New swim coach hopes to bring stability to Venice YMCA

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SARASOTA COUNTY - The Venice YMCA has had a revolving door of swim coaches in the past few years, but they now have a coach who has trained Olympians in the past, and wants to be here for the long haul.

Bruce Patmos oversees a swim program at the Venice YMCA that has shriveled to its lowest number of swimmers in years. Patmos brings 30 years of coaching experience, and he hopes continuity, as well.

"Headed out to California for about 20 years; I built a program from 90 to 400 kids. We're starting out with some really low numbers, so we are trying to build the numbers both in club and in masters. I hope to be about 150 a year from now."

When he was contacted about the job, he was in Ohio caring for his parents, and he expected the worst. But he was pleasantly surprised to find a wonderful facility.

It’s a great starting point for his plans. "We are just trying to rebuild a program here that has fallen on bad times with turnovers with coaches. I plan to be here for a long time to build a program under the Sharks program equal to what they have up in Sarasota."

Patmos coached in California for many years, and while he was there he coached many to the Olympic qualifiers, but his two prize pupils are Olympic gold medalist Anthony Ervin, in the 50 freestyle; and Abe Woodward, who won a bronze medal in the 4x100 relay.

He expects to find more talent here on the Suncoast. "Pretty much the best advertisement is how your kids do in meets. The word travels and people want to come where you are and they want to get as fast as your kids with your training methods."

Consistency and continuity are traits that help swimmers become great. They can also be keys to building, and coaching a great program.