Steven Contarsy “I want people to know that if they’re committed and come to train with me, I’m gonna make them the best athletes they can possibly be.”

“The best thing about SMC? Number one: No bells!” says Steve Contarsy with a roaring laugh. “Those high school bells will drive anybody crazy. But seriously, it’s the people here who make SMC great. It’s a fun mix. The faculty is super and the students come here with all different kinds of motivation.” Spend any time with Steve, and you’ll soon know that ‘motivation’ is large in his vocabulary.

With a PhD in Sports Medicine from USC, three sons, and his own rigorous training in running and swimming, Steve has arrived at SMC with some very motivating ideas. “In swimming, I want to challenge for the Conference title and be a force at the State level. In water polo, I want a program established so that high school women will want to come and compete for SMC,” he says. “We’ve had a lot of ‘marquee’ athletes come out of here, the latest being Lenny Krayzelburg, who just set three world records at the World Champion-ships in Sydney. The challenge now,” says Steve, “is to rebuild a program that’s off from the pinnacle a little bit.” But challenge is what makes this Chicago-boy-cum-SoCal-lifeguard tick.

“In a few months, we’ll have our own marquee facility: a new Olympic-sized pool,” says Steve with palpable glee. “It’ll be fun and it’ll be fast! And then we’ll get to work…” You’ve been served notice, World. There’s gonna be thunder on the water coming out of SMC.

SMC Aquatics Professor Steve Contarsy began full-time at SMC in Fall ’99. Welcome!

Read more stories from present and past years in the SMC Student Spotlight Archive.