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Coaches & Directors

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Coaching Staff

John Morse

Head Coach

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Since taking over the helm as the Head Coach of the Nashville Aquatic Club in 1984, John Morse has established a tradition of dedication and excellence in Middle Tennessee.

The 1989, 2001, 2002, 2004, 2008, and 2009 Southeastern Swimming LSC Coach of the Year, Morse has coached the team to over 40 LSC Championship titles.

Upon Morse’s arrival, NAC has established itself as a consistent and elite program in developing fast, successful swimmers. Through Morse’s guidance, NAC has finished in the top 10 at Senior Nationals, as high as 2nd at the Junior National Championships, and has been overall team champion at the Southeastern Sectional Championships.

The Morse File

50+ Olympic Trial Qualifiers

17 National Junior Team Members

16 National Finalists

USA Swimming and US Olympic Committee Developmental Coach of the Year, 2008

International Experience

Head Coach, 2010 Junior Pan Pacific Team, Hawaii

Head Coach, 2009 National Junior Team Competition, Vancouver

Assistant Coach, 2011 Pan American Games, Mexico

Assistant Coach, 2012 Junior Pan Pacific Team, Hawaii

Assistant Coach, 2007-8 National Junior Team Competition, Melbourne

Coach Morse has developed more than 50 Olympic Trial qualifiers, over a dozen National finalists, four World University Games qualifiers, World Junior Championship qualifiers, Junior National Champions, National Team members, FINA World Junior Champions, and swimmers that went on to become NCAA champions and All Americans.

Morse’s leadership has helped the team garner its twelfth consecutive Gold Medal Club Award this year. This award identifies USA Swimming Clubs that have attained a high level of athlete performance as well as organizational success. NAC has been honored as a Gold Medal Club in each year of the awards existence.

Morse’s success has also led him to earn the American Swim Coaches Association Bronze Award of Excellence, signifying ten years of having a finalist at Nationals. Morse has served as a National Team Coach in 1992, 2008, 2011, and has been a part of the Olympic Development Camp (1994), the Eagle Camp (1995), Zone Distance Camp (1997), and National Select Camp (1998). Morse was selected as an assistant coach for the National Junior Team in 2007-2008, and participated in international competition in Melbourne, Australia.  In 2008, Morse was recognized by USA Swimming as the USA Swimming Developmental Coach of the Year, and was selected as the head women's coach for the 2009 National Junior Team trip to Vancouver.  In 2010, Morse was selected as the co-head coach of the Junior Pan-Pacific team which competed in Hawaii.  In 2011, Morse was selected as a member of the Pan-American Games coaching staff which competed in Mexico.  In 2012, Morse was selected as a coach for the Junior Pan-Pacific team competing in Honolulu, Hawaii.

Coach Morse also stays involved in the politics of swimming. He has been a delegate to the United States Swimming Aquatic Convention more than a dozen times. He has also served on the National Championship Time Standards Committee, the National Championship site selection committee, the National Club Development Committee, and currently serves on the Senior Development Committee for USA Swimming. Coach Morse is also a member of the Southeastern Swimming board of directors and has served as the Senior Chairman, Technical Planning Director, Outreach Director, and Swim-a-Thon Director.

He also stays very involved in high school swimming, and was instrumental in bringing the high school state meet to Nashville in 1991. He has worked with the Nashville Metro Parks and Nashville Sports Council to secure three Senior National Championships, 2 Junior National Championships, and 1 Masters National Championships for the city.

Coach Morse is a graduate of the University of Florida, where he swam on conference and NCAA championship teams.  Coach Morse is happily married and has 2 stepchildren.  He is also an avid fisherman, and has one dog named Jackson.

Doug Wharam

Senior Coordinator

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Doug enters his fourth season with Nashville Aquatic Club as Senior Coordinator and Senior Assistant, coaching alongside NAC Head Coach John Morse. During his tenure in Nashville, the Senior group has developed eleven NAC swimmers to first time summer Junior National cuts, eight first time summer Senior National qualifiers, seven 18&U Olympic Trial qualifiers, placed twelve athletes on the Southeastern Zone Championship team, and had numerous USA Swimming Top 10 swims, including multiple #1 rankings.  In addition, NAC has also had international success, with athletes securing multiple gold medals at FINA World Junior Championships and the Junior Pan Pacific Championships.

Prior to his tenure with NAC, Doug was the Director of Competitive Swimming with the Shenandoah Marlins Aquatic Club in Waynesboro, Va., the Head Age Group Coach and Assistant Senior Coach at Seacoast Swimming in Providence, R.I., Head Age Group Coach with the Waves of Wilmington in Wilmington, N.C. and Assistant Age Group Coach with Machine Aquatics in the Washington, D.C. area. Collegiately, he has served volunteer assistant coach posts at Brown University, the University of Virginia, and more recently, with Vanderbilt University’s Women's swim team.

