CAPT John “Coach” Havlik, U.S. Navy SEAL (Retired), led special operations teams around the world during his 31-year naval career, to include the Naval Special Warfare Development Group, the SEAL’s most elite operational unit. CAPT Havlik was a nationally-ranked swimmer, and is a member of the West Virginia University Sports Hall of Fame and Mountaineer Legends Society.
Born in Munich, Germany, Coach grew up an Army brat, following his father around the world, eventually spending most of his childhood in Glen Burnie, MD.
31 years of distinguished service in the Naval Special Warfare (SEAL) community
Graduated from West Virginia University
Member of the Men's Swim Team for 4 years
First swimmer in school history to qualify for the U.S. Olympic Swimming Trials (1980)
Qualified for the NCAA Division 1 Swimming Championships (3 times)
Served as tri-captain of the first undefeated men’s swim team in school history his senior year
Graduated with M.A. in National Security and Strategic Studies from Naval War College in Newport, RI
Inducted into the West Virginia University Sports Hall of Fame Class of 2017
Coach enlisted in the Navy in 1982, and was subsequently assigned to the United States Naval Academy as a swim coach/physical education instructor upon completion of Boot Camp. He was commissioned as a naval officer via Officer Candidate School in November 1984. Coach successfully completed Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL (BUD/S) training in 1985.
His military assignments have included a full range of duties in Sea, Air, Land (SEAL) Teams, Special Boat Teams, and Naval Special Warfare Development Group. He commanded several times and completed numerous deployments to named and contingency operations around the world, to include one deployment to Iraq, where he oversaw the complete redeployment of all Special Operations forces and equipment from Iraq after ten years of combat operations. Coach's naval career included overseas assignments in the Philippines, Panama and Bahrain. He has worked extensively with inter-agency and international partners.