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Coaches & Directors

We are here to support your needs. If your questions are related to workouts, meets, events, goal setting,  and other swimming related needs,  please contact any one of the coaches related to your athletes sport. Questions regarding team policies, administration, and dues, please contact Coach Aaron for swimming or Coach Brenda for water polo. For all questions related to Burgess Pool, such as safety, or company policy issues, please contact Menlo Swim and Sport- 650-328-7946

Coaching Staff

Aaron Higgins

Head Coach of Swimming: Levels 5+

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  I began swimming in the Bay Area (Ca) and really took to the sport of swimming, I loved everything about it. At the same time, I began competitively swimming at a late age and it forced me to learn fast and play catch up. I had a great coaching staff helping me along the way and eventually joined a club team when I turned 16. I absorbed as much as I could and continued to apply everything I learned to my swim encyclopedia. 
     I was lucky enough to walk on to a DII college team (CSU Bakersfield) and develop even more from Bob Steele and David Graves. These two coaches really inspired me to learn about the development of athletes and helping them grow in and out of the water as swimmers. 
    In 2001 I was offered an opportunity to begin coaching with Bakersfield Swim Club with the 10 and under group. This was such a different dynamic being on the pool deck and working with these high energy, walking, and talking sponges. I was young myself (20) and was learning more about the sport at the same time as the athletes. I began reading more and more on the development of young swimmers and just the age group in general. I had so much fun working with these kids. I continued working with the 10 and unders until about 2009/2010 when I advanced up to the 11/12 age group. 
   In 2011, Bakersfield Swim Club had closed its doors and I needed to move on. The planets aligned and I found a new home back in the Bay Area in Menlo Park, CA. where I currently work with a great staff, community, and group of kids. As I step foot on the pool deck every day, I remember where I started and try and bring that same, energy, effort and drive to the athletes. What I hope to achieve is  that each athlete climbs out of the pool with the same wide eyed excitement that those 10 and unders had 15 years ago.

Katie A Molinari

Level 4 Coach

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Katie was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area. She comes from a big swim family and started swimming with a summer league team at the age of 8. The love for the sport grew from there. She played soccer and water polo growing up, but swimming was always what she came back to. Katie has been coaching for 6 years, and has had the opportunity to be coached by, work for and work with some of the greatest swimmers and coaches in the country. She is excited to be part of the Menlo staff and looks forward to helping the swimmers improve and find a love for the sport, just as she has

Melissa Joy

Levels 1&2 Coach

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Coach Melissa has always loved the water. She has been swimming since she was very young and has been a swim instructor for over 8 years. Melissa jumped into coaching Mavericks with two feet and has enjoyed (and is enjoying) every minute of it.

Melissa coaches our Level 1 and level 2 swimmers.  She enjoys working with young swimmers to build on their love of swimming and team spirit. She believes that swimming is a great sport that encompasses both individual improvements along with an awesome team dynamic. Her goal is to have every swimmer advance their swimming ability as well as their confidence… and, of course, have a great time doing it!

Caroline Foley

Menlo Aquatics Yoga Instructor

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Caroline first embarked on her yoga journey in 2008 after a car accident left her with severe low back and shoulder pain. She began with a gentle Hatha practice along with physical therapy and soon discovered yoga’s amazing benefits to heal and strengthen her body. During her marathon training in 2013, Caroline started the more rigorous and challenging practice of vinyasa “flow” yoga. From this practice she realized her nagging injuries were gone, her body could sustain longer runs and she felt stronger overall.
 
As she noticed her body’s positive response to the yoga practice, she took a leap of faith and enrolled in a 200-hour teacher training through Frog Lotus International in the winter of 2014. Under the guidance of master teacher Edna Barr (ERYT-500), Caroline delved into all things yoga and cultivated not only a love for the physical benefits, but the emotional and spiritual as well. Since receiving her certification, Caroline has continued her training, finding inspiration from her teacher as well as Anirudh Shastri, Stephanie Synder and hopes to someday study under Ana Forrest. She also completed a Restorative Yoga Training in May of 2015 with Masako Matsuoka at Breathe Yoga Los Gatos, to which she credits her passion for guided meditation and reverence for the healing art of yoga.
 
Her unique style of functional movement along with a deep respect for the human body make for classes where students can learn about their body and how it moves. Ever an observer Caroline borrows from her Bachelor’s Degree in Anthropology as she watches students do their individual dance on their mats. Human evolution has always fascinated her and she feels honored to be a part of her students’ physical and emotional growth.
 
Caroline loves meeting students where they are at physically and emotionally. She believes firmly in how much courage it takes for a person to step onto the mat for the first time, no one should ever be made to feel like they cannot do it! Her encouraging humor and positive nature allow all walks of life to feel welcome. She believes firmly in yoga’s ability to unite body and mind as well as her universal truth in yoga is for everybody and every body.

Ariana F Canalez

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Coach Ariana was born and raised in the San Jose/Sunnyvale area. She began swimming at the age of 9, and has always loved being in the water, indoors and out! Ariana has been teaching and coaching swimming 7 years, and loves working to grow the sport of swimming. With an additional background in fitness and exercise, she is excited to be a part of the staff at Menlo Aquatics, and looks forward to helping the team and our swimmers with continued growth.