The 2019 CSCAA Convention and Banquet will mark the end of USMMA Head Coach Sean Tedesco's tenure on the CSCAA Board of Directors. Tedesco was first elected to the position at the 2013 convention in Orlando and has since been reelected to two more terms. In his time on the board, Tedesco has been instrumental in the expansion of the CSCAA Division III Polls. His 2018 talk "How to Become a Millionaire on a Coach's Salary" was so well-received, he will be reprising it at this year's convention in Myrtle Beach. Before he leaves, we sat down with Sean to talk swimming and diving, his favorite convention talks and what he does off deck.
What drives you to coach?
I love athletics and appreciate the life lessons athletics can teach a person as an athlete or as a coach. The values one learns from athletics can be used in all aspects of one’s life. For me personally, my experience from athletics has helped me as a student, coach, teacher, husband and parent.
Coaching provides me with the opportunity to inspire and motivate the students. My goal is to develop them to become better swimmers and develop themselves both personally and professionally.
I also get a great deal professional and personal satisfaction watching the great young men and women of USMMA develop into leaders of exemplary character that will serve the nation well into the future. Hard work, teamwork, selfless service and personal investment in swimming and diving all contribute to the leaders they become during four very difficult years here.
What prompted you to serve on the CSCAA Board of Directors?
I believe in giving back to the sport of swimming. Swimming has played an important role in my life for over 35 years. As a member of the CSCAA Board of Directors, I am able to serve all the swimming programs in the country, as well as have an impact on the future of the sport.
Who have been some of your mentors and why?
I have been fortunate enough to have had many great mentors throughout my college coaching career including: Bob Goldberg (my college swim coach from the University of Connecticut), Ed Bartsch (former Head Coach at Villanova University), Rick Simpson (current Villanova University head coach) and Sue Petersen Lubow, (former Athletic Director and Head Swim Coach at the United States Merchant Marine Academy).
Sue hired me at Merchant Marine in 2001. She was very successful as the coach of the Men’s and Women’s teams. Since I started at the USMMA, I have worked hard to uphold the high standards she set for the USMMA Swimming & Diving teams both athletically and academically. As the Athletic Director, she really cared about her staff and the athletes. As my mentor, I would often seek out her advice on training and assisting the student-athletes at the USMMA. She would encourage me to be a better coach and get involved in different swimming committees.
What is your proudest moment / accomplishment as a part of the CSCAA Board?
The CSCAA board has accomplished many things over the years. However, one of my proudest achievements was implementing regional rankings for Division III. Instead of just a Top 25, we recognize 40 teams (Four regional Top-Tens) four to five times per year. This allows us to highlight and showcase over 100 teams which provides additional positive coverage for our sport and our teams.
What was your most memorable talk at the CSCAA Convention?
I have been to over fifteen CSCAA Conventions and enjoyed listening to many different speakers. Russell Mark, the National Team Division High Performance Consultant, has always been my favorite talk at the CSCAA Convention. He provides an in-depth analysis of each stroke, the forward start and underwater kicking. His breakdown of technique through the use of video is fantastic. I always learn a lot and am influenced to think differently about how I can develop my team.
What is the biggest challenge facing college swimming and diving?
The long-term survival of the sport. We have seen an an increase in the number of teams across the county, but we must continue to keep this issue a top priority. For years, the CSCAA has worked diligently to save college swimming and diving and we all must continue to do our parts to support swimming and diving at all ages.
What’s a fun fact about Sean Tedesco?
I still have the urge to train and race. Since about 2001, I have been training and competing various running and triathlon races. I have raced marathons, half-marathons, two Ironman triathlons (Wisconsin and NYC/NJ), half-Ironman triathlons, Olympic and sprint triathlons.
Also, I teach/speak and run a website about personal finance. I have been fascinated with money and personal finance since I was a little kid. I enjoy helping and inspiring others to believe that a better financial future is possible with thoughtful planning and focus.