Doug Fonder is the head coach for the Virginia Gators and has held this status since he founded the swim team in 1988. Coach Doug has 45 years of swim coach experience and has comprise an impressive list of accolades. He’s coached swimmers at the last 12 consecutive Olympic Trials, including Olympic medalists Jeff Rouse and Greg Burgess. He’s been elected Virginia Coach of the Year ten times and has been awarded YMCA National Swim Coach of the Year twice. Doug began his coaching career after falling short of his football season his junior year at the University of Miami in Coral Gables. He was offered a coaching position for the swim team and he’s been coaching since. Coach Fonder founded his first team, the Quantico Devil Dolphins in 1972. He went on to purchase the Briarwood Swim and Racquet club out of bankruptcy in 1979. Fonder worked to turn it into one of the most successful tennis and swim facilities in Virginia. In 1988, he moved to Roanoke to work as the Executive Director of Sports and ended up starting his own swim team, the Virginia Gators. In 1991, he formed a non-profit corporation and built his own pool. The team has grown to great success, with over 400 swimmers and three additional sites in Harrisonburg, Charlottesville, Lynchburg. In 2010, Coach Fonder worked with coaches all over the country to found the National Age Group Association (NASA) to offer unique meet opportunities and support young swimmers. In 2011, Fonder created the International Swim Coaches Association (ISCA) to further develop age group coaches.
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