Each year, the team placed in the top 10 for the United States Mythical High School National Championship. Since joining the DACA Staff in 2006, Charley has worked as Assistant National Team Coach and taken leadership of the DACA Pre-Completive Program. At DACA, Charley has worked with Junior and Senior National qualifiers, and many who have moved on to swim in college at the NCAA Division 1 Level. Prior to his coaching career, Charley was a stand out in the pool. A high school record holder and All- American, Charley attended the University of Utah and Sacramento State University on a swimming scholarship, where he was a NCAA finalist in the 50 freestyle and NCAA All-American. An avid runner, Charley received his Bachelor's degree from Sacramento State in Geography and currently resides in Cupertino. 

Charley Benson joined the DACA staff in 2006 with extensive experience in both age group and senior level swimming. As head age group coach at California Capital Aquatics in Roseville, CA, Charley worked with head coach Mike Hastings in the development of 1992 Olympic Champion Summer Sanders and World Champion Randall Bal. Under Charley's guidance, CCA produced Junior and Senior National qualifiers, national top-16 swimmers, and national age group record holders. While at CCA, Charley was named Sierra Nevada Age Group Coach of the year and received the USA Swimming Coaches Awards. He has been a keynote speaker at the NAPA Coaches Clinic and has conducted clinics for summer recreational coaches in Roseville. In addition to his position at CCA, Charlie was head coach at Jesuit High School in Sacramento. In his four years at the helm, Jesuit won 3 consecutive CIF Section Team Championships, went undefeated in the 400 free relay, and produced CIF record holders. 



Pre-Competitive Staff

Charley Benson

- Pre-Competitive Director


DACA Pre-Competitive Supervisor Nick Cirone grew up as a multi-sport athlete playing soccer, basketball, volleyball, and mastering the martial art of Karate.  He turned to the pool and began swimming at the relatively late age of 20. After graduating from Bellarmine College Preparatory, Nick attended De Anza College where he joined the swimming and diving team. He helped that team to consecutive combined (men and women) team championships at the Coast Conference in 2009 and 2010 by swimming in a wide range of freestyle and breaststroke events. He moved on from De Anza Collee to study English at San Jose State University, while continuing to swim for DACA’s Senior group until 2016. Nick has swum for a number of renowned, experienced coaches, including Pete Raykovich and Annie Stein.


Nick Cirone 

As a deaf swimmer, Nick has never let his lack of hearing affect his attitude, in practice or in competition. In 2015, Nick participated in the World Deaf Swimming Championships in San Antonio, Texas, as part of the U.S. Deaf Swim Team, competing in the 100, 200, 400, and 1500 freestyle events, and taking part in the Men’s 4x200 freestyle relay.  It was inspiring to witness and be part of a competition where so many deaf swimmers have not let their inability to wear hearing devices in the water prevent them from participation in the sport of swimming.


Nick joined the DACA Pre-Competitive staff as an instructor in May 2012.  He has worked at all of the club’s major locations: De Anza College, Saratoga High School, and the DACA Swim School.  In 2016 Nick became the Pre-Competitive Supervisor at the De Anza College location and in 2017 added supervising Pre-Competitive classes at the DACA Swim School to his responsibilities.  As supervisor, Nick believes in the importance of technique and skill development in order to swim more confidently, quickly, and efficiently.

- Pre-Competitive Supervisor

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