Andover Boys Swimming Head Coach David Fox first joined Andover’s program in 2005 as an Assistant Coach to Jacques Hugon ’79. Since then, the team has accumulated an unparallelled 78-9-2 record across all competitions, winning five New England Preparatory School Athletic Council (Nepsac) Championships and earning two fourth place finishes at the Eastern Championships. After returning from sabbatical this year, Fox has continued Andover’s excellence by leading the team to a league record of 7-0.
Reflecting on his success as a coach, Fox said, “This form of success emerges, I think, in Coach Hugon and [me] actually not emphasizing winning. Instead, we emphasize what is in our control (to a great extent, how fast we swim) and minimize what is not – how others perform. There are a lot of strong swimmers in New England, but from my point of view, focusing on winning within New England is so provincial that it actually sets expectations of what we can do far too low.”
An athlete himself, Fox was a nationally ranked age-group swimmer, state record holder and qualifier for the NCAA Division-III Championships at Bates College. At Bates, he held school records in nine out of the 18 swimming events.
After college, Fox coached at the Trojan Aquatic Club and worked with 21 Junior National qualifiers, one Junior National Champion, six Senior National qualifiers and one Olympic Trials qualifier.
Fox found his way to Andover in 2004 as an English teacher before joining the Boys Swimming program one year later. Because he was on sabbatical last year, Fox had never worked with a majority of the team prior to this season. Of the 16 boys on the team, Fox had only coached six in the past.
“Returning from sabbatical this year, I have been challenged, in good ways, in working with a group of athletes who I really did not know. The challenge has been much fun, though, and I think that I am getting to know them and that we are all getting in better sync with the philosophy of Andover swimming,” said Fox.
Despite Fox’s impressive background in swimming, his modesty defines his coaching style.
Co-Captain Marcello Rossi ’16 said, “There are many qualities that make Coach Fox a great coach. First and foremost, he is always humble, no matter how well the odds are stacked in our favor. While we celebrate our successes and wins in dual meets frequently, he keeps us grounded and focused on the ultimate objective: winning New Englands.”
“Coach Fox takes active steps to help us improve. During our lactate sprint sets, he takes underwater GoPro videos of our stroke and posts them online with commentary. This is super helpful to give us an understanding of how to improve our technique,” continued Rossi.
As the team gears up to compete in the Nepsac Championships, Fox wants the boys to focus on their own personal success rather than exclusively on winning.
“We have lots of ambitious goal times, for both our individual and relay events, and we will do what we can to make sure we are best positioned to achieve them. How other teams perform simply does not matter in how I judge the success of a team or a season,” said Fox.
Rossi said, “[Coach Fox] has been an amazing coach, mentor and friend so far. I cannot wait for New England Championships this year.”