On September 8th, ten finalists and winner of the Fitter and Faster Age Group Coach of the Year Award were recognized at the American Swimming Coaches Association World Clinic Awards Banquet in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. This year’s winner was Sherwood Watts of Sarasota YMCA Sharks Swim Team.
To determine the nominees for this award, top performing age group swim teams were identified by Fitter and Faster using the USA Swimming Virtual Club Championship team rank for 11-14 year old swimmers. They then identified the head age group coaches of the top 60 teams, resulting in a poll of 85 coaches.
Sherwood Watts is not unfamiliar to accolades of this nature, having been named the Florida Age Group Coach of the Year seven times and the Florida 3A High School Coach of the year twice. He began his coaching career with the Sarasota YMCA, where he is currently the is the head age group coach of the Sarasota YMCA. After his initial stint with SYS, he went on to coach at the Joliet YMCA on and off from 1978-1985. In 1984, he was named the Illinois Age Group Coach of the Year.
Watts returned to Sarasota in 1985, and has been coaching there ever since. He led the team to twelve Florida Swimming Junior Olympic Titles, and holds a prestigious American Swimming Coaches’ Association rating of level 5 in the Age Group Division.
Check out the video of Watts receiving his award below!