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Anthony Nesty Makes History: First Black U.S. Head Swim Coach at Olympics


HC Nesty has made history! Photo: Instagram @anthony_nestyuf and @gatorsswimdv
HC Nesty has made history! Photo: Instagram @anthony_nestyuf and @gatorsswimdv


In a monumental moment for the world of swimming, Anthony Nesty has once again etched his name into the annals of history. The University of Florida coach has been named as the head coach for the U.S. men's swimming team in the upcoming Olympics in Paris, marking a historic milestone as he becomes the first Black head coach to lead the powerhouse American squad at the Olympic Games.


USA Swimming made this momentous announcement, also revealing Todd DeSorbo as the head coach for the women's squad for the Paris Olympics.


Nesty's coaching prowess is well-respected in the swimming community, as he has worked closely with some of the finest American swimmers, including the likes of Katie Ledecky, Caeleb Dressel, and Bobby Finke.


"I'm excited to be the men's head Olympic coach in Paris," Nesty expressed, reflecting on this remarkable achievement. "Todd and I look forward to coaching these athletes to the best of their abilities in Paris next summer."


Nesty showing a lot of excitement over his team successes at a swim meet | Photo: Instagram @anthony_nestyuf and @gatorsswimdv
Nesty showing a lot of excitement over his team successes at a swim meet | Photo: Instagram @anthony_nestyuf and @gatorsswimdv

Anthony Nesty's journey to this historic appointment is nothing short of inspiring. Competing for Suriname, he created waves by becoming the first Black male swimmer to clinch an Olympic gold medal, stunning the world when he outperformed Matt Biondi at the 1988 Seoul Games. In 2022, Nesty added another chapter to his legacy by becoming the first Black coach to lead a U.S. team at the world championships.


Reprising their roles from the Budapest worlds, where they achieved remarkable success, Nesty and DeSorbo will be at the helm once again. Nesty led the men's team, while DeSorbo skillfully guided the women's group to victory.


Lindsay Mintenko, managing director of the U.S. national team, expressed her excitement about having Nesty and DeSorbo as part of the coaching staff for the Paris Olympics, recognizing the immense experience and leadership they bring to the games.


Nesty's own journey as an Olympic gold medalist in the 100-meter butterfly at Seoul in 1988 is a testament to his dedication to the sport. At the Tokyo Olympics, where he served as an assistant coach for the U.S. team, Nesty's swimmers, including Bobby Finke and Kieran Smith, achieved remarkable success, contributing to the American haul of 30 medals.


Since then, Nesty has continued to mentor and guide the rising stars of American swimming, with Caeleb Dressel and Katie Ledecky joining his pro training group in Gainesville, Florida.

Nesty has worked with some of the finest athletes in the country. | Photo: Instagram @anthony_nestyuf and @gatorsswimdv
Nesty has worked with some of the finest athletes in the country. | Photo: Instagram @anthony_nestyuf and @gatorsswimdv

The U.S. team's achievements in Budapest were nothing short of historic, with 45 medals captured in the pool, surpassing the previous record of 38 held by any individual country.


The path to the Paris Olympics will be determined at the Olympic trials scheduled for next June at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.


In a recent interview with The Associated Press, Nesty acknowledged the significance of his role as a prominent Black coach in a sport that is still striving for greater diversity. He understands the importance of being a role model, stating, "You know you're a role model. You have to take that very seriously. Maybe it's why I work so hard at what I do. I try to be the best Anthony Nesty I can be."


From producing one of the greatest upsets in Olympic swimming history to now making history as the first Black head coach for the U.S. men's swimming team at the Olympics, Anthony Nesty's journey is nothing short of extraordinary. His story is a beacon of inspiration, and he continues to pave the way for future generations in the world of swimming.

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