We Are HAC! – Chuck O’Connor

At Holland Aquatic Center, our facilities are awesome and so is our staff.  In this We Are HAC! series, we’ll introduce you to the people who love to teach, coach, protect, serve and inspire here. Our amazing team, almost 100 strong, is passionate about empowering healthy, connected lives through aquatics and wellness programming. Meet them here in this blog series and in-person at Holland Aquatic Center!

Chuck O’Connor is one of Holland Aquatic Center’s early birds. Since he opens our facility at 5:00 a.m. five days a week, he has to be. But, honestly, Chuck likes it that way. He not only gets his day off and running but also that of many HAC members and guests who are early risers, too. 

Chuck is a native of Holland and a graduate of Central Michigan University where he studied sports studies and mathematics. He then continued his education at Grand Valley State University to earn his teaching certificate in physical education and computer science. Chuck started his career at HAC eight years ago as a swim instructor “when my own kids started school” and he became an operations supervisor (OS) six years ago while still serving as a swim instructor. This February, being an OS became his all-day job. 

Conducting the daily slide inspection

What does an OS do? Chuck is responsible for keeping HAC’s day-to-day operations running smoothly and safely. From inspecting our three-story indoor slide on a daily basis, to facilitating breaks for lifeguards and front-desk staff, his work is one of service and care. And it’s all for the good of those who both work at and enjoy the use of HAC’s world-class facilities. 


Favorite food: Mahi Mahi fish tacos 

Favorite place in the world: Isle of Skye, Scotland. “It’s just beautiful. You see so many waterfalls and fairy pools and cool landscapes when you hike there. I’ve been there twice.” 

Favorite musical artist: Jimmy Buffet (That’s right, folks; he’s a Parrothead!) 

Bucket list Item I most want to accomplish: Scuba dive on Great Barrier Reef, Australia 

Best vacation spot: St. Johns in the US Virgins Islands. “I went there for our honeymoon and have been back 16 times…so far. We’ll return in June again for the 17th time.” 

Best wisdom you ever received: “You make a difference every day whether you know it or not!” 

You’d be surprised to know… “I used to coach USA Gymnastics when I was a college student. I was also the president of CMU’s Gymnastics Club.” 

“I like seeing smiles on kids’ faces as they play and learn to swim here. And I really like building relations with my coworkers and HAC patrons.” 

Chuck O’Connor