56 July/August 2014 | BethesdaMagazine.com
Swimming has always been a
part of my life—from being on clubs as
a kid to competing for the University
After I graduated [with a degree] in
mechanical engineering, I was asked by
the coaches to become part of the staff
while studying for my master’s. In time,
I was faced with “getting a real job,” but I
never found an opportunity that appealed
to me as much as coaching swimmers.
Eventually I approached Jon
Urbanchek, the head coach at Michigan, and shared my thoughts on making the sport a profession. He disagreed.
Engineering would provide job security
and a good salary; coaching would not
come with either of those guarantees.
So I took the advice and found a job in
Bruce Gemmel, 53,
engineering. It wasn’t until years later that
Soon enough, though, swimming
started to become part of my life again.
It was a progressive change from work-
ing full time to spending more time on
the pool deck with swim clubs in Dela-
ware. My job as an engineer eventu-
ally got in the way of helping my ath-
head coach, Nation’s Capital
Swim Club at Georgetown Prep
As told to Teddy Amenabar