Eric Craven - Head Coach


Eric has been the head coach of the Aces Swim Club since the fall of 1978. The ACES have been state team champions twenty times under his tenure, with a large number of individual state champions and relay state champions.

Eric started his competitive swimming career as a sophomore at South High School in Denver. He lettered all three years and was named MVP his junior and senior years. He went on to Gunnison, Colorado, where he continued to swim at Western State College. He won all-conference titles in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference in the 200 & 400 IM, was a member of the 400 Medley Relay, the 400 and 800 Freestyle Relays. While in college, he coached a summer club swimming team at Washington Park where he got his first taste of coaching young athletes. After graduation in 1976 with a B.A. Degree in Physical Education and a minor in History and Art, Eric was not quite through with competitive swimming. He was named to the team that was to represent the United States at the World Games for the Deaf in Bucharest, Romania. In the summer of 1977, he competed in the 200, 400, and 1500 Freestyle, 200 Backstroke, 400 IM, and swam a leg on the 800 Freestyle Relay. He came home with one gold medal, two bronze medals, and one world record.

Eric was named the ACES Swim Club Head Coach in 1978. Since he has been the head coach, his team has done well in the 1980's, 1990's, and the 2000's. He has compiled many Colorado state champions, Colorado team champions and other notable achievements. Below are his team's accomplishments:

  • State Individual Champions-197
  • State Relay Champions-79
  • Junior National Champions-13
  • State Records-131
  • Olympic Trial Qualifiers in 1980, 1988, 1992, 1996, 2000, and 2008
  • Senior National Qualifiers- 28

Eric has been the head coach of the Aces Swim Club since the fall of 1978. The ACES have been state team champions twenty times under his tenure, with a large number of individual state champions and relay state champions. Starting his 37th year, along with the coaching staff of Leah Aglietti, Barbie Barker, Tom Byorick, Kevin Chatham, Morgan Edwards, Alicen Fair, Audrey Gaddis, Christina Kwon, Kipp Meeks, and Michelle Thompson, the ACES will be looking forward to another great year of high expectations and great things to come in the 2015-2016 swimming season.

Eric started his competitive swimming career as a sophomore at South High School in Denver. He lettered all three years and was named MVP his junior and senior years. He went on to Gunnison, Colorado, where he continued to swim at Western State College. He won all-conference titles in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference in the 200 & 400 IM, was a member of the 400 Medley Relay, 400 & 800 Freestyle Relays. While in college, he coached a summer club swimming team at Washington Park where he got his first taste of coaching young athletes. After graduation in 1976 with a B.A. Degree in Physical Education and a minor in History and Art, Eric was not quite through with competitive swimming. He was named to the team that was to represent the United States at the World Games for the Deaf in Bucharest, Romania. In the summer of 1977, he competed in the 200, 400, and 1500 Freestyle, 200 Backstroke, 400 IM, and swam a leg on the 800 Freestyle Relay. He came home with one gold medal, two bronze medals, and one world record.

Eric was named the ACES Swim Club Head Coach in 1978. Since he has been the head coach, his team has done well in the 1970's, 1980's, 1990's, and the 2000's. He has compiled many Colorado state champions, Colorado team champions and other notable achievements. Below are his team's accomplishments:

  • State Individual Champions-212
  • Team Championships-1978 (LC), 1987 (SC), 1988 (SC), 1988 (LC), 1997 (SC), 1997 (LC), 2015 (SC), 2015 (LC)
  • State Relay Champions-90
  • Junior National Champions-13
  • State Records-145
  • Olympic Trial Qualifiers in 1980, 1988, 1992, 1996, 2000, 2008, and 2012
  • Junior National Qualifiers-102
  • Senior National Qualifiers-30

Eric has been named Colorado Coach of the Year in 1980, 1986, 1989, 1990, 1997, and 1998. He is also an Age Group Level 5 Coach, the highest ranking given by the American Swim Coaches Association (ASCA).

In his spare time Eric also coaches Cherry Creek High School Girls Swimming and Diving team. His dual meet record is 221 wins - 15 losses - 8 ties over a twenty year span. During his tenure his girls have won twenty-four Centennial League Titles, have finished in forth place three times, third place twice at state, second place five times, and were State Champions thirteen times. The Cherry Creek Girls were named to the TEAM Cheerios cereal box in 1997. He was named Colorado High School Girls Coach of the Year in 1993, 1997, 2002, 2003, 2004, and 2005. Eric was also named to the Denver Post and Rocky Mountain News newspapers as coach of the year in 1997, 1998, 2003, and 2005. He was recognized as the National Federation High School (NFHS) Coach of the Year in 2000 and 2006.

Eric stresses technique, because he believes proper repetition develops a very powerful stroke and reduces chance of injury. "I'd rather see a swimmer look good in the water and go slow, than someone who looks ugly and swims fast. The hardest part about swimming is doing any of the strokes to perfection; the easiest part about swimming is the training. Once you know how to swim correctly and make it look effortless then the training is simple, you just train to reach for the ultimate goal".

What is his greatest reward in the sport of swimming? "It is nice watching an athlete perform at his or her best, seeing them come to practice everyday working at being the best they can be, and developing new and long lasting friendships. But, the most important thing is that the swimmers love to be at practice because they enjoy swimming, and that it will be a life long sport for them. Hopefully, through the course of their lives, they will pass on their love and knowledge of swimming to other young athletes". This is evident, because Eric is now seeing many of his former swimmers are back with the ACES with their own children enjoying the sport of swimming.

Eric finds great joy in being with his family: his wife Jan, his step-daughter Cori, her husband Brent Grube, and their son Trey and daughter Liesel, his step-son Peter Rebstock, his wife Brooke, their son Ryder and daughter Cadence, and another daughter expected in October.