I began swimming with North Whidbey Aquatic Club when I was 8 years old. By the time I was 13, I had swam for four head coaches. Neil was hired as I was entering my freshman year of high school. He was granted a waiver by the state to coach both high school and club that year and because of his coaching excellence, he was voted Coach of the Year by his peers.
I swam for Neil until I left for college and for two summers during college. I also studied biology under Neil at Skagit Valley College in the Running Start program. Neil was instrumental in my acceptance to college. Not only because of the excellent swim training I received from him as a coach and the glowing recommendation letter he wrote for me, but because of what I learned from him in the pool in addition to how to swim fast. Because of Neil I knew what the word proprioception meant at age 14. I knew the difference between aerobic and anaerobic threshold and how each type of effort was enhancing my training. He was unfailingly willing to explain why we were doing what we were doing in the water. He doesn’t just teach his kids to swim, he teaches them to think. He’s training athletes and scientists. He is by far the best coach I have ever worked with.
Last May, I graduated with honors from Steven Institute of Technology. I qualified twice to swim at Senior Nationals and shared the pool in Irvine, Calif. with Olympians in 2010 with Neil at my side. I am a five-time Division III All American. I can say with conviction that Neil Romney has been instrumental to all of my success.
I was recently informed that Neil Romney has been fired. I am not familiar with the details. What I do know is that Neil has always done what is best for his team. If Neil’s actions were called into question I would want to know exactly what the details were and who was calling them in to question before I entertained the idea that Neil was not the best possible option for our team.