Anthony Nesty could fill out his impressive resume with another notable accolade. The former and so far only Surinamese Olympic champion was recently named the American Swimming Coach of the Year by the American Swimming Coaches Association (ASCA). It was announced Thursday during the annual ASCA World Clinic.
The social media channels of the Florida Gators, the University of Florida swim team where Nesty is the head coach, have been pouring in congratulations for the golden boy. “The Gators are very fortunate to have Coach Nesty at the helm! Congratulations, coach! ” and “Our son swam for him. Congratulations coach, well deserved,” it read, among others.
The award for Nesty didn’t come out of the blue. He was rewarded for his remarkable performance at the World Championships in Budapest three months ago.
As Nesty captained the U.S. men’s swimming team, the swimmers he coached won a total of eight gold medals. Caleb Dressel, Bobby Finke and Kieran Smith won medals at the world championships in the Hungarian capital, but so did Katie Ledecky, who was trained voluntarily by Nesti.
Nesty, who coached the University of Florida’s Florida Gators for several years, received the George Hines Coach of the Year Award for that feat. The award is presented annually to the coach who has contributed the most to USA Swimming’s international success.
Greg Troy and Randy Reese were named University of Florida swimming coaches and Coaches of the Year in the past.
Nesty also made history earlier this year when the USA Swimming Federation named him the head coach of the US men’s team. He later became the first black swimming coach to receive the honor.
Earlier this year, as coach of the Gators, he was also named Southeastern Conference Coach of the Year for the third consecutive year.
Nesti is still the only Surinamese to have achieved Olympic success. The now 54-year-old former professional swimmer won gold at the 1988 Games in Seoul and was nicknamed ‘The Golden Boy’. But apart from that gold medal, Nesty achieved many other victories.
For example, four years after Seoul, he won bronze during the Olympic Games in Barcelona, and he also won gold at the World Cup and Pan-American Games.
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