Jared Bonczek: From Horticulture Major to Swim Coach


Jared Bonkzec, Swim Coach

Jared Bonczek has been coaching swimming since 2014 and joined the FSS community in 2018 with the club team staff. He enthusiastically shares that his favorite stroke is probably freestyle because “it’s the fastest stroke and it has the most events.” Though he notes, “butterfly is a close second.”

Jared grew up in Clarks Summit, PA, which is just outside of Scranton. He started swimming when he was six years old, claiming that he “honestly didn’t have much of a choice” because his dad didn’t know how to swim and wanted him and his brother to be “strong swimmers.” Jared earned his Bachelors of Science at Penn State University. Though he is now a swim coach, in college he majored in Horticulture, which is the art or practice of garden cultivation and management. Although unrelated to his career now, Jared notes that “the science background has been helpful.” Later on, Jared went back to school to become a physical therapist assistant at Johnson College in Scranton. Still, coaching competitive swimming was always on his mind. When an opportunity came up to coach, he ran with it. Though he still works part-time as a physical therapist assistant, he states, “Once I started I was hooked.”

Jared began coaching Varsity Swimming at FSS just last year in 2020 and already has had an impact on the swimmers. Bill Klose, the Athletic Director at FSS, says, “Jared has brought a great amount of positive energy to our Aquatics Program. He has club swimmers wanting to attend FSS and FSS swimmers wanting to join the club team.” Like Jared, Bill is excited to see how their vision for the FSS Aquatics Program comes to life in the next few years. 

Rose Levine ‘24, a varsity swimmer, adds “It’s been really nice to have a coach that pushes us to do better while understanding our boundaries.” Additionally, Ella Sherman ‘25, both a varsity and club swimmer, says “Jared is a diligent coach with great motivation to improve our skills inside and outside of swimming. I look up to him very much.” 

Many wonder what the appeal of swimming is. On the surface, it seems like a sport that makes your muscles sore, doesn’t allow you to breathe when you need to, and leaves you constantly smelling like chlorine. Jared notes, “Swimming is a very unique sport. You’re suspended sideways in a liquid and you don’t have a constant supply of oxygen. It takes a lot of time, patience, and hard work to become a good swimmer.” Watching determined swimmers develop has become a passion of Jared’s and he feels “very grateful to be able to do it for a living.”

Outside of the sport itself, Jared believes that swimming teaches “the value of hard work, patience, and goal setting that equates to success in anything you do in life.” He also mentioned how the demanding nature of swimming results in great camaraderie and lifelong friendships among teammates.