MDI swim coach Tony DeMuro cheers on swimmer Erin Connery as she competes in the girls 500-yard freestyle during the 35th annual PVC swimming and diving championships at UMaine's Stanley Wallace Pool in Orono on Feb. 12, 2013. Connery won the event with a time of 5:39.13. DeMuro was named the head swim coach at Maine Maritime Academy in Castine on Oct. 10. Credit: Kevin Bennett

Tony DeMuro, one of Maine’s most respected interscholastic swim coaches, has been named head swim coach at Maine Maritime Academy in Castine.

He succeeds Hayley Masi, who resigned to accept a position at Fordham University.

DeMuro, who coached the Mount Desert High Trojans to 11 state titles (eight boys and three girls) during his 19 years as the school’s head coach, will coach the men and women at MMA, and will direct the aquatic program and facility. The Mariners are entering their second year of varsity competition as a member of New England Intercollegiate Swimming and Diving Association.

“I am really impressed with Tony. He is the real deal. He cares so much about the kids. I am so excited and so are the swimmers to have him at MMA,” MMA athletic director Stephen Peed said.

“His positive energy and endless enthusiasm will be a great asset for our swimmers, our department and our campus community.”

A graduate of the University of Maine, DeMuro competed in his first swim meet at age 3 for the Mount Desert age-group program coached by Lenny DeMuro, his father and a member of the Maine Swimming and Diving Hall of Fame.

As an age group and interscholastic swimmer for the MDI YMCA Sharks and the Trojans, DeMuro swam for his father and Jim Willis.

“I was fortunate to learn from two of the very best,” Tony DeMuro said.

He acknowledged his deep connections to MDI swimming.

“It has been hard for me to wrap my head around all of this. To have had the opportunity to coach at MDI and to have had success at MDI means a great deal to me,” he said.

Last season, the MDI boys won their second straight Class B state title.

“Part of the draw at MMA is the job Steve Peed has done. Having the opportunity to really help grow the program is exciting,” said DeMuro, a six-time Maine Class B Interscholastic Coach of the Year.

MMA’s vision for the program is clear, according to Peed.

“We want to be a real player in New England swimming, giving us national exposure as well,” he said.

To support that vision MMA’s aquatic facility has been upgraded with further renovations planned, including the possible addition of 1-meter diving.

“I am an excitable guy. We are going to find a way to bring excitement to our meets. College swimming is a team sport. We sacrifice during the season to prepare for the end of the season. We will get after it,” said DeMuro, who also was a nine-year assistant football coach at MDI.

While traveling to a meet last season with Masi to recruit a swimmer, Peed

became aware of DeMuro.

“I ended up spending a lot of time watching him interact with students as well as the people working the event, and I noticed that he had that ability to make everyone he was talking to feel like the most important person in the world,” Peed said.

“When the meet ended, Hayley and I went and started talking to Tony, and it became clear to me that he was the real article. I stored the exchange away in my mind and told myself that if I ever needed a coach in the future, that’s a guy I need to keep in mind.”