Matt Harrigan

President & Founder, Swimming LA Swim School

Matt learned to swim independently by the age of 2 in his hometown of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He went on to become a 5-time state champion in high school in 3 separate events and, in college, qualified and competed in the 2000 U.S. Olympic Team Trials in the 400 IM and 200 Breaststroke. Matt competed during his four years at Princeton University where he won two individual Ivy League titles and is a former University record holder in the 400 IM.

After Princeton, Matt embarked on a career in finance in New York City as an equity research analyst for Jefferies & Company and subsequently as a real estate investment banker for Bank of America in San Francisco. Simultaneously, Matt re-entered the world of swimming competition in 2008 as a member of The Olympic Club in San Francisco where he won seven individual U.S. Masters National Championships and set the Masters World Record with his 200 Freestyle Relay team. Matt also set the Masters World Record with Southern California Aquatic Master’s 800 Freestyle Relay team in 2009. Over the years, Matt realized his passion was not only in the real estate finance, but also in helping others and early child development. Relocating to Los Angeles in 2009 and returning to his love of swimming, Matt became a swim coach, adding to his resume Harvard-Westlake High School, Notre Dame Academy and UCLA Bruin Masters. In 2009, Matt also became a certified infant toddler swim instructor through the US Swim School Association and founded Swimming LA Swim School for babies as well as adults with fear of water. After COVID caused the closure of all of Swimming LA's locations, Matt and his wife decided to pursue their dream of relocating to Sun Valley to raise their two boys. Matt loves reading to his kids and teaching them about nature, music and sports.

Matt genuinely loves teaching his baby and adult learn-to-swim classes. He values each student's background and appreciates families that understand the importance of early age swimming. Matt is passionate about water safety, educating parents, teaching new swimmers, and believes all swim schools should be up to date on the latest research in child development and early age swimming. There are many advantages of starting kids in the water early, but Matt is most fascinated by the Intellectual Benefits of Early Age Swimming.

Matt taught his two boys how to swim independently before the age of 36 months utilizing the various methods he preaches in the Swimming LA curriculum. He encourages lots of time in the water and a healthy dose of showers in lieu of baths at home.