Almost 30 years ago, Alberta Premier Peter Lougheed declared high level swimming competition at the Edmonton Keyano Swim Club would propel top-flight athletes toward Olympic level participation. But Keyano’s pursuit of excellence was already a fact with the hiring of David Johnson, Canada’s premier swim coach.
David joined Keyano following the 1978 Commonwealth Games. For the next 15 years his leadership inspired the club to place more swimmers on national teams than any other program across the country, including four Olympic Games, three Commonwealth Games, two Pan American Games, and three Pan Pacific Games. David coached his swimmers to more than 40 Canadian records and two world records. They earned three national team championships, and more than 20 international medals.
During that period David also coached the University of Alberta Golden Bears and Pandas swim teams. He was Canadian University Coach of the Year in 1989 and 1990. Swimming Canada named him National Coach of the Year in 1980 and 1989.
In 1993, David became Swimming Canada’s national head coach. He led Canadian swimmers through three more Olympic Games and numerous other high level competitions. David’s achievements have already earned him a place in the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame.
“Promising local swimmers no longer had to leave Edmonton in pursuit of world class coaching,” said one former Olympian. “As a result, the culture of excellence in swimming thrived and numerous Edmonton swimmers went on to represent Canada.”
David is now the head coach of Calgary’s Cascade Swim Club.