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Coach Ed


Ed carrera: Coach of the year


Dear ISL Board Members,

If you've heard one of Coach Ed Carrera's pre-meet pep talks to his team, you know how special, inspirational and uplifting his words can be. Over many, many summers, he has taught, cheered on, and inspired countless kids to be the best they can be, to compete with courage and confidence, and to have fun with all of their hearts and might. 

The Woodbury Waves wholeheartedly nominate Coach Ed Carrera for the 2018 ISL Coach of the Year Award.

We invite you to spend a few minutes to watch this video and read the words written by parents and team members who have been touched by Coach Ed's generous spirit and gigantic heart. We believe that once you get through the video and heartfelt testimonials, you will understand why we believe that Coach Ed deserves this honorable award more than anything.

The 2018 Woodbury Waves Board and Team






The Guntrip Family

Our family has been part of Woodbury Waves since 2009 when Sophia was six years old. It’s hard to put into words how profoundly Ed Carrera has impacted Sophia’s life. His coaching inspired her to pursue swimming beyond ISL. For that alone, we are grateful, as the sport has been a wonderful experience for her. But Ed teaches his swimmers more than swimming; he gives them life lessons that they carry with them far beyond the pool. Ed emphasizes honor, integrity and sportsmanship. He instills the value of hard work and perseverance. Ed is not just an amazing swim coach, he is also a great man. He is certainly a role model for all of our swimmers and the kind of person you want your kids to look up to. It is a blessing to all of us that he is our team leader.
I will never forget the first day of Waves swim practice in 2009. Sophia was so nervous as it was her first swim team experience. She cried most of practice because she said his whistle was really loud. Afterwards I went to Ed to ask if she should continue. He said of course and that by the end of the week she would be used to it. He was right. Nine years later she is now a junior coach. Things have come full circle, and it is so heartwarming to see Ed give her advice and guidance on coaching. She is learning from the best.
This is my third time nominating Ed for ISL Coach of the Year. For the first nomination in 2010, I wrote that Ed had “figured out how to connect with [Sophia] in a way that has brought out the best in her competitively while still instilling a love for the sport and the team.” Eight years later, this remains true. Ed really understands how to connect with kids, and they respect him and want to work really hard for him. He is one of the few people who can break through Sophia’s anxiety and motivate her for a great swim. This past Spring, Sophia was preparing for league finals in high school swimming. She was very nervous at school prior to the meet and couldn’t shake it off. She searched her phone and found one of Coach Ed’s famous Woodbury Waves pre-meet pep talks that she had videoed. After watching it, she felt much better. She said that all during the finals, his words and his voice were in her head helping her feel confident and determined.
Ed has coached both of my daughters in swimming. My youngest daughter didn’t have ambitions to pursue swimming long term. But Ed didn’t treat her differently than the more accomplished swimmers. I remember how excited he was for her when she got an ISL qualifying time. Ed cares about all of the swimmers and motivates them to do their personal best whatever that may be. That inclusive spirit is what brings kids back each season...even if they are baseball players, violinists or theater performers in the off season. Many of them return to swimming every summer because Ed makes swimming fun and inspires them to feel good about their own personal accomplishments in the pool.
I cannot imagine a more deserving candidate for Coach of the Year than Ed Carrera. He has coached over ten years in ISL and impacted so many swimmers’ lives. As a parent, I am so indebted to him for the countless life lessons he has given my daughters. For Sophia in particular, she considers him one of her primary mentors and relies on him for advice, encouragement, and frequently, lots of tough love. We hope that this third nomination is the charm.


the Suh family

Coach Ed has made a safe, fun environment for my two girls to grow up loving swim and learning friendly competition. My family appreciates his passion and dedication to all the swimmers and feel that he is a prime example of a passionate, respectful and fun coach! We nominate Coach Ed as the ideal ISL Coach of the Year.

This is Emma and Leah's 4th season swimming with Coach Ed.


