In August of 2005, when Stephen A. “Sid” Cassidy joined the Athletic Department at Saint Andrew’s, he was already an accomplished leader in aquatics, both nationally and internationally. He immediately assumed duties as the school’s first Aquatic Director and one year later took over head coaching duties for the Scots scholastic swimming and diving teams. In just his third season of 2008, Sid led the Scots’ boys team to their highest ranking in FHSAA history, a third place finish with four All-American awards. The 2008 girls team moved up from 33rd in 2007 to an 11th place ranking with a very young squad and an eye on a top ten finish. In his role as Aquatic director, Cassidy oversees club teams for swimming, diving, and water polo. He has already built his USA Swimming club into a regional powerhouse recognized and placed numerous athletes into top collegiate programs nationwide. Sid has been active in the governance of USA Swimming since 1981 and currently serves on the Board of Directors for Florida Gold Coast Swimming. At the national level he currently serves USA Swimming on the Olympic International Operations Committee and the International Relations Committee.
Cassidy came to Saint Andrew's by way of Atlantic City, New Jersey where he spent seven years as that municipality's Aquatic Director and was the founding father of the Atlantic City Aquatic Club. In his final summer with that team, Cassidy's charges won the boys team title at the Middle Atlantic Junior Olympic Championships and finished runner-up in the overall division. His swimmers earned dozens of all-American accolades and notched two national age group records amidst numerous top ten national rankings. In addition to elite coaching, Cassidy created an outreach program that provided underprivileged youth an opportunity to benefit from the values of USA Swimming that continues to serve to this day.
From 1993 – 1998 Cassidy was the Head coach of the Men’s and Women’s swimming and diving teams at the University of Miami. During that time both squads enjoyed significant success. Cassidy’s men’s teams set a high water mark for UM by capturing a Big East Conference Championship in 1995 and finishing in the top ten at the NCAA Division I Championships four consecutive years. Sid coached one Olympic medalist and dozens of collegiate All-Americans during his tenure with the ‘canes and was named the 1996 Big East Women’s Coach of the Year.
Prior to coaching in Coral Gables, Cassidy coached collegiately at James Madison University, Florida State University and the University of Tampa. As the head men’s coach at James Madison, Sid saw his men win team titles at both the Colonial Athletic Association Championships and the Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference Championships. He was named both ECAC and CAA coach of the year in 1993. For seven seasons previous, Cassidy served as the assistant coach for men’s and women’s swimming at Florida State University. During that time, Sid coached his first national champion and worked with more than thirty All-American swimmers. Cassidy started working with collegiate athletes at the University of Tampa as an assistant coach from 1983 – 1985 while serving as the head coach of the Greater Tampa Swimming Association.
Sid began his coaching career fresh out of college in September of 1979 under the tutelage of his aquatic mentor Bob Mattson at the Wilmington Aquatic Club, his home-town team. Sid became head coach of a 400-member age group team traditionally known as one of the best teams in the region. His success at WAC catapulted him to be selected by USA Swimming as the youngest coach to travel internationally with our national team in 1985. Since that time Sid has served on six other national team assignments for USA Swimming.
As an amateur swimmer Sid had great success throughout his high school and collegiate careers. He was a multiple Delaware schoolboy state champion and record breaker for Salesianum School in Wilmington and an AAU national finalist. He was an alternate to the 1975 Pan-American team and competed in the Final Trials for the 1976 Olympic Games. At North Carolina State University, Sid won eight individual conference titles and for two years reigned as the Atlantic Coast Conference record holder in the 200, 500, 1000 and 1650-yard freestyle events. He was twice named NCAA Division I All-American and his Wolfpack team dominated the ACC while finishing among the top ten in Division I swimming on a regular basis.
In addition to all of his credentials in the pool, arguably Sid’s greatest contribution to the swimming world may come in his role as a swimmer, coach and administrator for open water swimming. Sid began his own open water swimming career in the mid-70s as a member of the Ocean City Beach Patrol where he enjoyed a four year undefeated streak in the Atlantic Ocean. He swam marathon races in the USA, Canada and Egypt and in 1979 finished the year ranked as the #4 professional marathon swimmer in the world. He began to serve USA Swimming as both coach and administrator of open water swimming during the 1980s. From 1991 through 1996 Cassidy served as the national team head coach of open water swimming and often led USA’s top competitors on international trips. In this role he really began to gain support for the concept that the marathon swim should become an Olympic event. In 1996 USA Swimming asked him to move into a political position as a member of FINA’s Technical Open Water Swimming Committee to further the goal of Olympic inclusion. In 2006 Cassidy was tapped as Chairman of the Committee and his leadership is viewed as instrumental in turning the Olympic Marathon dream into a reality. In the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, the very first 10,000-meter Olympic Marathon Swim took place under the direction of Chairman Sid Cassidy and it received rave reviews from the swimmers, coaches, spectators, media and most importantly, from the IOC.
Sid was married in 1992 to the former Kara Keenan, who serves as the SAS Swim School Director. Kara and Sid have two children, Quinn (’13) and Kate (’17), who are both students and aquatic athletes at Saint Andrew’s. The family resides in Boca Raton.