OUR FOUNDERS


Jack Nelson
is a head Olympic, World Games and Pan American Games coach, former collegiate all-American, three time world record holder and Olympian. He is the only person in the history of USA swimming who has been both an Olympic swimmer and an Olympic head coach. Coach Nelson has the distinct honor to have been inducted into six halls of fame …. Greater Fort Lauderdale Sports Hall of Fame, University of Miami Sports Hall of Fame, Saint Thomas Aquinas Hall of Fame, North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame, State of Florida Sports Hall of Fame, and the International Swimming Hall of Fame.

Coach Jack Nelson is the most successful high school coach in the history of swimming with 30 state team championships and over 460 all-Americans. Jack has coached forty Olympians, including gold medalists Joel Thomas, Paige Zemina, Dave Edgar, Shirley Stobbs, Sheila Taormina, Melanie Valerio, David Fox, and Tripp Schwenk. He has also coached world and U.S. record holders Andy Coan and Laurie Lehner, and American record holders Margie Moffit, Ann Marshall, Bonnie Brown, Tom McAneney, Seth van Neerden. Under Coach Nelson√Ęs leadership, FLST had numerous men’s and women’s relays achieve National records while representing the City of Fort Lauderdale.

Jack has been the coach of U.S. national teams in 1974, 1975, 1976, 1979, 1981, 1983, 1990 and 1994. He was the 1976 U.S. women’s head Olympic coach. Coach Nelson is filled with pride for his 1976 Olympic women’s 400 freestyle relay that broke the world record while defeating the drug laden East German women.

The International Swimming Hall of Fame and thousands of swimmers throughout the world have named this team the relay of the century. Jack and Sherrill Nelson were coach and head manager of the 1983 US Pan American Games team in Venezuela. Sherrill was also the head manager of the 1987 Pan American Games swim team in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Jack and Sherrill participated as members of the United States swimming coaching staff at the 1990 World Cup meet in Perth, Australia. Four of the Fort Lauderdale swim team members were competitors on that United States contingent. In 1991, Sherrill returned to Perth as a member of the World Games staff. In 1993, FLST had seven swimmers on the Pan Pacific Games team in Kobe, Japan. In 1994, FLST had seven men and women on the World Games team in Rome, Italy. In 1996, FLST won the men’s national title and the combined National Championship Title in Orlando, Florida at the Spring Nationals and the open water combined team championship in Indialantic, Florida. Sherrill Nelson was the USA 1998 Women-In-Swimming award winner. In 1999, the International Swimming Hall of Fame named Sherrill as their grand dame for her outstanding contributions to USA Swimming.

jack nelson magazine cover

FLST had ten American men and women who swam fast enough to compete at the 2000 Olympic trials in Indianapolis, Indiana. FLST was responsible for the training of several other swimmers who represented their respective countries at the 2000 Olympics in Sydney; Eileen Coparropa (Panama), Howard Hinds (Curacao), Hakim Habbibulla (Indian), Martina Moravkova (Slovakia), Hanka Cerna (Czech Republic), Manny Colmenares (Venezuela), Francisco Paez (Venezuela), Oswaldo Quevedo (Venezuela), Fernando Jacome (Colombia), Jani Sievinen (Finland).

The FLST men’s team has most recently won the 2001 State of Florida Sectional Championships in both Orlando and Fort Lauderdale. In 2001, twelve graduating FLST swimmers received college scholarships for their outstanding athletic ability.