WRA Welcomes John Collis (P '23) to Lead Swimming & Diving Program

A decorated athlete and coach, Collis looks forward to taking the program's helm.


WRA is pleased to announce the hire of John Collis as the new head coach of our Varsity Swimming & Diving program. Collis returns to WRA after a few years’ hiatus to take up the mantle and help our developing team. 

His own swimming career boasts High School All-American status, as well as a National Championship as a boarding school post-grad at Mercersburg Academy. After Mercersburg, Collis went on to Indiana University, where he swam for James “Doc” Counsilman, who he regards as the greatest of all time.

His coaching career spans 30+ years at many different levels of competition, including NCAA. Currently, he is also the Head Senior Coach at Cleveland Swim Institute, a successful club program in the area. You can learn more about his career here.

Collis is excited about the season ahead for WRA Swimming & Diving. He remarks that his year at boarding school was the most impactful of his life and helps him to understand the rigor and challenge of a Reserve student’s life. Also from his year at Mercersburg, he picked up one of his favorite coaching mantras: “Don’t train swimmers, train athletes who choose to swim,” which refers to his commitment to Speed & Strength land training. He has found that this commitment maximizes swimming performance, while developing optimal health and well-being for each student-athlete. He is excited to implement a strong dryland program to help crosstrain athletes who want to pursue swimming beyond Reserve, as well as those who are just learning the sport for the first time. 

The program has gone through some shifts, and Coach Collis is hard focused on this year’s team, which he believes has the potential to lay the groundwork for what will be a very successful WRA Swimming & Diving program. With a year of competition ahead, and swimmers of all levels, we are excited to have Coach Collis on board.