A 2005 graduate of the University of Virginia, Doug earned a master’s degree in Sport Management from the State University of New York at Cortland in 2011, and is currently pursuing his Doctorate in Sport Management. He is certified as an ASCA Level 4 coach and was selected as a 2009-2010 ASCA Fellow.  Doug has a dog named Powell and a cat named Sam.

Sarah Peterson

Age Group Coordinator

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Sarah is entering her third season with the Nashville Aquatic Club as Age Group Coordinator.  Sarah swam for the Nashville Aquatic Club for 11 seasons, and during that time was a member of the National Junior Team and a 2008 Olympic Trials Qualifier.  Sarah grew up in Franklin, and was a high school All-American and team captain at Franklin High School.

After graduation, Sarah attended the University of Florida where she swam for coach Gregg Troy.  While at Florida, Sarah was a 3-time member of the SEC Academic Honor Roll, an NCAA All-American, and a member of the 2009 SEC Championship, and 2010 NCAA Championship team.  Sarah graduated with a degree in advertising.

Sarah is dedicated to continuing the tradition of excellence of the age group program!

Ashley Blackburn

Developmental Coordinator

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As the Developmental Coordinator, Ashley oversees and coaches the Pre-Competitive Group, Green Group, and White Group.  She grew up in Northern Kentucky and swam for the Kenton County Clippers and the Cincinnati Marlins.  During her time at the Marlins she qualified for and competed in the 1996 Olympic Trials.  Ashley swam collegiately at Northwestern University and graduated with a degree in Communications in 2002.  After graduating she moved to Franklin and became an assistant coach with NAC.  In 2004 she became the NAC site coordinator at the WCISC where she developed swimmers from beginner level to those recognized as National Age Group Top-10.  Ashley has also been a SwimAmerica swim lesson instructor both in Northern Kentucky and Nashville.  She is looking forward to helping young swimmers transition to the team and develop a love for the sport of competitive swimming.  She currently lives in Franklin with her husband and four children.

Colin Ackerman

Green & White Group Coach

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Colin is originally from Baltimore, Maryland where he coached for various club and summer league teams. After receiving his BA in Mass Communication from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, Colin was accepted into the Teach for America corps. He is currently a Kindergarten teacher at McGavock Elementary School in Donelson. He is also pursuing his Masters in Instructional Practice from Lipscomb University. He is very excited to be a part of the NAC family.

Brian Allen

Senior 1 Coach, Masters

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Coach Brian Allen is entering his fourth season with NAC and will again be coaching the Senior 1 group.  He has previously coached for Father Ryan High School and was the coach for their middle school program for 5 years.

Coach Brian swam for NAC for 7 years.  He was a 2 time High School All American in the 100 Breaststroke as well as a Junior National Qualifier in the 100 and 200 Breaststroke.

He swam collegiately at the College of Charleston where he held the school records in both the 100 and 200 Breaststroke when he graduated with a degree in Media Communications in 2002.  Brian's son Sam is also a member of the Nashville Aquatic Club.

Christian Bahr

Red Group Coach

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Christian is entering his second season with the Nashville Aquatic Club.  He is also working as the Director of Aquatics for the Ensworth School.

 
Christian comes to NAC after a long tenure with the Bolles School Sharks in Jacksonville, Florida.  During his time with Bolles Christian oversaw two separate groups:  One consisting of developmental age group swimmers between 8-11 years old, the other comprised of senior level swimmers between 13-17 years old.  Christian has coached swimmers who have qualified for meets ranging from the Florida Junior Olympics to United States Olympic Trials.  Athletes he has worked with have gone on to swim on All-Star teams, Zone teams, and United States National Junior teams.  Christian served as a coach with Brunei Darussalam at the 2012 London Olympic Games, working with the first swimmer to ever represent Brunei at an Olympic Games.  
 
As a swimmer, Christian began his competitive career in New Jersey before becoming a boarding student at the Bolles School.  He went on to Southern Methodist University where Christian was a 9-time NCAA All-American and team captain.  Christian was a member of the United States National Team and represented the United States at the World University Games.

Elizabeth Black

Developmental Coach

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Lizzie is new to Nashville by way of Roanoke, Virginia where she swam for the Virginia Gators through high school.  Lizzie continued to swim throughout college at Sewanee: The University of the South where she made the SCAC All-Conference team each year.  Lizzie just graduated from Sewanee this past May and is now attending Belmont Nursing School.  Lizzie loves the competitive aspect of swimming and is thrilled to become a part of the NAC family!

