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WHERE R THEY NOW?: JONATHAN SAKOVICH

GSPN catches up with Guam/CNMI legend swimmer Jonathan Sakovich.

Name: Jon Sakovich

Sports Accomplishments: See list below

Occupation: Head Swim Coach and Aquatics Director for the Bolles School, Bolles School Sharks, and Bolles High School Swim & Dive Team also Swim Camp Director for our Elite Summer Swim Camps

Family: Wife – Angele, 3 kids – John (16), Joseph (12), Avyree (9), – Dog – Addison (5)

Education: Bachelor of Science, Recreation from University of Florida

 

Guam and CNMI swimming legend Jonathan Sakovich is now the overall head coach of a prestigious swim team in Florida. (photo coutesy of Jonathan Sakovich)

Guam and CNMI swimming legend Jonathan Sakovich is now the overall head coach of a prestigious swim team in Florida. (photo coutesy of Jonathan Sakovich)

GSPN: Congratulations on being named the head coach of the Bolles School Sharks. Tell us about the promotion and what it means to you.

 JS: Thank you for the congrats and I am very honored to be named to this position. I have been here at Bolles for almost 15 years and moved up through the rankings until I was as high as I could go without being the head coach. When the current HC stepped down, I knew it was an opportunity I could not pass and went for the HC position. This is a culmination of patience and hard work.

This position means a lot to me. It has always been a goal of mine to be the HC of a top swimming institution. Now I have the opportunity and need to go out there and get after it!

GSPN: Looks like you’ve stayed in Florida since college. Can’t get away from the sun and water?

JS: No, I cannot get away from the sun and water. It was a big part of my life growing up in Saipan and Guam and continues to be a big part. I could never consider living inland so far away from the ocean. Florida (Jacksonville area) is where my wife grew up and after we got married we decided we did not want to move far away from family, mine or hers. When we married she already had a job and I was looking for a job. It was easier to stay in Florida at the time. Once we had kids it was easier to stay in Florida near family. We wanted our kids to grow up with family around and our jobs were here in Florida, so we stayed. The sun and water has definitely helped.

GSPN: Most people that know you from Guam and Saipan know you as a quiet person. How does that work while being a head coach?

JS: I am not as quiet as I used to be, but still pretty quiet. I have my coach persona and my normal quieter persona. I switch between them as needed. I understood long ago that in order the be a HC I was going to have to change or add a few things to my repertoire. Talking was number one on the list. If you catch me off the pool deck on the weekend, I am a lot quieter than if you catch me on the pool deck during the week. Some of it can be attributed to my comfort on the pool deck. If you ask many of my swimmers they will tell you I talk a lot. Go figure.

GSPN: Swimming has been your life dating back to your years in Saipan coached by your father Bill. Did you always know that you would end up coaching?

Jonathan Sakovich receives a swim meet award at age 7 with his coach/mom Jean. It was a meet on Guam against Japanese teams. (photo courtesy of Bill Sakovich)

Jonathan Sakovich receives a swim meet award at age 7 with his coach/mom Jean. It was a meet on Guam against Japanese teams. (photo courtesy of Bill Sakovich)

JS: First I was coached by BOTH my mother (Jean) and father.  Second, No, for the longest time I did not want to be a coach. It was not until I was almost done with my swimming career that I started really thinking about the future and what I wanted to do with it. The future meant giving up my swimming career which I loved. After much thought and assessment I realized that I could never give up the sport of swimming. Swimming had and has done so much for me and given me many opportunities to do things and go places I never would have gone to otherwise. I felt like I owed the sport of swimming, so I decided to take up coaching. Also I could not stand the thought of having to wear a suit and tie to work every day. Shorts and shirt is about it for me.

GSPN: How much time do you spend in the pool now?

JS: Unless I am at the community pool in our neighborhood playing with my children. No time is spent in the pool. Once in a while I get the itch to swim a workout, but mostly not.

GSPN: Have you ever met Michael Phelps?

JS: Seen, watched, yes. Met, no.

GSPN: What are your fondest memories of Saipan? and Guam?

JS: All of them!

Sakovich after winning the 200m free gold in New Caledonia in record time in the 1988 South Pacific Games. (photo courtesy of Jean Sakovich)

Sakovich after winning the 200m free gold in New Caledonia in record time in the 1988 South Pacific Games. (photo courtesy of Jean Sakovich)

GSPN: What do you remember the most representing Guam in the 1988 Olympics?

JS: The brightest memory was sitting at a table in the athlete village for a meal and realizing you were sitting with the “Best of the Best” in the world and I was with them.

I was very honored to represent Guam and Saipan (even though I was there for Guam and Saipan was not able to send athletes, I felt like I was representing both) at the Olympics and Seoul and hoped that I was able to inspire children to work hard and believe and good things can happen.

GSPN: You’re a Father Duenas graduate of 1988. What did FD do for you as a person?

JS: FD taught me that no matter what you wanted out of life, you just had to go out there and get it. You could not wait for it to come to you.

GSPN: What are some of the things you did at FD that you wouldn’t want your kids to know?

JS: I was a pretty good kid and stayed out of trouble. Sure I got fussed here and there for grades,but there is nothing that I would not tell my kids about what I did or did not do at FD!

 

SAKOVICH’S SWIMMING ACCOMPLISHMENTS

1) Competed at the 1988 Olympics for Guam (Seoul, Korea)

2) USA Swimming National Team Member

– 1995 Pan American Games (bronze medalist – 400m free)

– 1995 Pan Pacific Swimming Championships

– National B Team (1994-5)

– National Distance Camp (1992 – 4)

3) Northern Marianas Islands National Team Member

– Pan Pacific Swimming Championships (1985 & 1987)

– World Swimming Championships (1990)

– South Pacific Games (gold, silver, and bronze medalist – 1987)

4) 4-year letterman, University of Florida (1988 – 1992)

– 7-time NCAA All American (1990 – 1992)

5) Ranked 12th in the world 400 free (1994)

6) Top 25 World Ranking 200m free, 400m free, 1500m free (1992 – 1996)

7) 3-time USA swimming national champion (200m free, 400m free, 15km Open Water) (1993)

 

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COMING SOON …

  • YOUTH FOOTBALL LEAGUE KICKOFF June 4
  • Todd Gurley Football Camp on Andersen
  • GSPN Boys Volleyball All-Star Game
  • Pacific Mini-Games in Saipan

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