Cheshire girls swim coach Dan Mascolo, who took over the program in 2012, hadn’t been actively seeking a new job or thinking about leaving the Rams.
Mascolo has been an associate head coach for the CheshireY/Sea Dog Swim Club, a local youth swim club. Sean Farrell is the head coach for the Sea Dogs and Mascolo has been his lead assistant. When an offer came up for a head coaching job with the Greater Spartanburg YMCA swim club in South Carolina, he couldn’t pass up the new opportunity.
On Monday he accepted the position in South Carolina and has stepped down as the Cheshire girls swim coach and his job as associate head coach with the Sea Dogs.
“I was not actively looking for a new job,” Mascolo said. “But if the right head coaching job came along I would have to consider it and do what’s best for me and for my family. The Spartanburg job is one of those jobs you can’t pass up.
“When it was posted it was too good not to look at and consider. It’s a move up for me now because I become the head coach for a Greater Spartanburg club that is bigger than the Sea Dogs with about 100 more swimmers. It’s a great opportunity.”
When Mascolo took over in 2012 he had some big shoes to fill replacing National High School Hall of Fame coach Ed Aston. But the Rams didn’t miss a beat with Mascolo.
In the six years Mascolo has coached, the Rams have won six straight Southern Connecticut Conference team titles. Last season they won the SCC meet with a meet record 1,630.5 points, breaking the mark set by the Rams the previous season.
Mascolo finishes with a regular season dual meet record of 62-2. Last season, the Rams won the CIAC Class L title and were runner-up in the CIAC State Open. They were runner-up in Class Lin 2016 and runner-up in Class LL in 2012. He was the 2016 Register All-Area Coach of the Year and 2014 SCC Coach of the Year.
“Dan has been instrumental in the continued success of our girls swim program,” Cheshire athletic director Steve Trifone said. “His knowledge of the sport and dedication have been very beneficial to making our girls the best they can be.
“Some people have already inquired about the position. We will post it and hope for a strong pool of candidates.”
Mascolo has been selected to be part of the coaching staff for USA Swimming at the Eastern Zone Select Camp for youth swimmers aged 13-14 at the University of Virginia. He left for Virginia on Wednesday for the camp to be held Thursday-Sunday.
“It’s been such a process coaching the (Cheshire High) girls the past six years,” Mascolo said. “But the one constant is the work ethic of the girls to fight and scratch for everything. One of the many memories for me is witnessing their progression the last four years. We finished fourth at Class L four years ago, then third in L and then second and then they won it last season.
“We have had so many strong swimmers. There was (2013 Register All-Area MVP) Lyndsay Smalec and (two-time Register All-Area MVP) Liz Boyer. But there have been so many girls that stand out for me who didn’t always jump off the page but contributed so much. Girls like Izzi Gessman, Aru Rageevan, Molly Condron and Ellie Senft.”
Mascolo said while the winning tradition is strong at Cheshire, he made it a point as coach not to put pressure on the girls by making winning a priority.
“The priority has been to take it one day at a time, improve to be the best we can be and ask ourselves how can we swim better,” Mascolo said. “Another important thing I am proud of is the girls have been as successful out of the pool as they have been in the pool. Last season’s group has a team GPA of 3.7 and that’s impressive for a team of 50 girls.
“I am proud of the standards the girls have set. There is a solid foundation for whoever takes over the program next season. I don’t know who is interested in taking over. But for me, the ideal person would be the person Sean Farrell hires to replace me for the associate coaching position with the CheshireY/Sea Dog Swim Club. That would continue the ideal situation I have of working with the girls in the youth program and then helping them make a smooth transition to the high school level.”
Mascolo starts his new job with the Greater Spartanburg YMCA swim club in July.