Sara Broun

Developmental Coach

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Sara is entering her first season with NAC after recently moving to Nashville. She grew up in Ohio, swimming for the Blue Ash YMCA in Cincinnati.  She continued her swimming career at Wittenberg University in Springfield, Ohio as a varsity swimmer until graduating.  After college, Sara returned to Ohio where she coached at Countryside YMCA, followed by some time spent in Orlando, Florida coaching various age groups for Trinity Prep Aquatics. After taking a break away from the pool to focus on her career in public relations, she found herself back on deck at the YMCA of Western North Carolina in Asheville working with all age groups, from developmental 6 and under swimmers up to the Senior and National levels.  Sara is excited to join NAC and looks forward to working with the Green Group this season!

Margy Cramer

Pre-Comp & Red Group Coach

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Margy is entering her first season as a coach with the Nashville Aquatic Club. ýPrior to moving to Nashville, Margy served as the Assistant Coach for the men and women at Towson University for four seasons. ýShe grew up in Cincinnati and went on to swim at Penn State. ýWhile there, she was an NCAA Academic All-American, Academic All Big Ten Team member and member of the Deanýs List. ýMargy also competed in the 2004 Olympic Trials and won a silver medal in 5K Open Water race at the 2005 World Championship. ýMargy began coaching in 2007 at M.E. Lyons YMCA and Ursuline Academy, both in Cincinnati. ýMargy and her husband live in Nashville with their daughter.

Stephanie Falcone

Pre-Comp & White Group Coach

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Stephanie is entering her second season with NAC.  She grew up swimming in the Washington, D.C. area and is originally from Potomac, MD.  She was recruited to Loyola University in Maryland and swam under Brian Loeffler, but then transferred to Vanderbilt as a sophomore and swam under Jeremy Organ for her remaining 3 seasons.  She graduated in May 2012 with a degree in Studio Art and Managerial Studies and is staying in Nashville to pursue songwriting.  She’s coached at Old Natchez Country Club as well as Vanderbilt swim clinics.  Stephanie also works in Nashville as a Pilates instructor.  She’s excited about joining the NAC staff and working with the White Group!

Marla Hastings

Green & White Group Coach

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Marla Hastings will be coaching the Green Group at the Indoor Sports Complex this year. She began coaching as a summer league swim coach for the Cottonwood Pirates in 1997, when her older children began swimming. She coached for Excel Aquatics for several years until adopting Gracee in 2005.  She was the coach for Franklin High School Swim Team from 2000-2006, and was named Tennessee High School Swim Coach of the Year in 2004. Presently she coaches the middle school swim team at Brentwood Academy. Marla’s background is classical ballet, so she knows the importance of learning technique and she loves teaching the basics. She is married to K. Dwayne Hastings; they have 8 children ranging in ages from 5-years-old to 33-years-old…the last three adopted from China. The Hastings have made Franklin their home for the past 16 years.

James Loveless

Blue Group Coach

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James Loveless grew up in Westchester, NY swimming for Badger Swim Team under coach John Collins. James was a Junior National Qualifier in the freestyle events as a ninth grader. By twelfth grade, James expanded into individual medleys and Senior Nationals/Olympic trial times in the freestyle events. James attended UC Berkeley (CAL) where he trained under Nort Thornton and Mike Bottom (Michigan). There, he was a PAC-10 finalist and was nominated for rookie of the year. After being offered a full scholarship for swimming, James moved to Syracuse University for his remaining years where he was team captain, top five finalist in the Big East Championship and a Big East Academic All Star. After college, James received a fellowship to Fordham University in 2004 where he completed a Master’s in Education for grades 1-6. For the past 6 years, James has been teaching science to elementary/middle school students in the New York area. During this time, he has also been able to coach with for the Badger age group team and coaching country club and high school teams as well. James has coached over 300 age group swimmers to success as well as coaching swimmers to become Junior National Qualifiers and All-American athletes. James swims everyday and truly believes that swimming can improve one’s quality of life.

Glenn McCall

Red Group Coach

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Coach Glenn swam for The University of Texas at Austin, where he was a Rankin Academic Scholarship recipient, Presidential Scholarship recipient and a Student/Athlete for the Longhorns. During his career at Texas, he was a four-time All-American and was ranked number-one in the NCAA preseason in his specialty the 200 backstroke. He was a U.S. Olympic Trials finalist in 1984, finishing sixth in the 200m backstroke, earning a Top 25 in the world ranking in that event. Originally from Atlanta, Coach Glenn competed for Swim Atlanta as an age group swimmer and was a member of U.S. National Junior Team that competed in a US vs. USSR Dual Meet in the former Soviet Union. Aside from a career in human resources related businesses, he has coached summer league and master's programs in Texas as well as in Nashville. Coach Glenn is married to former NAC swimmer and fellow Longhorn Claire Sanders McCall and is father to Will and Rob.

