History-maker from Suriname Anthony Nesty is 1st Black coach to head a U.S. Olympic swim team

Dollita Okine October 20, 2023
Anthony Nesty. Photo credit: USA Swimming

Anthony Nesty, the head coach of the University of Florida’s men’s swimming and diving team, will be the first Black head coach of the American men’s swimming team at the Olympics when he takes the team to Paris next year.

Along with announcing Nesty’s selection, USA Swimming also named Todd DeSorbo as the head coach of the women’s team for the 2024 Summer Olympics in swimming.

In a statement released by USA Swimming, Nesty said, “I’m excited to be the men’s head Olympic coach in Paris. Todd and I look forward to coaching these athletes to the best of their abilities in Paris next summer.”

The appointee made history by becoming the first black male swimmer to win an Olympic gold medal while representing his home country, Suriname, at the 1988 Seoul Games. Nesty highlighted the importance of having a renowned black coach in a sport that is still fighting to become more diverse in an interview with The Associated Press ahead of this year’s national championships.

“You know you’re a role model,” he said. “You have to take that very seriously. Maybe it’s why I work so hard at what I do. I try to be the best Anthony Nesty I can be.”

The 55-year-old coach revealed to Good Morning America that, while growing up in Suriname, a traditionally Caribbean nation located on South America’s north coast, his father, Ronald Nesty, taught him and his siblings how to swim.

He attributed his present success to his father, Ronald Nesty, who taught him discipline, hard work, and consistency based on his opinion that sports like swimming brought out the best in athletes because it was entirely up to the individual how well they could do.

Nesty never forgot what his father had taught him when he traveled to the United States as a student-athlete in Florida.

His dedication won him the position of head coach at the University of Florida, as well as an assistant coaching position for Team USA in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics in 2021, where he taught world-class swimmers such as Katie Ledecky, Bobby Finke, and Caeleb Dressel.

He also became the first black coach to lead a United States team to the 2022 World Championships.

Last Edited by:Mildred Europa Taylor Updated: October 20, 2023


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