Matt grew up in San Diego, California attending Poway High School, wheree swam for four years under head coaches Dennis Moore and Greg Ormsby. The team won the CIF San Diego Section all four years. Swanson swam the 50/100 Freestyle and anchored the 1991 CIF record-setting Medley Relay. After high school, Swanson attended UCLA on a water polo scholarship, earning Two Time NCAA Player of The Year honors and winning two NCAA championships. He has been coaching Swimming and Water Polo in Marin County for 21 years.