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Virginia Hunt Newman International Award

Jim Reiser -

World Aquatic Babies Network

2015 Virginia Hunt Newman Award

Sponsored by Kiefer


The comment from one of his mother’s swimmer’s sums up Jim Reiser’s teaching style and how beloved he is: “It’s like having Mr. Rogers teach your child to swim. Only a parent could teach with that much love!


Jim Reiser is a third generation teacher and coach. He began to teach swimming under his father’s supervision in Johnstown, Pennsylvania. After eight years of coaching with his father, he went away to college, and after only one year, he was leasing the pool at the California University of Pennsylvania to run swim lessons. This ambitious and very busy undergrad taught 1400 children from 1990 to 1993.


After the success and initiative of his time at California University, he was offered a teaching assistantship in Aquatics and Physical Education at the University of South Carolina by graduate director, Dr. John Spurgeon. He moved to Columbia and earned his Master’s degree.


While at USC, Jim served as a graduate assistant to Dr. Richard Hohn, where he would learn to train, develop and assess the effectiveness of the undergraduate physical education majors. Jim also taught the undergraduate aquatic courses. After earning his Master’s degree in 1995, the department hired him to be its “Swim Professor”, where he served as a faculty member until 2005.


While in graduate school, Jim also launched the Swim Lessons Company, and he began to design a template for training swim instructors which would eventually become known as Swim Lessons University. The Swim Lessons Company not only has four locations, but Jim’s swim school has also been teaching nearly 2000 second graders every year since 2005 through a contract reached with the Richland School District One in Columbia, SC. In 1995, Jim wrote and produced his first video, “Teaching Swimming Effectively” which served as his Masters Degree project. In 1999, Jim produced “Home Swim School” which eventually became known as “Swim 101”, a video-based certification course for teaching preschoolers to swim. The video received rave reviews from the likes

of Olympic coach, Richard Quick, and author and renowned coach, Ernie Maglischo.


Jim Reiser has been honored over the years by different organizations in his field. He has been the recipient of the Adolph Kiefer “Water Safety Person of the Year” award presented by USA Swimming; the “Community Lifesaver Award” by the National Drowning Prevention Alliance and the “President’s Award” by the World Aquatic Babies

and Children’s Congress.

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