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Coaches

Charlie Lownes

Head Coach

Charlie has been the head coach of University Swim club since 1995. Under his leadership USC has been to the Olympic Trials, produced six US Nationals qualifiers and over ten Junior National qualifiers, been a regular presence on the Lake Erie Zone team, placed as high as 2nd and the Lake Erie District Championship meet, and has inspired Passion, Dedication, and Motivation in thousands of swimmers. He can usually be found at the University School pool, but is seen regularly at Euclid as well.
 
Charlie is a 16-time NCAA All-American swimming at Dennison University and an All-American at Hebron Academy in  Maine. Charlie began coaching at Paul Hannah Swim Club in Granville, OH. There he coached several swimmers ranked in the US Top 16 and one swimmer ranked in the Top 25 in the world. While in the Peace Corps he coached the Guatemalan National Team from 1988-1991. From 1991-1995 he coached high school and club teams in Cincinnati. Charlie was voted Coach of the Year, 2002-2003, for Ohio High School Swimming. 
 
Charlie coaches swimmers that are part of several high school and  college teams, and coaches Lake Catholic, Benedictine, and Kirtland High Schools over the winter months. In addition to  coaching more experienced swimmers, Charlie has a gift for coaching swimmers at all  ages and abilities. 
 

Steve Jacobs

Lead Site Coach - Euclid

Steve joined USC in the fall of 2015 as the Euclid Site Coach. He is the primary coach for the Advanced and Senior Group, and is heavily involved with the Intermediate group. He is also the Head Coach of the Euclid High School & Wickliffe High School Swim Teams. Before joining USC he coached with Magnificat High School and Canterbury Golf Club.
 
Under Coach Steve's leadership the Euclid site has grown from 10 to 90 members in less than 3 years, produced multiple USA Zone, Sectional, Futures qualifiers, has become an-offseason training location for high school swimmers all over the east side, and has had multiple swimmers crack the USA Swimming NAG Top-100, while still welcoming new and developing swimmers with a love of the sport. Coach Steve is passionate about helping swimmers of all levels learn to challenge themselves, and develop the Passion, Dedication, and Motivation required to achieve their "next step", whether that's someone's first NAG time or a national level cut. 
 
Coach Steve grew up swimming in Northeast Ohio competing for the Western Reserve Seariders, Firestone Akron Swim Team, Shaker Sharks and Kent Roosevelt High School. He competed on the collegiate level at Case Western Reserve University, where he was a Team Captain and perennial University Athletic Association Conference Finalist. He competed primarily in Breaststroke, middle distance Freestyle and IM events, though was a distance animal in his age group days. 
 
Outside of the pool Steve is a Product Design Engineer, currently working with multiple start-ups in the Cleveland Area after a history leading new product development projects for global organizations. He is also recreational triathlete and runner, and quite possibly the world's biggest Star Wars fan. 
 

Patti Pfreim

Assistant Coach - Euclid

Coach Patti leads the Beginner Group at the Euclid, and is the coordinator of the Future Champion's Swim Lesson program at Euclid. She was one of the original coach's at the Euclid site and has been pivotal in growth and success of the program, and is the driving force behind the launch and success of the swim lessons program. 

Coach Patti swam competitively in the area from the time she was 6 through high school.  What she thought was a summer job in high school and college turned into a lifelong passion and commitment to athletes and the sport of swimming. In her illustrious swim career, she has taught swim lessons from infant to adults, and every age and level in between.  When her youngest daughter turned 3, she returned to coaching at the Princeton Aquatic Club in Cincinnati, Ohio from 2000-2003.  Upon moving back to Cleveland, she coached the Willoughby Stingers from 2005-2013, and has been with University Swim Club since 2010.  Patti has been the head coach of the Kirtland Country Club since 2013.
 
Not only has Patti trained all levels of competitive swimmers, but she has trained countless others to do the same.  Patti has published a book and written a curriculum to help guide swim instructors to teach proper foundations and technique in swimming, which then helps swimmers to easily transition into competitive swimming.  This is the curriculum which guides the USC Future Champion Swim Lesson program.  She has given trainings to many of  instructors at various pool facilities in the area, as well as in Cincinnati.
 
Outside of the pool, Patti is a school teacher at Ss. Robert and William Catholic School in Euclid.  Patti is the loving and devoted wife of Chris and proud parent of 4 children: Kate, Andrew, Brenna, and Abby.  Without their love and support, Patti couldn’t be the devoted coach, teacher, and mentor to the many athletes and children that she is so privileged to serve. 
 

Danny Essel

Assistant Coach - Euclid

Coach Danny joined USC in the Fall of 2017. He works primarily with the Intermediate group but can be seen working with the Advanced and Intermediate group as well.
 
Danny swam competitively for 18 years on various teams, including the Euclid Panthers SSL Swim Team (10 Years), the Euclid Marlins USA Swim Team (8 years), Euclid High School and Hiram College. His specialties include the IM and Breaststroke. Danny made districts his Junior Year of High School in the 100 Breast and Districts his Senior Year in the 200 IM and 100 Breast. He was also Captain of his High School and College Swim teams his last 2 years on each Team.
 
Danny has coached the Euclid Panthers SSL Swim Team for the past 6 years. During the day, Danny works as a helpdesk support technician for Cornerstone IT in Mentor. 

Bryan Christiansen

Assistant Coach - University School

Coach Bryan brings a wealth of experience to the University Swim Club. He is currently beginning his second year as the Assistant Coach for the Men's and Women's programs at John Carroll where both the Men’s and Women’s teams won the Ohio Athletic Conference this year and had an All-American Swimmer and Diver. Before this he spent two years at the State University of New York at New Paltz while also coaching the Hawks Swim Club there. The Hawks that season saw six Speedo Sectional Qualifiers and one Junior National Qualifier out of the senior group, along with two Eastern Zone Qualifiers from Coach Bryan’s 9-10 Age Group. During his tenure at New Paltz, the college team set fourteen team records, thirteen pool records, and had eight SUNYAC Conference Champions. He also served as the 2016 and 2017 Elite Swim Camp Director. Prior to New Paltz he coached for the Victor Swim Club where three of his 9-10 Age Group swimmers made Eastern Zone cuts in 2013. Beginning in 2014 while still at Victor, Bryan also coached the Penfield High School Women's team in Rochester, NY which brought six athletes to the New York State Championship Meet. That would be Bryan’s last year with Victor, and in a fitting send off, the club earned its first Niagara LSC Championship Title, which it has won every year since. Bryan earned his master’s degree in Communication and Media Technology while attending and coaching for the Rochester Institute of Technology from 2011-2013. Bryan swam for Hiram College, graduating in 2008 and still holds the 800 Free Relay record. He was an Academic All-American and has taught college-level communication classes in addition to his coaching duties.

 
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