By Dave Wagner
Vincent DeMaio hopes to take the Clovis High girls swimming program to the next level.
A Clovis native and longtime area resident, DeMaio has been chosen to coach the program in its third season next winter. A farmer and rancher, he was hired as a contract coach.
DeMaio said Clovis has the potential to be competitive on a state level, and to make that happen he plans to implement a series of steps in training for the November-through-February season.
“We’re starting a year-round program,” the 49-year-old DeMaio said. “I think we have an opportunity to have a great program here in Clovis. We’ve got great talent here, if we can incorporate our summer program and high school program together.”
To that end, he plans to have a developmental squad for pre-high school swimmers 11 and up, and enter teams in several USA Swimming-sanctioned meets in the fall.
“Our goal is go get as may girls as possible to state and to have a relay team comprised of state qualifiers,” DeMaio said. “Our swimming philosophy is based on a style by the Stanford women’s coach, Richard Quick. If you have posture, strength and balance, everything else falls into place.”
CHS athletic director Dale Fullerton said DeMaio made a strong presentation in his interview.
“What I was impressed with in the interview was he had a strategic plan for the program,” Fullerton said. “He’s got it set up where they’re going to do different things through the year and try to peak for the state meet (in February).”
DeMaio has not coached at the interscholastic level before, but has coached a number of USA-style programs, similar to summer AAU programs in basketball.
He said he has done a lot of cycling in the past.
“I progressed from cycling to swimming and triathlons because it was great cross-training,” he said. “I just became interested in swimming.”
With the developmental program, DeMaio said he hopes to eventually add boys swimming at the high school level.
Lezlie Smith will assist with the program, DeMaio said. The team will practice at the Play, Inc. swimming pool.