Ryan Patrick Sprang
Ryan grew up in South Jersey and began swimming with a local summer club at the age of 4 and then year-round at the age of 8. He eventually went on to swim 4 for years in college at St. Bonaventure University and was a 3 year All Atlantic 10 Conference selection, Atlantic 10 Champion, and team captain as a Senior.
He began his coaching career immediately after college and over 13 years has coached hunderds of swimmers of all ages and ability levels from the novice to the nationally ranked in several different locations. From 2002-2006 Ryan served as a Senior Coach and Head Age Group Coach with the Gloucester County Institute of Technology Swim Team (now GPAC) in southern New Jersey. During this time Ryan coached at least 1 swimmer each year to a USA Swimming Top 10 ranking. In addition, during this time Ryan also served as Head Coach of the Greenwood Park Swim Team (summer swim team), the St. Augustine Prep School Swim Team, the Our Lady of Mercy Academy Swim Team, and also served as a teacher of World History and Algebra at St. Augustine Prep. As coach of St. Augustine Prep, Ryan guided the program to back to back NJ State Team Championships in 2004 and 2005 while also winning numerous Coach of the Year honors.
In August 2006, Ryan began a 3 year term as the Head Coach with the Shenandoah Marlins Aquatic Club (SMAC) in Waynesboro, VA and during his tenure the team more than doubled in size. Ryan guided SMAC swimmers to break over 150 team records, 6 Virginia Swimming LSC records, and 12 Virginia Swimming Age Group Championship Meet records while they collected over 30 gold medals at the Virginia Swimming Age Group Championships and had swimmers achieve over 20 USA Swimming top 10 times, including 4 USA Swimming All Time top 100 times. In addition, Ryan coached 2 swimmers to Virginia Swimming Age Group Swimmer of the Year Awards. After his 2nd season with the club, Ryan was named the 2008 Virginia Swimming Age Group Coach of the Year and in 2009 was named the American Swim Coaches Association Age Group Coach of the Year for Virginia. In addition, Ryan started a Masters Swim program in which his swimmers achieved over 50 national rankings and 13 Virginia State Masters Records. During this time, Ryan also completed a degree from James Madison University in Athletic Performance and Administration.
After spending a year with the West Shore YMCA in Mechanicsburg, PA, in September of 2010 Ryan began his tenure as Head Coach of the Nittany Lion Aquatic Club. During this time NLAC has experienced some tremendous progress. Some of the more notable achievements under Ryan's guidance are the following:
- Achieving Level 1 and 2 of the Club Recognition Program
- Improving team standings in the USA Swimming Virtual Club Championships by over 120%.
- Going from 1 Speedo Sectional qualifier to over 60 in 6 years.
- Going from 0 Jr. National Qualifiers to over 20 in 5 years.
- Establishing over 350 new team records.
- Consistently having NLAC swimmers ranked in the Middle Atlantic top 10 including this past 2016 long course season in which 20 swimmers were ranked in 41 different events.
- Having swimmers achieve national top 10 rankings.
- Annually placing graduating seniors in college swim programs around the country including the 14 swimmers currently competing for the collegiate teams.
In addition to his role as NLAC Head Coach, Ryan is also the Head Coach of the State College Area High School Swimming and Diving program, beginning his 5th year in that role.
Ryan's wife Andrea completed her doctoral degree from James Madison University and is currently a Staff Psychologist at Penn State. They have two sons, Ryan, who is 6 years old, and Brayden, who is 4.
Kathryn M Bateman
Novice Blue Coach
Katie Bateman begins her 3rd year with NLAC and will be lead coach on the Novice Group and will also assist with Junior. Katie is in her 3rd year of a PhD program at PSU in Curriculum and Instruction in Science Education on a Research Assistantship. She acquired her M.Ed. from Holy Family University in Elementary Education and her BS in Marine Science from Rider University where she was a member of the MAAC Conference Championship swim team from Rider in 2001 and was named Scholar-Athlete.
Prior to NLAC, Katie was coaching since 2004 with NRG Swimming in the Philadelphia area with the last 5 years serving as the Head Age Group Coach. There she worked with the very beginners from age 4 up to the JO qualifiers at ages 11 and 12. Katie also served on the coaching staff of several Middle Atlantic Eastern Zone Teams starting in 2011 and for the past 2 years has served as the Head Coach of the Middle Atlantic Eastern Zone teams.
Katie still enjoys competing in Open Water swimming events and this past July won the Women's Open Division at the Brigatine Open Mile swim.
We are very fortunate and excited to have a coach of Katie's knowledge, experience, and enthusiasm as a member of the NLAC coach staff. She is a fantastic mentor to our young swimmers and an overall asset to our club.
David Lawrence Rue
Jr. Blue Coach
David is beginning his 2nd year as a coach at NLAC. He is currently working on a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering at Penn State University. David grew up in Bucks County, PA and started swimming on a local summer team at the age of 7. He began swimming year round at age 8, and swam for Council Rock Swim Club. Former NLAC coach Adam Schwartz coached David when he was a young age group swimmer with CRSC. David also swam for Spirit Swimming (now known as George School Aquatics) at the George School in Newtown, PA. While swimming for Council Rock South High School, David captained the men’s team his senior year.
This past summer, David had the opportunity to serve on the coaching staff of the Middle Atlantic Eastern Zone Team at the Eastern Zone Long Course Age Group Championships in East Meadow, New York. This was an exciting experience for David, and he hopes to help multiple NLAC swimmers qualify for Zones in the future.
At NLAC, David will be primarily working with the Junior Blue group. He has had the opportunity to coach a multitude of ages and abilities in his time at NLAC, ranging from brand new 8 and under swimmers to Junior Olympic qualifiers. David’s favorite part of coaching swimming is being able to watch young kids accomplish amazing things in the pool, things that they did not think they were capable of beforehand. He hopes to see both new and returning swimmers flourish with NLAC this coming season.
Mason E Blake
Novice/Novice Blue Coach
Macy Blake is the head coach of the Novice Blue group and also works with the Novice Group when needed. This will be her second year of coaching, and her seventh year with the club. Macy was a swimmer with NLAC as part of the National Team for five years and was a Speedo Sectional Qualifier and a NLAC team record holder in numerous events. She was also a member of the State College High School Swim Team where she was a PIAA district 6 champion and meet record holder, as well as, a PIAA State Championship Meet Qualifier her senior year. After ending her thirteen year swimming career, she now studies bio-behavioral health at Penn State University. She hopes to go to Physician's Assistant school after her time at Penn State. Her favorite part of coaching is watching the young swimmers fall in love with the sport. She hopes to help the swimmers develop a passion for swimming that will last their whole lives.