Sherrard Earns Award from Florida Swimming Association
LAKELAND - Florida Southern's Duncan Sherrard received some surprising news over the weekend as the Moccasins coach was named as the Senior Coach of the Year by the Florida Swimming Association at its annual House of Delegates meeting in Howie in the Hills.
The Florida Swimming Association is an organization that develops and supports USA Swimming programs in the Florida LSC for the benefit of athletes, coaches, parents and the general community. The organization has a seven-fold mission statement as it serves as the governing body for Florida Swimming, Inc. and as a member of USA Swimming.
Sherrard, who led the Mocs men's program to third place finish at last season's NCAA Division II National Championships and the women's team to a 10th place finish at the NCAA D-II Championships, was in shock when we heard he had won the award.
"It was a total surprise to me. I didn't know and I didn't expect it," Sherrard said. "The award usually goes to people like my former coach at Florida, who put people on the Olympic team. I have never considered myself to be in that category."
According to the FSA, the Senior Coach of the Year award is given to a senior coach who has had the biggest impact on swimming in the state of Florida. Sherrard's former coach at the University of Florida, Gregg Troy has been of the award's past winners.
"Persistent fast swims from his high school and college-level swimmers and a growing program was the reason for him (Duncan) getting this award," said Charlie Rose, senior vice chairman of Florida Swimming. "Lakeland has had a great tradition of swimming over the past 40 years, but in recent years, Duncan has helped raise Lakeland to another level.
"We're happy to have him in the Florida Swimming Association."
Along with coaching both the men's and women's swimming teams at FSC, Sherrard also serves as the coach of the Lakeland Area Swim Club.
Last season with the Mocs, Sherrard, who was a former 14-time All-American at Florida and a three-time Southeastern Conference champion who ranks in the Top 10 at Florida and holds the Polk County record in the 100 butterfly, coached six national champions on the men's side and also had several Lakeland Area Swim Club performers reach the finals in the Junior Nationals in both 2011 and 2012.
Sherrard says that this award wouldn't have been possible without the efforts of his assistant coaches, hard-working swimmers and faithful parents.
"All of those things go hand-in-hand in helping to make this award come together," said Sherrard, who is a Lakeland/Bartow native.