Heather Coulson Haddock
Heather Coulson Haddock has spent the majority of her life in and around the pool. She attended the University of Tennessee on a full swimming scholarship. Heather was a nationally-ranked, All-American swimmer for the Volunteers and competed in the 1988 Olympic Trials in the 400 Individual Medley and was also World ranked. The 2016/2017 season represents her twentieth year as the Owner and Head Coach of MAKO.
In the past, Heather also served as the Head Swim and Dive Coach of the Robinson High School for five seasons - leading the team to a 90% winning dual-meet record and three consecutive Patriot District Championships titles in 1996, 1997, and 1998. Heather is currently serving her seventh season as the assistant coach for the Chantilly High School Swim and Dive Team.
Heather also coached the Commonwealth summer league team for two seasons, including one undefeated season in Division 5 in 1996 and 1997.
Heather founded the MAKO team in 1996 with a handful of swimmers from both Robinson High School and Commonwealth swim teams. Her philosophy is built on her own collective swimming experiences. In 1998, MAKO joined Potomac Valley Swimming as a USA Competitive swim team. Today, the team is comprised of over 400 swimmers, a staff of excellent coaches, and trains exclusively in the finest swimming facility in the Northern Virginia region, the George Mason Aquatics and Fitness Center in Fairfax.
Heather takes great pride in the team’s unwavering commitment to developing outstanding athletes in a positive, fun and family-oriented environment. Heather holds a bachelor’s degree in early childhood development from the University of Tennessee and a master’s degree in special education from the College of William and Mary. For many years after founding MAKO, Heather continued to swimming competitively for the Patriot Master’s Swim Team, where she held several individual and relay records. She was also Master’s National Champion in the 50 Meter Backstroke in Hawaii in 2002.
Heather is married to Chris Haddock, has two children, Logan (20) who is a Junior and a collegiate swimmer at James Madison University, and Ryan (18) who is a Freshman at UNC Charlotte.
HEAD COACH - SENIOR/NATIONAL GROUPS
Peter Ward is the Senior Coach leading the Makos' National and Senior programs. Peter has also served as the Head Coach of the GMU collegiate team for the past eight seasons, where he has lead the Patriots to four straight Colonial Athletic Association (CAA) league titles, received CAA "Coach of the Year" honors four times, produced ten Olympic Trial qualifiers, 22 All-America athletes, and 42 CAA champions and 18 Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) champions.
A world-class swimmer, Ward was a member of the Canadian National Swimming Team from 1979-88. He placed seventh in the 200 butterfly at the 1984 Summer Olympic Games in Los Angeles, and was a silver medalist at the 1987 Pan American Games. He held the Canadian national record in the 200-meter butterfly from 1981-84, and was the Canadian champion in that event in 1981, 1984 and 1986.
Ward, who is a member of both the American Swimming Coaches Association and the College Swimming Coaches Association of America, has also been involved with Special Olympics, and also assisted with the Washington D.C.-area bid for the 2012 Summer Olympic Games.
He and his wife, Cheryl, who was also an All-American swimmer at Arkansas, an international medal winner and an Olympic finalist, have two daughters, Rebecca (19) and Rachel (16). The Wards reside in Fairfax.
HEAD COACH - SR PREP & JUNIOR GROUPS
Mike Cook is a native Northern Virginian having grown up in Falls Church. Mike has 20+ years of USS and summer league coaching experience. He has been involved with the NVSL having swum at Woodley for 12 years, moving up to coach the team for 3 years and then moving onto Lee Graham, where he has been coaching for over 20 years.
Mike has coached all ages but has concentrated his expertise in age group development. His coaching philosophy focuses on the development of a well rounded swimmer, a swimmer who is proficient in all 4 strokes. His goal is to help each swimmer develop a love of the sport and to challenge them to realize their own swimming potential. Mike is an active member of the American Swim Coaches Association, and continues to educate himself on new training methods and techniques that he incorporates in his practices.
Mike leads the Junior Blue and Junior Gold programs and the Senior Prep group.
Mike’s formal education includes a Bachelor of Science degree in Public Recreation from Virginia Commonwealth University. He is a former college and club rugby player and continues to train for local triathlons, and a graduate of Falls Church High School where he helped start the school swim team.
Coach Mike's Mako Blog
HEAD COACH - MINI MAKO GROUPS
Beth Bedell enters her eigth year as an age group coach with the Mason Makos. Before Makos, she spent 30+ summers teaching younger children to swim.
Beth enjoys the challenge of working with age group swimmers (10 and under) and helping them develop their strokes. She continues to update her techniques and training skills by attending seminars that provide the most updated information on age group swimming, strokes, nutrition and psychology. She is certified by American Swim Coaches Association as a level II coach, and she has her Water Safety Instructor certification as well. She spent over 15 years swimming in California competing for age group, high school and college teams.
Beth has a bachelor’s degree from Cal State Long Beach in Health Science with a specialty in Radiation Therapy.
Shannon Ice joined the Mako Coaching staff in 2011. Shannon will be working with the Junior Blue and Mini Mako Gold swimmers during the 2013-14 season.
