The Regional YMCA of Western Connecticut (RYWC) is proud to announce that Gordon Brown, Assistant Competitive Swimming Director and Head Age Group Coach has just been awarded the Bill Krumm Age Group Coach of the Year from Connecticut Swimming! Through strong fundamental work, swim safety skills, and a pursuit of excellence through competitive aquatic programming, Gordon has led many swimmers to achieve their goals both in the pool and out –making an incredible impact on their lives– and we are proud to have him as part of our team!

This past season in fact, Ian Lee, a RYWC Makos swimmer, broke the Connecticut record for the 11-12 age group 200-meter freestyle. This was a goal that him and Gordon both set at the beginning of the season, but they only had until the Middle School Madness Meet, which was hosted by the RYWC, to accomplish it since Ian turned 13 on the last day of the meet.

“I remember saying to him, ‘This is possible. But you really have to bring it home.’” Gordon said, thinking fondly.

The meet was very close, the old record being 2:08.03. In practice, they focused on getting to the 150 mark by 1:35. Throughout the morning of the meet, they discussed pacing and made adjustments as they went. With his teammates and Gordon cheering behind him, Ian hit the 150 clocking a time of 1:34 and then finished the race at 2:07.82. It was close, but Ian’s hard work got him to the record-breaking finish. Gordon remarked this as being one of his favorite memories at the Y.

But even before Gordon started serving the YMCA professionally, he established strong ties to the YMCA during his youth, when he swam for the Northwest YMCA Lasers and then later for Springfield College, which was founded as a YMCA training school. He said it was between those two experiences that he learned many of the core values of the YMCA and wanted to continue giving back to the community through swimming. Being awarded the Bill Krumm Age Group Coach of the Year award from Connecticut Swimming is proof that he is doing just that.

Bill Krumm, who was the Head Coach of the Westport YMCA Water Rats for 27 years, recently passed this year. He was described by many of his peers as a great leader and coach who possessed incredible respect for his sport and swimmers. This  award from Connecticut Swimming is given to one coach that has been nominated and voted on by other coaches in the state. Gordon had been nominated twice before for this award and was finally chosen this year.

“In time," Gordon said, "I hope that my coaching efforts and hours spent on the pool deck will live up to Bill’s memory. Having a great group of swimmers at the Regional YMCA makes the hard work a lot of fun."

Gordon described his experience coaching for the Makos as a satisfying and enjoyable, remarking how his swimmers can always put a smile on his face.

“I always look forward to practice and seeing my swimmers. Even when they are really tired, they still have a great attitude and sense of humor. You can almost always bet that the swimmers that are having fun and smiling at the meet are going to swim their best.  Being able to create an atmosphere of success for my swimmers is so rewarding, and something I always look forward too. ”

When Gordon isn’t working hard on swim pacing and coaching techniques, he enjoys staying active through other outdoor sports like snowboarding and golf. He also loves traveling and is looking forward to marrying his fiancé next year.

Every day, in thousands of places, each Y is serving a different us. In times of crisis, in times of need, and sometimes, just because.

Staff members like Gordon are committed to working together to strengthen our community and help build a better us.

The Y. For a better us.

Makos Swim Team

The Regional YMCA of Western CT Mako Swim Club is an operating program of the Regional YMCA of Western CT, and is led by a professional coaching staff that is supported by a strong parents committee.

The Mako Swim Team is supervised and structured by a YMCA Senior Director that implements the educational and training objectives for the program which are then executed by the YMCA Mako coaches.  The Senior Aquatics Director oversees the development of all levels and supervises all staff members associated with the program as well as the members of the Mako Parent Committee.  All team policies, with the exception of volunteer requirements, are set by the YMCA professional staff including the Branch Executive Director.

The Mako Swim Team functions as a “YMCA” and “USA” swimming club, meaning the club participates within a local YMCA league and United States Swimming sanctioned events throughout the year.