Ellen Johnston, head coach of the Water Rat Swim Team, was selected on April 2nd as the national YMCA “Coach of the Year.” The award, which is given at the YMCA Short Course National Swimming Championship, was announced during finals at the Greensboro Aquatic Complex in North Carolina.
Going into Thursday’s finals, the Water Rat men’s team was in second place and the team over all was tied with the New Canaan YMCA Caimans, and a few other teams, for 26th place.
Ellen was named head coach of the Water Rats in the spring of 2012. She celebrated 25 years with the Water Rat Swim Team in 2011.
Ellen joined the team in November 1986 as an assistant coach, working with swimmers at every level in the program. She quickly became a full-time assistant coach and was promoted to Senior Coach in 1990. Prior to working in Westport, Ellen coached the Bulldog Swim Club in Bowie, Maryland, where she was the Senior II and Head Age Group Coach. She also coached all levels of the South Carolina Aquatic Team in Columbia.
Ellen twice has been Connecticut Senior Coach of the Year and was nominated for the honor again in 2008, 2009 and 2010. This is the first time that she has been named YMCA “Coach of the Year.”