Ashley Pham 

Throughout 7 years of being my coach, Coach Ed not only taught me how to swim, but how to be a better person as a whole. He taught me and many of his swimmers to never give up, have fun, and that effort will lead you to your goals in life. He always gives me his best advice to better my technique and helps uplift my spirit before and after races. He balances hard work and having fun which is something unique about him that everyone loves. He commits to every swimmer equally, which is one of my favorite qualities about him. I always see swimmers who barely know how to swim in the beginning of the season improve so much by the end of summer. Everyone can tell that Coach Ed loves what he does by the enthusiasm he has at every meet AND every practice. The reason why I come back to Woodbury Waves every year is because of Coach Ed and how great he is. Without a doubt, Woodbury Waves would not be the same without him and he deserves this award more than anyone.


The aminloo Family

Ed is an amazing coach, a great motivator. He has had a positive impact on both of my kids. They love going to their practices and enjoy learning from him. Thanks for being so kind and a great mentor to my kids and for making this fun for them.

Ryan and Kiana have been swimming with Coach Ed for 3 years.


The Shi Family

James and Kaylee joined the team without having much swim experience. They both were far behind most of the team members. As their parent, I was worried and my kids felt unconfident initially. Coach Ed noticed this immediately and called other coaches and experienced team members to help my kids side by side for quite a while before they caught up with other team members. Coach Ed often encourages my kids. Both my kids and I feel greatly appreciated because Coach Ed not only promotes elite swimmers, but he also cares about every team member. Coach Ed knows every kid's potential very well and keeps motivating them. He organizes the team so perfectly, that team members like to help each other and they all try their best to compete as a team. After swimming with Coach Ed for a few summers, both my kids feel very comfortable with the team as a big family. This is a great life experience for both my kids and we are lucky to meet Coach Ed and his team!

This is James and Kaylee's 1st year swimming with Coach Ed.



Irene Yao

This is the first year Charles attends Woodbury Waves. We thought it would be like another summer camp, just show up, relax, and play. But, it's meets every Saturday morning, and intense training every single day. Charles does not complain and likes to go. Although he is a beginner, he continues pushing himself through on each meet, and shows me how many participation and time improvement rewards he gets after each meet. He told me, "Mom, I cannot hear your voice, I only hear Coach Ed yell out loudly 'Go, Go, Go!' to me!" This is something he knows, Coach Ed shows his love and inspires him. He wants to do better. I was so touched. Coach Ed is well deserved this honor – coach of the year. Thank you, Coach Ed. You're the best! Thank you so much for letting Charles have a different summer this year.

The McIntyre Family

Ed has so many great qualities as coach, and is extremely personable. He's genuinely interested in my kids progression - and not only as a swimmer! One of my first interactions with Coach Ed... we showed up late to a meet, and instead of reprimanding me, he took my son aside and explained to him the importance of being on time, how it's unfair to others, and how it reflects on our character. Great Qualities: 1. Responds to parents immediately, explains technical details in ways we can understand, describes how our kids are progressing, and recommends how to proceed depending on our goals (some of us just want our kids to have fun, while others are more competitive.) 2. Spends times with all levels of swimmers. Coach Ed is in the water with my 6 year, just as often as he's poolside yelling at my 9 year old. He provides instruction and appropriately modifies it for all swim levels. 3. Progressive Instruction - Coach Ed knows what to focus on based on swim level. 4. Takes the time to learn all swimmers' names and abilities. He is there at the blocks and ready bench to remind each swimmer what they need to individually focus on. 5. He makes practice fun with words of encouragement, with relays, with inspirational talks.

Mason and Marina have been swimming with Coach Ed for 3 years.



The Fann Family

Prior to joining, we have always heard wonderful things about Waves and being on the team, we can see why. Coach Ed makes it a point to know each swimmer. He alternates his time with all the different groups and is in the water with the younger groups whenever necessary. Coach Ed creates an environment where teammates truly cheer on for each other and want the best for one another. I have seen this with my kids and in the older kids who have been swimming with the team for years. More importantly, Coach Ed has kept the sport fun and my girls look forward to going to practice. My girls look up to the older kids who have been doing this for many years.
We feel very strongly that with Coach Ed and his team, our girls will continue to swim and strive to perform their best for years to come, hopefully through high school and maybe even college years. It is incredible to see the energy and effort from some of the Junior coaches and for this reason, my girls can't wait to become one when they are old enough to help little ones learn.
Thank you Coach Ed for molding a team of hard working, committed and caring kids. Winning is just the icing on the cake. Off topic, the families on the Waves team are absolutely the best!!! We are so lucky to be part of this special team.

