West Coast Aquatics was formed by the merger of several East Side teams. The merger was inspired by the building of the Frank Fiscalini International Swim Center and the potential of that facility to house a tremendously competitive aquatic organization.
At its inception, WEST offered two programs: youth year-round swim team and Masters swim team. Over the years, to continue with the mission of providing aquatics sports to the community, WEST has developed a summer youth swim team, a community swim lesson program, and a men’s and women’s water polo team, with competitive opportunities offered from entry level to national level.
Greg Tomasello served as the head coach from 1977 until his retirement in December 1992. Mr. Tomasello led several swimmers to Junior and Senior National levels, and he established the WEST summer lesson format that provides a feeder program and fiscal support for WEST.
From December 1994 to September 2001 Dr. Paul Weiss served as Aquatics Director for WEST. Dr Weiss utilized his Ph.D. in Educational Psychology with a focus in Sport Psychology, Human Motivation, and Performance Enhancement to have a positive influence on the development of the organization. Under Dr. Weiss WEST experienced a solid financial base, developed a high-caliber coaching staff, and built the foundations of a healthy relationship with Independence High School, the ESUHSD, and the City of San Jose. Dr Weiss expanded the lesson program, developed a national level water polo program and built a swim team of ESUHSD students that won both local meets such as the South Bay Swim League and placed in National Meets in New York, Arizona, Oklahoma, and Alaska.. In 2001 Dr Weiss left to accept a position at Asphalt Green in New York City.
From 2001 until December 2005 Aquatics Director Victor Wales continued to expand the WEST lesson program to over 2,000 participants and built the Summer Team to 440 swimmers at 3 ESUHSD sites (Independence, Piedmont Hills, and Silver Creek). Victor was also the SJSU Head Women’s Swimming and Diving Coach, and worked with the WEST senior group until becoming the Head Swimming and Diving Coach at the University of Hawaii.
In 2006-2007 WEST made a successful transition to Overfelt High School, hired Danica Burge as the interim aquatics director, re-introduced national team travel, nurtured a range of programs (clinics, pre-competitive teams water polo teams, swim school) to serve the needs of the east side community, continued to build the relationship with all local school districts, and procured college scholarships for graduating ESUHSD seniors. Our 2007 summer program was one the most successful program ever. In addition to offering competitive swimming and polo, WEST ran a record number of swim lessons and hosted events which brought over 5,000 visitors to the community. In August 2007 WEST hosted a complimentary community BBQ at the Fair Community Center.
Plans for 2008 include the “Leap Day” Mile Challenge to raise funds for community programming and scholarships, opening a year run swim school, expanding the novice “pre-competitive” program, expanded community outreach to local schools and community groups, and hosting the Long Course Far Western Swimming Championships (the premier western age group championships)
Starting in 2011, West Coast Aquatics has added a water polo program.