Growing up in and around pools, Shannon began swimming competitively for York Swim Club at age 5 and began diving for the same team the following year. She continued her swimming and diving in the NVSL at Lee Graham Pool and at O'Connell High School, and Shannon went on to college-level diving at University of Maryland then George Mason University. Shannon continues to enjoy swimming competitively through training for and participating in many nearby triathlons.
Shannon began teaching swim lessons almost 20 years ago and has worked with young swimmers at several area pools including Lee Graham, Poplar Heights, and Lincolnia Park. She recognizes the importance of building and reinforcing fundamental swimming skills in order to give each swimmer the tools to succeed. She enjoys working with children and sharing her love for swimming.
Shannon holds a Bachelor's degree in Biology from the George Mason University and lives in Falls Church with her husband and three children.
Alyson Madsen is joining the Mako coaching staff this year, and Alyson will be working with the Age Group practices on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
Alyson Madsen grew up in Denver, Colorado and started swimming at a young age. She had a passion for swimming from the start. Along with loving to swim herself she loved to teach others, especially age group swimmers and was an assistant coach on her summer team.
She coaches an NVSL summer team Pee Wee program along with teaching private lessons. She also coaches a Saturday swim clinic focusing on the four strokes and proper technique. She feels strongly that proper technique is the foundation for fast and safe swimming. Making it fun and new, getting the kids involved in the process and praising them for their efforts is a key combination for their success and love of the sport.
Alyson currently trains with a Masters swim program in the mornings and is currently training for Masters meets. Another one of her passions is running. She trains for half and full marathons with her favorite being trail marathons.
Her passion for training herself flows into her teaching. She is constantly reading, studying and watching training videos to increase her understanding of the latest techniques and focuses in swimming. She is also very focused on nutrition and the effects it has on performance. She is a member of the America Swim Coaches Association and US Masters Swim Association.
Alyson and her husband Scott have four children, three boys and a girl age 6-13.
She is very excited to work with the 12 and under age group in building a foundation of efficient technique and a passion for the sport of swimming.
Mini Mako Blue
Elaina grew up in Northern Virginia, swimming for Victor Swim Club for ten years. She earned a scholarship to row at Syracuse University, eventually graduating from George Washington University. After college, she joined US Masters Swimming (USMS) with the University of San Francisco team for five years, then moved back to NOVA and joined Patriot Masters in 1999. Elaina is a Level II certified coach and continues to train and compete with USMS. She enjoys working with kids to develop a lifelong commitment to sports and competition.
Elaina works as a tax preparer and lives in Fairfax with her husband and three children two of who swim with the Makos.
Age Group & Junior Blue
Courtney Scherber joins the Mako staff this year coaching the Age Group and Junior Blue swimmers.
Courtney grew up in Phillipsburg, NJ where she began swimming summer league at the age of six. From age 11-18 she swam year round on her USS club team, and then continued her swimming through college. Courtney received a 5 year swimming scholarship to the University of Maryland, where she swam for four years and coached her fifth year.
The highlights of Courtney's swimming career were; NJ state champion in the 100 Freestyle, National qualifier, and Academic All-American. She specialized in the 400/200 IM, 100/200 Free, back, and breast.
While at the University of Maryland, Courtney gave swim lessons for 4 years and was a student assistant coach for the UMD swim team for one year.
Courtney sees coaching as a great way to give back to a sport to which she dedicated many years as an athlete. She has a passion for helping swimmers develop strong stroke techniques and encouraging them to work hard, swim smart both mentally and technically, and love their sport!
Courtney is married with 3 children ages 5-11, two of which are MAKOS swimmers.
Mini Mako Blue & Mini Mako Gold
Wendy Wilson is joining the Makos coaching staff this year, partnering with Coach Beth to work with the Mini Makos.
Wendy began swimming at the age of 5 for the NVSL’s (Northern Virginia Swim League) Dunn Loring Dolphins and swam in her first All Star’s when she was 8. Because of her love for summer swimming, she started with the year round competitive age group program at Solotar Swim Club, focusing on distance freestyle and backstroke. At the age of 11, Wendy moved from the Dolphins to Oakton Swim and Racquet Club where she finished out her summer career both swimming and coaching for the Otters. In addition to swimming and coaching throughout high school and college, Wendy played soccer and continues to stay involved in the sport, as well as swimming for a local Masters team. She has been coaching for over 25 years and enjoys cultivating young talent both in and out of the pool.
Wendy is excited to work with the younger Makos with the goal of fostering the love of the sport while teaching the fundamentals of swimming.
Senior Prep AM
Damian Rodino enters his sixth year as an assistant coach with the 2016-17 season after serving as a volunteer assistant coach for Mason during the 2009-10 season.
Damian has also served as an Assistant club coach for Machine Aquatics and spent one season with our Mason Makos while at Mason.
Damian graduated from George Mason University in 2009 with a B.S. in Exercise Science and was a 4 year member of the varsity swim program there.
Damian and his wife Breanne married in 2010, now live in Arlington, VA and have two children, Pierce and Emily.
Cathy Summers runs the Mason Makos data and web operations, and she is also frequently seen on deck at swim meets taking photos of the Mako swimmers.