"Fran Pentino Natatorium"- Please Support Naming of the Pool

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Fran Pentino has been coaching the Pomperaug High School Boys Swim Team since the age of 23.  He has touched the lives of thousands of young men through his dedication, perseverance and coaching ability.  He has turned boys into men, and in turn has created a legacy at Pomperaug that will never be matched.

   Each boy Fran has coached has been unique in their own way. Some boys arrive as freshman with  with no swimming ability and after 4 years under Fran’s tutelage they leave as All-Americans their senior year.  Other boys may have come from from broken homes. He showed them for the first time in their lives that someone cared about them.  He gave them a home every day after school, a purpose and a feeling of belonging in this world. When the rest of the world turned a blind eye to unruly teenage behaviors, Fran held them accountable. When their paths could have taken a very different turn, he got them back on track. Fran teaches boys leadership skills that they would never learn outside his pool.  He has been tough on some, but it has always been tough love. He sees the incredible potential in each and every one of them. Not just as swimmers, but as human beings. He has taught them sportsmanship and respect for their fellow student athletes.  If your son swims for Fran, you are very lucky. 

  Fran opened his arms to my son with autism when other coaches turned their backs on him. When my other son was diagnosed with cancer and couldn’t leave his hospital room, Fran made sure he wouldn’t feel forgotten or alone. Driving us up to the hospital 2 1/2 hours away, bringing my son boxes of games and fun things to pass the time with and having the swim team even make him a music video. I know I am not alone in these stories of support in and out of the pool.

   Fran sees the potential in every child that walks on his pool deck.  When other sports become political power struggles over who is kept on the team and who is cut, Fran keeps everyone.  Some years we have had as many as  65 swimmers and 10 divers. Any other person would have made their lives a bit easier and made the team smaller. Fran on the other hand just makes it work.  He has the perfect formula for success and after 25 years he has it down to a science. 

 I have had the privilege of knowing Fran for the last 21 of his 25 years of coaching. I have coached along side of him and I have admired and respected the dedication he has shown to countless boys and girls during this time.  I am one of those lucky mothers who has had 4 sons swim or dive for Fran. There are no words for how much he has done just for my children, and I know many other mothers and fathers feel the same. No one will ever match the accolades Fran has achieved in his 25 years of dedication to Pomperaug High School and the communities of Middlebury and Southbury Connecticut. 

  PHS swim team has become by far the most successful team in the history of the school. 

Under Fran the PHS Swim Team has won 18 conference championships, 15 State Championships,  2 State Open Championships and several runner up places. They have been ranked nationally multiple times.  We have been ranked 1st nationally once, 2nd-3 times, 3rd- several times. Fran’s dual meet win/loss record is 320/14. There has been over 200 All-State athletes and over 25 All-Americans , many Academic All-Americans and multiple Valedictorians, Salutatorians and Eagle Scouts. 

  Fran was named CIAC coach of the year in his 5th year of coaching, which just happened to be the first year he was eligible to be nominated and you can only receive this award one time. He is one of only 2 coaches to receive CT High School Coach of the year 3 times and has been the Danbury News Times Coach of the year multiple times. 

Fran’s swimmers  have received over 500K in swimming scholarships and have swam at schools like Princeton, Tufts, Lehigh, Uconn, Bryant, Stevens, Iona, Fairfield, MIT just to name a few. 

 This type of success and dedication is worth celebrating and honoring.  That is why I along with multiple swim parents past and present are proposing that the Pomperaug High School Pool be named the “Fran Pentino Natatorium” in honor of his 25th year of dedication and coaching at  Pomperaug High School.  I am asking for your help in signing this petition to show your support in this. As the “process” of naming a Pool after someone has not been clearly defined in Region 15 we would like to get as many names as possible. Please help us honor and say “Thank You” to Fran for all the time he has dedicated to our children.

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