VIDEO: Rowdy Gaines to direct 30 Central Florida YMCA locations, modeling program after SwimMAC

Perhaps best-known right now as the voice of televised swimming, Olympic gold medalist and International Swimming Hall of Fame member Rowdy Gaines is now set to impact the sport in a new way. The 55-year-old Gaines announced over the weekend that he has been named Vice President of Aquatics for the Central Florida YMCA, overseeing 30 different facilities  in the Orlando area.

Gaines gives plenty more details in the three-and-a-half minute video above, but one notable theme is that Gaines intends to model the Central Florida program after David Marsh‘s SwimMAC Carolina club, perhaps forming another “super-club” in the Orlando area.

After spending the weekend covering the men’s NCAA Championships for ESPN3, Gaines expressed excitement to get involved with the sport in a new way than through the press box he’s manned for every major televised competition the past decade. Check out the full video for more thoughts from Gaines moving forward, plus the major goals for his new club system.

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Sounds awesome! Best of luck. SMASH.

bobo gigi

And if I have well understood, Michael Andrew will train there?

bobo gigi – we saw the comments from Lester, and spoke with the Andrew team about it, and they wouldn’t confirm the information in those comments.


The new trend in US club swimming… Mega clubs. If you can’t win, put you and 30 of your best friends/enemies/other guys you sort of know under the same banner. Is this what is best for the athletes?


LowGap, it is in club swimming b/c it’s happening everywhere else too (big business mergers, conglomerates like GE, the list could go on and on).

I’d assume the reason 30 different programs did not exist in these 30 different pools is b/c there was not enough money to make them viable. As a ‘mega club’ there is a better chance of viability and hopefully success for the kids.

LowGap – the “is this what is best for athletes” question is an interesting one, and I think it’s one we’ll look at in the next few weeks. We’ll have to define the parameters of what’s “best for athletes” first. Then we’ll have to define the parameters of what we consider a “mega club” (the club I swam for in high school practices out of about 6 different pools, but they’re all in the same city, they’ve always been this way, and I want to say they have about 250 swimmers. Does that constitute a ‘mega club’?) Then there’s the question of economics. Are these clubs saving money by being administered together? If they are, does that savings get passed… Read more »


I think that NCAP has is right for a super club (and maybe AAAA). One large club that competes together that is made up of multiple independently run sites.

About Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson

Jared Anderson swam for nearly twenty years. Then, Jared Anderson stopped swimming and started writing about swimming. He's not sick of swimming yet. Swimming might be sick of him, though. Jared was a YMCA and high school swimmer in northern Minnesota, and spent his college years swimming breaststroke and occasionally pretending …

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