SKA keeps coach in the family

Swim Kaua‘i Aquatics announced yesterday that Greg Davis will become the new, full-time head coach for the club. It’s a position he will take over from his father, Ro Davis who is moving to Alabama.

Originally, Davis was going to make the move, too. In the end, though, he decided to stay.

“It’s a decision that’s just been weighing in my mind for over a month now,” Davis said. “I just wasn’t ready to leave yet.”

The announcement comes at the same time the club is celebrating its one-year anniversary. Davis’ parents started the club, which opened its doors to nearly 20 swimmers. Now, the club consists of more than 50 swimmers of all age levels, including a certified U.S. Masters swimming program for adults.

He has been the head coach for Island School for the past two years, as well as being the co-head coach for SKA’s older age group.

Because Davis trained under his father, the two of them maintain some of the same coaching techniques and approaches. When Davis takes over as the full-time head coach, he doesn’t think he’ll be changing the program.

“We’re just very proud that we’ve made it through the first year as a non-profit organization, which can be pretty tough,” he said. “But we’ve got an amazing group and it really takes all three categories — parents, the coaches and the swimmers — to make it work, and we’re fortunate enough to have swimmers who really enjoy the sport and great families who support them.”

SKA received 20 applications from the Mainland and Canada. SKA president Stephanie Rogers said that Davis was the obvious choice.

“He’s extremely qualified,” Rogers said. “We had coaches out of huge programs on the Mainland, but in addition to being a good coach, we needed someone who would be a good fit for living in the islands as well.”

He is currently sharing coaching duties with his father, but will move into the administrative duties and coaching other age groups.

As a father, Ro said he had mixed feelings about his son taking over, partly because he wanted him to move to Alabama, too.

“We (he and his wife, Mary) look at it this way. It gives us an excuse to come back,” he said. “I’ve been doing the KIF meets so I’ll come back for those. But this is something he really wanted to do. We’ve come a long way in a year.”

Because Davis already knows all the swimmers, it makes the transition of coaches more smooth.

“There’s no major transition here,” he said. “This means the club will be able to carry on without any hiccups.”

Davis’ coaching career began as an assistant at the De Anza Cupertino Aquatics in California. He was also the head coach at the University of San Diego High School.

He is also finalizing his paperwork to obtain his American Swim Coaches Association level 4. This is the second highest certification tier offered. Only five to eight percent of the registered coaches in the country have a level 4 or higher status.

“I just want to maintain the club’s philosophy of making swimming a fun and enjoyable experience, and emphasize the safety of swimming and maintain that we are here for the community as a non-profit organization,” Davis said.

He also hopes that as more swimming facilities become available, SKA can start a “learn to swim” program.

SKA always accepts new swimmers, bute encourages them to try out this month when try outs are free for one week.

Practices are held from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, and 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday.

“We have just a great bunch of parents and community support and we want to continue moving and taking steps forward,” Davis said.

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