Chris McPherson

Masters

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Although raised in Maryland, Chris is a native Tennessean, born in Memphis!  Chris started her swimming career at the age of 6, swimming for summer league teams, the Rockville JCC, then Rockville Montgomery Swim Club (RMSC), as an age grouper until college.   Chris was a Junior National qualifier in numerous events spanning her high school and college years, and she also represented the USA at the World Maccabiah Games in Israel in 1985, earning two silver medals and one bronze.  Chris swam collegiately for Princeton University, was selected to All-Ivy and All East Teams, and was team captain in her senior year.

Chris’ career as a masters’ swimmer began in 1991, when she swam with Southern California Aquatics Masters (SCAQ).  After a move to Baltimore in 1993, Chris founded the masters program at North Baltimore Aquatic Club (NBAC), in addition to coaching age groupers (where she coached a lanky 9-year old named Michael Phelps!).

After taking a break to have children, Chris continued coaching after the family moved to Nashville.  Chris coached Westside Masters (The Club at Westside) for 9 years, then headed up JCC Masters for another 3 years, before switching over to NAC Masters last October.   Chris has numerous years of experience teaching swim lessons and coaching middle and high school, summer league, USS

Greg Roop

Red Group Coach

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Greg is a native of Chattanooga, TN and grew up swimming for Baylor Swim Club.  At Baylor, he served as team captain for the high school and club teams for three seasons.  Greg attended college at Harvard University where he was a four year varsity letter winner and served as team captain during the 2012-2013 season.  Greg also coached for the Cambridge Masters Swim Club for two years.  After completing his degree in neurobiology in 2013, Greg returned to Tennessee and is currently working at Vanderbilt.  He has been in the sport for 17 years and is looking forward to staying involved with swimming as a coach.

Rebecca Senn

Blue Group Coach

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Rebecca began swimming for NAC at age six in the Green Group and continued to swim for NAC for the next 12 years.  Becca also swam for Hillsboro High School and received a swimming scholarship to James Madison University.  Upon completion of her sophomore year she chose to retire from swimming and transfer to Belmont University where she is currently pursuing a degree in Nursing. Becca has been the assistant swim coach at Old Natchez Country Club for 3 summers, and has taught private lessons for the past five years.  Becca was also a Swim America instructor for over a year and is now looking forward to another great year as a NAC Coach! 

Tricia Weaner

Senior 1 Coach

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Coach Tricia grew up swimming for the West Shore YMCA in Camp Hill, PA.  She then went on to swim at the University of Tennessee where she was a 3-time All-American and an All-SEC Honor Roll member.  Tricia qualified for Olympic Trials in 2000, 2004, and 2008 and was a 2 time Olympic Trial Semi-Finalist.  She graduated from UT in 2011 with a degree in Finance and Enterprise Management, and currently works at Caterpillar Financial.

Clarissa Wentworth

Pre-Comp & Red Group Coach

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Clarissa started coaching the Pre-Competitive Group in the Winter of 2012.  She swam competitively for 16 years, getting her start with the Dayton Raiders Swim Club in Dayton, OH. After high school, she swam for Indiana University, specializing in freestyle and butterfly. Clarissa returned to the Dayton Raiders and coached age-group, high school, and Master's level swimmers for two years after college. She then moved to middle Tennessee and is currently working as an elementary school councilor.

Margaret Akers

SwimAmerica Program Director

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Coach Margaret, a native of North Carolina, grew up swimming for the High Point Swim Club and swam collegiately for Emory University. She holds a Master’s Degree from the University of Virginia and a J.D. from the Vanderbilt School of Law. In 2006, she returned to swimming as the full-time Program Director for NAC SwimAmerica and has been instrumental in the program’s rise as one of the region’s premier swim schools. As Director, she is committed to SwimAmerica’s goal-driven curriculum with an emphasis on both competitive technique and safety. Her young swimmers graduate to be competitors in the Nashville and Williamson County Swim Leagues as well as beginner year-round swimmers for the Nashville Aquatic Club. She and her husband Todd have two sons, Seth, a NAC alum and current distance freestyler at Brown University and Holt, a high school senior who is both a competitive swimmer and baseball player. 

 
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