Great interview, but most high school swimmers aren’t lucky enough to have their Club coach and their High School coach be the same person. 🙁 Kids in this situation often have to serve two masters who may or may not work well together and usually don’t agree on priorities.

4 years 2 days ago

Great interview….it’s good to hear from coaches that put the interests of their swimmers front and center….whether it be high school versus club swimming or selecting college (and its swim program).

4 years 2 days ago

Whatever arrangement works out needs to be initiated by the swimmer and not the coaches ego. Ego is a good thing, it’s the only thing that gets us off the couch to want to do anything. Too much ego is bad! It makes us want to succeed at the expense of another failing.

Having just seen Sergio speak, I can tell what makes him a great coach is his honesty. He is honest in his efforts, words and actions and realizes that’s the only piece he can control. All the other noise is outside his control (ie he can’t control what a different HS coach wants to do with a swimmers training) and not worth investing a bunch of negative energy on to that situation. I really agree with his follow up post that much of this comes down to a swimmers belief and its up to all coaches (HS and club) to help the swimmer get into the best place physically and mentally for them to believe they can succeed.

I continue to find myself inspired by Sergio and thanks Garrett for bringing up his blog. It’s a great resource for swimmers, coaches, parents, and swimming enthusiasts.

4 years 2 days ago

i agree with Pam. The Bolles situation is ideal, but rare. Carmel’s program is another that comes to mind where the HS swimmers train year round with their club coach. Not surprising that these programs are consistently high achieving.

And i’m guessing those states have better HS rules than ours (MIchigan). In Michigan a HS coach cannot coach more than 3 athletes at a time out of season. And there is a ‘dead week’ period in early July when they cannot coach any athletes. So our state is set up to really not have any HS coaches working with athletes out of the HS season in a club situation.

Some club coaches in Michigan dissuade their swimmers from HS competition and even penalize them if they do so. Its a shame. I think an untold value of HS swimming is to learn how to be on a team and support others, etc. as they will be looked to do in college.

4 years 2 days ago

Terrific interview you two. Did Sergio say $41,000 per year?

4 years 1 day ago

For Bolles? I think he said $55,000.

4 years 23 hours ago

$55,000 for foreign students. $41,000 for US kids (financial ad is available). excellent academics, olympic level coaching and a terrific group of swimmers and parents. well worth the expense. thanks for everything sergio!

4 years 22 hours ago


bobo gigi
4 years 1 day ago

Congrats to you Sergio Lopez! You make a fantastic job with your young swimmers.

4 years 1 day ago

Great interview Coach Sergio!!! We all appreciate your honesty and obvious passion for the sport. Good luck to all the Bolles swimmers at High School States on November 10th!

4 years 1 day ago

he’s done a great job for sure, but Bolles has had a very strong program for at least the last 40 years – Randy Reese coached them for years and turned out quite a few studs,

4 years 1 day ago

Ah, it all boils down to EGO in my child’s situation. One coach’s ego is too big and he refuses to acknowledge the contribution of the other. Sad. He is hurting the kids. He doesn’t BELIEVE that the other program serves his as well and that carries through to the kids.

4 years 1 day ago

Have you spoke with the AD at your child’s school? How do other parents feel? Although you may not get immediate change, you will open a dialogue. As always, I’m sure it’s very political

3 years 11 months ago

Hershey is another one along with Bolles and Carmel that comes to mind when looking at club and high school coaches being one in the same and doing it the right way.


About Garrett McCaffrey

No one lives the sport of swimming like Garrett McCaffrey. A Division I swimmer who spent 4 years covering the sport as a journalist, now coaches club swimming and competes as a masters swimmer, Garrett truly lives the sport of swimming. After graduating from University of Missouri’s award winning journalism program …

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