About Us

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SwimMAC Carolina is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that offers swimming programs for people of all ages and experience levels. Established as the Mecklenburg Aquatic Club in 1977, we have grown from a small competitive team into a highly-regarded organization that provides aquatic instruction and training for nearly 10,000 people in the Charlotte region each year.  Our mission is to empower young people to be champions in life through excellence in swimming by continually working toward these four ends:
Engage  Children and families entering the sport with an opportunity for lifelong enrichment
Develop  Athletes benefiting from collegiate swimming opportunities
Inspire  Athletes inspired to train for elite levels
Lead  The SwimMAC Carolina model of excellence is embraced by other members of the global competitive swimming community




Our organization includes an elected board of directors. Terry Fritch is the Head Coach for all SwimMAC programs, supported by a core leadership team comprised of staff members in coaching, administrative and financial roles. 




SwimMAC Carolina is a big family with several areas of programming that support one another. About 6,500 students come through our Swim School annually. The Junior Swim League has more than 1,000 participants, many of whom move on to our competitive team. For training purposes, the competitive team of about 850 members is broken into four divisions by age and skill level: Marlin, Dolphin, Shark and Senior. Another 600 young athletes are a part of our Teen Fit program, and our masters group includes another 150 swimmers. Additional programming for home schooled students and partnerships with local schools allow SwimMAC to reach more than 400 children with water safety and swimming instruction.




In general terms, SwimMAC has a north region and a south region. The north region serves the Lake Norman, Huntersville, Mooresville, Concord and University City areas. The south region serves much of Charlotte, the towns of Pineville and Matthews, and into South Carolina. Partnerships with a number of municipal and community pools allow us to provide programming at several different locations throughout the Charlotte region.  




Five families founded MAC in 1977 with Peter Carney as the heach coach.  Our first home was Johnson C. Smith University.  MAC under bubble with original NessieWithin two years, the MAC program had grown to sixty swimmers and moved to Sharonview Country Club, where much needed pool space was gained.  MAC parents purchased and erected a bubble to cover the outdoor pool at Sharonview so that the program could continue year round.  Over the next several years the program grew dramatically, requiring MAC to lease additional space at Thompson Children’s Home, and again back at Johnson C.Smith University.  Between 1980 and 1985, the MAC family grew to more than 300 competitive swimmers and had developed one of the largest learn-to-swim programs in the country.  The program thrived, but was always in a tentative situation as the owners of the rented pools could withdraw their support at any time.  MAC needed a home of it’s own.

Thanks to the generosity of MAC parent Bill Baker, owner of Paddock Pools in Rock Hill, South Carolina, we got it. The MAC Swim Center at Charlotte Latin School opened in October 1990. But we weren't done growing! The Charlotte area was expanding rapidly and the northern region was lacking a swim program. Davidson College's head swim coach contacted MAC about establishing a team in the area to help feed his college program. The partnership worked, and MAC opened a satellite swim program at Davidson College in 1994.  The program filled quickly, eventually outgrowing the lane space available at Davidson. MAC rented space at the Lake Norman YMCA and at the fitness center in Birkdale, before forming a relationship with Huntersville Family Fitness and Aquatics (HFFA) in 2001. The partnership with HFFA allowed us to establish the Swim School and masters programs for our north members, and gave us the opportunity to open a second location of the Carolina Swim Shop.

By 2007 MAC had established itself with a long history of innovation, leadership and successful programming that lead to the creation of our country's first Center of Excellence for swimming, in partnership with USA Swimming and the United States Olympic Committee. David Marsh was hired to lead this initiative after spending 17 years building the Auburn University program.  A significant component of the Center of Excellence was to develop a self-sustaining post-graduate training group while also developing a model age group developmental program.




Terry Fritch 2017 - present
David Marsh 2007 - 2017
Dave Gibson 2002 - 2006
Pat Hogan 1993 - 2002
Jeff Gaeckle 1981 - 1993
Peter Carney  1977 – 1981