President's Message - 2012 Convention PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 29 May 2012 13:06
Dear CSCAA Membership,

I wanted to take this opportunity to thank all who attended this year's convention in San Antonio. The weather was beautiful and the list of speakers was top notch.  We continue to see the organization making giant strides forward assisting our membership to do what they do best...impact the lives of our student athletes.  

Thank you to our sponsors for their continued support of swimming at the collegiate level, and thank you Mark Bernardino and George Kennedy for your mentoring the past two years.  Also, a big thank you to Joel Shinofield who spent the last eight years as Secretary of CSCAA and to our Treasurer Chuck Knoles who questions (with the help of Paul Barrett) every dime!  We have the right people looking out for our future.  A big thank you to Greg Lockard for putting the pieces of our convention puzzle together and working directly with our Executive Director promoting our growth.  I would like to welcome the new officers to the executive board as well.  Bill Wadley, President Elect and Maureen Travers, Secretary.

Having San Antonio's favorite swimming son, Josh Davis, leading off the activities as the key note speaker was very inspiring.  If Josh can't get you excited about what we do, then I'm not sure anyone could!  Thanks Josh! I really enjoyed seeing super star swimmers from our sport.   Brian Goodell!  Jill Sterkel! Tom Jager!  Aaron Peirsol!  I can't remember a time when we had that much GOLD assembled at one convention!

In addition to the speakers,  it was great to hear the healthy dialog coming from the breakout sessions.  Having our coaches express ideas about positive impact on our sport at the collegiate level and creating a unified voice is something the CSCAA board and it's member have worked very hard to do for the organization.  Let's continue to make the convention the destination for positive change.  Positive change can only happen with your support.   The convention is where sharing happens!  It's hard to share if you're not there!   

San Antonio marked the first time Jean Freeman Award winners were recognized.  Congratulations to Jesse Moore, Katie Robinson, Shane Pelton, Stephanie Palmeri, Christopher Sullivan, and Karin Brown.  In addition to the Jean Freeman Award winners, I cannot remember seeing so many up and coming young Assistant and Head Coaches attending the convention.  It was great to see as you are the future! Please continue to make the CSCAA convention part of your May routine.

As part of the festivities, we honored the Distinguished Service Awards, the top swimmer, diver, and coaches from all divisions, plus NAIA.  But the highlight of the ceremony was hearing the inspiring, yet humbling acceptance speeches from all of our major award winners.  All of our recipients have spent their lives giving back with the knowledge that a coach or coaches from their past were the catalyst for their future.   Seeing Jim Steen's former swimmers was thrilling as his long time friend  (Sam VanCura) accepted the Speedo Lifetime Achievement Award on Jim's behalf.  George Kennedy spoke of individuals that played a significant role in his life, especially his parents, while receiving the Richard E. Steadman Award.  

The Benjamin Franklin Award went to an individual or organization whose efforts best promote the integrity and enhancement of the student-athlete ideal.  This year's award was presented to Swimming World Magazine, who continues to be on the cutting edge promoting the sport of swimming through many different outlets.  Brent Rutemiller, the Chief Executive Officer was on hand to receive the award.  While he was giving his acceptance speech I couldn't stop thinking about my t-shirt from 35 years ago "I made it in Swimming World Magazine"!  

If you could not make it to this year's convention, you missed a touching tribute to the National Collegiate and Scholastic Swimming Trophy reciepient, Ron "Stix" Ballatore.  Ron Jr, and Brian Goodell were on hand to receive the award for Stix who passed a few weeks earlier, but  Stix did know he was receiving the award.  To hear Ron Jr, and Brian speak about Coach Ballatore struck an emotional cord with everyone in the room.  They spoke of his honesty, passion, and drive that could be felt coming to life through Brian and Ron Jr.  Those in the room certainly could get a feel for the bond that this legendary coach forged with his athletes even if you didn't have the good fortune to ever meet him.   Stix you will be missed, RIP.

As many of you know, Bob Groseth will be completing his contract as the Executive Director at the end of the summer.   Bob has brought a calming, knowledgable and productive influence to our association and has continued to solidify our foundation for growth.  The executive board is in the process of reviewing resumes during the month of June, and should have our ED in place to work along side Bob to create a seamless transition keeping our organization moving forward.   Once the board has approved our recommendations you will receive the announcement. 

As we move into summer and watch as our top athletes prepare for Trials and later the excitement of London, I would like to make a request.  It is very important that we hear your thoughts, feelings, ideas, and knowledge to help promote our growth.   For those of you that have made the convention an annual part of your yearly routine, I urge you to mentor one coach this next year that you know has not made it to the convention.  We all interact with someone on a regular basis who has yet to come and prosper from our willingness to share.  Assist them in developing a routine to make our association a unified voice in the advancement of collegiate swimming.  

I would like to challenge each and every member to make the Orlando Convention our best ever!  Please visit our site in the coming months for announcements, news and notes, and to stay connected to your organization!


Kirk Sanocki
CSCAA President