Rykyn and Kaden have been swimming with Coach Ed for 3 years.

Titus Ng

Coach Ed has motivated me to not only swim faster but to also go further and do club swimming. Over the years, he has given me many useful tips that I still apply to my swimming today. Often, prior to the swim meets, he makes us come together as a team and do a team cheer. Coach Ed also reminds us to not only swim fast but to also cheer for our teammates who are racing. He truly emphasizes team bonding to create a tight group of swimmers who support each other. Woodbury Waves is very fortunate to have such an amazing coach to guide us through our swimming journey.

Titus has been swimming with Coach Ed for 9 years.



The Stanisai Family

Our daughter's first swim team was with the Waves and Coach Ed, at just five years old. She is now eight and keeps coming back to the team year after year as she loves Coach Ed. My husband and I recall at five wondering how our daughter would be able to hang for an hour long practice. To our amazement she did. Ed focused on all the kids, but especially the little ones. Making her experience fun, energetic, and exciting. Teaching her technique even from the beginning. His energy and love of coaching helped our daughter through her first season with the Waves and many more. Ed challenges the kids, makes them accountable, instills a heard work ethic, while still maintaining a level of fun and energy. Ed has created a true team environment where everyone helps everyone else. None of this would be possible without Ed and his leadership and love of swimming. Coach Ed is truly a teacher and loves what he does and everyone sees that on deck each and every season.

Gwyneth has been swimming with Ed for 4 years.


Taeyoung Kim

My daughter, Tiffany, has been swimming with Coach Ed for 9 years. Coach Ed always does his best for the Waves and encourages every child on the team.


The Bonkowski Family

Coach Ed and his team essentially taught my kiddos to swim (a huge undertaking considering they would not even get their faces wet!) This is the second year of Waves for my son Max (now age 9) and first year for my daughter Sloane (age 5). What a great experience Waves has been and continues to be - we plan to participate for many years to come, in large part because of the positive environment Coach Ed has created! Coach Ed clearly loves the kids and enjoys watching them grow. He is strict, yet motivating. He pushes the kids to push themselves so they feel proud of their accomplishments (even in the midst of discouragement, false starts/DQs and a few tears along the way!) He encourages the kids to work hard, but also to laugh and have fun and enjoy the experience. He promotes team and community and is a great role model for my kids. What more could you ask for? Coach Ed has more than earned the honor of Coach of the Year. He is the best! GO WAVES!

Max and Sloane have been swimming with Coach Ed for 2 years. 

The Nguyen Family

I would like to nominate Coach Ed for the coach of the year because he is exceptional at coaching. Every time he comes, he motivates me and everyone to do what the coaches say. Coach Ed is always fun to be with all the time. He is encouraging to me and other swimmers.  He cheers me on the loudest of all, gives me the best prep tips, and always has a smile when coaching. Coach Ed makes me want to work harder on becoming a better swimmer. These are the reasons that I would like to nominate Coach Ed to be the Coach of the year.
– Miles, 10 yrs old
Coach Ed is a great coach because he helps our team improve and because he is nice, kind, and funny. Lastly, he makes swimming fun.
– Ginger, 7 yrs old

Miles and Ginger have been swimming with Coach Ed for 2 years.



The Hahn Family

Our boys are truly lucky and couldn’t be where they are now if it wasn’t for Coach Ed’s big smile and encouragement on the first day of this swim season. He absolutely deserves to be awarded for ISL Coach of the Year because he is the most dedicated, determined coach, and always motivates and leads by example. This quote is perfectly meant for Coach Ed, “Coaching is unlocking a person’s potential to maximize their own performance. It’s helping them to learn rather than teaching them.” Go Coach Ed!

