It’s Our Anniversary!

The year was 1994, the organization was MAC, and the head coach was Pat Hogan. The competitive team was exceling, auxiliary programs were well established, and MAC was firmly entrenched in the city's swimming scene. A city that was growing steadily.  There was rapid expansion on the north side of town, and Rich DeSelm, who was Davidson College's head swimming coach at the time, saw an opportunity. "Rich, who is now the head coach at UNC Chapel Hill, was the person that paved the way for (our expansion)," said Hogan. "He wanted to start a club program at Davidson to support the college team. He contacted us to explore our interest in having a satellite program there." The rest, as they say, is history.
 
Hogan brought in Kathy McKee to launch the North program and partner with Davidson. "We knew it was very important to have a leader who shared in our team philosophy," said Hogan.  "I had great experience with Kathy back in our Dynamo (Atlanta, Georgia) days and she was the ideal choice to make this expansion happen."
 
McKee came on board in September 1994 and began building the north team. "When I started we had 23 swimmers on the team.  It was truly a start from scratch program.  Most of these youngsters had never swum before other than local swim lessons," said McKee.
 
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. "Our strong relationship with HFFA helped us grow to a point where we were fortunate to begin a swim lesson program and open a store as part of our agreement," said McKee. Masters swimming was then established at the HFFA location, making MAC North a fully developed aquatics program for all ages.
 
There were many challenges along the way, but McKee says the expansion succeeded because it was a team effort. "The North program is the result of a dream from the leadership at MAC back in 1993-94, the nurturing of solid relationships at the facilities we rented from and the work of a lot of people, including great coaches and parents that rallied to become instrumental board members and invaluable volunteers."
 
Twenty years later, the north program's success has presented new challenges and new opportunities. The need for lane space is on-going, and while we continue to foster our long-standing facility partnerships, we are also forging relationships with additional community pools and looking forward to breaking ground on our new aquatic center at LangTree in Mooresville.  Expanding and improving the aquatic facilities in our area allows us to continue the legacy previous generations have built and work toward our goal of being a model for others in the global swimming community. 

Click here to see a photo gallery from some of the early years.  Have photos you'd like to share? Send them to photos@swimmaccarolina.org

Special thanks to Pat Hogan, Kathy McKee, Kelly Kent, and Sue & Kenny Colbert for their contributions.