This is Nathan and Justin's 1st season swimming with Coach Ed.


The Wu Family

Coach Ed deserves to be ISL Coach of the year for the following reasons: He earns respect from swimmers and parents without intimidation. He motivates swimmers to do their best in practice and swim meets to improve themselves, which also makes the team better and stronger. He is patient and realizes every swimmer improves at their own pace and encourages them not to give up and to have fun.

Ruth has been swimming with Coach Ed for 4 years. 



Julian Barnes

Coach Ed has always been a great, outgoing coach. He has really made a difference in each and every one of our lives. If it weren’t for coach Ed, I’m sure we wouldn’t have as great of a team as we have now. When I was first learning to swim, Coach Ed helped me. If my stroke is off, Coach Ed will help me. If he feels we aren’t trying our best, he will push us, and that’s what makes us great swimmers!

Julian has been swimming with Coach Ed for 4 years,

The Kim Family

He constantly tries to create a positive atmosphere for swimmers. He tries to push and encourage kids to do more than what they think they can do. He also teaches kids to be on time, respect others, and the importance of following rules.

Francis has been swimming with Coach Ed for 3 years. This is Lia and Jia's 1st year with Coach Ed.



The Jurado Family

When we joined the team, our son Nathan was in the 3rd grade. At that time, the only stroke Nathan knew was "doggy paddle" but Coach Ed never gave up on him. Coach Ed took him in and patiently taught him while not only making an impact on Nathan's life but our whole family's as well. A memory we will never forget was when Coach Ed motivated Nathan to take 1st place in all of his events at ISL championship which seemed far fetched and unattainable, but the more Coach Ed pushed Nathan, the closer that goal felt. The weekend finally came and Nathan came home with all 1st place medals. Coach Ed's compassion, dedication and perseverance is evident through the competitive swimmers he has brought up from doggy paddlers to champions. After 8 years of knowing Coach Ed, the consistency of professionalism, determination and kindness is brighter than ever. Not only does our son highly look up to Coach Ed, but many of his peers and even team parents do too. Keep it up! Best coach ever! We thank you.

Nathan has been swimming with Coach Ed for 8 years.


Jennifer Ho

He can let a new swimmer fall in love with swimming and inspire her to improve one meet after one meet. He is patient to answer new parent’s questions in person. He is a very professional swimming coach and also very kind person to work with! He made the child’s attitude positive and I can’t evaluate how much positive impact he has given to my child’s whole life! Thank you Coach ED!!!

This is Victoria's 1st season with Coach Ed.

Aaron Khosla

This is the first year that my two older boys Connor and Collin joined the Woodbury Waves. Prior to joining, I was somewhat reluctant to put my sons on the team since I had heard from some of my friends, who are not Woodbury residents, that this team is very intense and hyper competitive, and I did not want my boys to start hating the sport due to competitive pressure. This is where Coach Ed made all the difference in convincing me that this was the team and sport for my kids. From the very first time that I heard Coach Ed talk to the parents, to all the practices and meets where I saw him mentoring all the kids, it became crystal clear to me that he has a gift for working with the kids, and he effortlessly imparts his love and passion for swimming with everyone that he comes in contact with. As a result of being in the loving, nurturing, and fun environment that Coach Ed has helped create and promote within the Woodbury Waves team, my boys enjoyed every minute of the swim season this summer and are already looking forward to working with coach Ed in years to come. I can't think of a more deserving person than Coach Ed for the Coach of the Year award as he truly embodies what it means to be an outstanding coach and helps create that sense of community, love for the sport, and mutual respect amongst all the swimmers.


The Harish Family

'Waves’ has been a great platform for any child to love or improve in this sport. A big part of this is ‘Coach Ed’ along with all the amazing families! He brings great energy, skill, team spirit, animation with giggles and laughs of kids along the way, above all gets down to how a child would understand and teach/explain. As we stride forward thank you Coach Ed for instilling the love for the sport in my daughter!!

This is Niska's 1st season swimming with Coach Ed.

By Emma and Hana Simampo



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