Coaching Staff

Helping your swimmer achieve their goals

Our coaching staff is committed to making each swimmers' experience a positive and successful one. As members of the American Swimming Coaches Association (ASCA), they are knowledgeable and professional. If you have any questions or concerns regarding your swimmer, please reach out to your coach via email, or see them before/after practice to speak to them in person. If you have any other concerns, you can contact either the Competitive Aquatics Director or an assistant coach.


Coaching Staff

Ray Gaffney

Competitive Aquatics Director- Gold 2



Coach Ray grew up in Orangeburg, NY (Rockland County) where he swam competitively at Tappan Zee High School '78-'81.  During his HS swimming career Tappan Zee compiled a record of  72-1. He was selected Captain his Senior year and was first team All County selection. He was a member of the 1980 record breaking Section 9  400 freestyle relay and was voted by his peers as the most dedicated swimmer.  He went on to attend Saint Peter's College in Jersey City, NJ ‘81-‘85 on a Division One swimming scholarship and was named freshman of the year for his overall outstanding swimming performance.

He currently is an ASCA level III coach, who has had a tremendous amount of success at the High School level. He  landed at his Alma mater Tappan Zee High School in 1999. In his 14 years coaching both the Boys & Girls teams, he produced State, Section & League Champions and two State team Championships. He coached 12 All American swimmers and a National Gold medalist, as well as two Olympic Trail Qualifiers. Ray has sent over 25 swimmers onto Division One Colleges with scholarships. He had an overall winning percent-age of .761 during his tenure at Tappan Zee. Ray also coached a highly competitive USA team working with the New York Sharks swim team for two years. He also coached a Competitive Summer league team for 13 years starting the program with just 30 swimmers and he finished with close to 100 swimmers ranging from 5-18 years of age. Each year all his swimmers have improved their personal best times and stroke techniques.

Ray comes from the Hunterdon County YMCA in Flemington, NJ  where he was also the Competitive Aquatics Director/Head coach since 2014. Ray was responsible for working with about 110 swimmers. He sent many swimmers to the state and some onto the national meets and really enjoyed the overall atmosphere of YMCA swimming while maintaining its core values of honesty, caring, respect and responsibility. 

Ray brings a passion of swimming that he instills in all of his swimmers, and makes it fun for everyone. He is a strong communicator, and has wonderful people skills that makes him easy to get along with.

Ray enjoys spending time with his wife; Suzanne and their four children; Chelsea (27), Meagan (24), Sean (24) and Katie (20) and his 140 lb Bernese Mountain dog- Riley.  He loves to travel, and is a lifelong Yankee and Giant fan. He resides in Hamburg, NJ


Linda Susan Fasino

Age-Group Coach- Gold 1


Coach Linda began her coaching career in the summer of 2006 with the Lake Neepaulin Swim Team (which became the Sussex-Wantage Swim Team) as a volunteer coach for the 6 & Unders. She moved on to coaching various other groups on the team, and eventually became the Head Coach from 2001 to 2004. After taking a year off from summer swimming, she became the Head Coach of the Vernon Valley Lakes Swim Team, which she did from 2006-2008. During this time, Coach Linda also became involved with the AquaGems swim team, a USA Swimming club in Warwick, NY.Beginning as  a volunteer with their feeder program, she progressed to age-group coach of various practice groups. She remained at the AquaGems until 2004, when she left to become the Head Coach of the Swordfish. Currently, Coach Linda is an age-group coach with the Swordfish, is USA Swimming Certified, and ASCA Level 1 coach.

Beth Alemy

Age Group Coach- Silver 2


Coach Beth grew up in Racine, WI and fell in love with swimming at a young age. She started swimming competitively at age 7, and earned many Racine YMCA/Southeastern Aquatics records and high point meet awards. Throughout age group swimming, she specialized in IM, fly, breaststroke, and sprint freestyle and placed in the top 3 at YMCA States. She also competed at YMCA Nationals in a variety of events each year starting at 12 years old.

Beth swam her freshman year at Kenyon College in Ohio, the #1 ranked Division III swimming college.  After transferring to Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, NY, she continued to swim on the college team while completing a Bachelor in Architecture and Bachelor in Building Science.

Beth is currently an ASCA Level 2 coach and has over 17 years of experience working with a wide range of swimmers from beginners to National level athletes.  In addition to being head coach of the Forest Lakes Swim team and assistant coach for the Cruiser Club team, she has 12 years of combined coaching experience at the West Morris Area YMCA/ Randolph Y, and 5 years at Sussex County Y.  During the past few years as lead group coach for 11/12 year olds, she improved swimmer technique and conditioning greatly, which advanced many swimmers into the Y State/Junior Olympic level.  Beth loves to learn about new advancements in swimming and share them with her swimmers while keeping swimming fun and exciting!

Beth works as a special education teacher assistant for middle school math students at Franklin Borough School. She also merges her interest in swimming and art and is currently working on goal boards for swimmers and abstract swim art. Future plans include writing a book about swimming stroke technique and starting a swim/art business.

She has two daughters, Kira and Dayna, who have already experienced the challenge and seen the benefits of swimming on the Sussex County Y team.

Melissa Olsen

Age-Group Coach- Silver 1


Coach Melissa began her swimming career swimming for Lake Wallkill Swim Team in the Wallkill Valley Swim Conference, which then later joined the Northern NJ Small Lakes league, from 1987-2001. She also swam for Aqua Gems Swimming from 1990-  2001, located in Middletown New York. From 1994 to 1998 Melissa also did synchronized swimming for Lake Wallkill Aquacade in the summers. In high school she swam Varsity for the Vernon Vikings from 1997-2001. Melissa’s coaching career began in 1998 where she took over coaching her synchronized swim team and continued from 1998 to 2007. Her competitive coaching experience began in 2004, when she started working from Aqua Gems swimming working with ages 5-8 and finished in 2009. Summers, 2006 – 2008 Melissa was the Assistant coach for the Lake Wallkill warrior swim team. In 2009 she became Head Coach of the Sussex County YMCA swordfish until 2011, when she decided to go back to school and get her nursing degree. Melissa Graduated Rutgers University in January 2008 with a dual degree in Animal Science and Biology, she is currently starting her Nursing at Sussex Community College. She is a USA Swimming coach, and an ASCA level 2 Coach. She is a Red Cross WSI, and LGI.

Rebecca Hutsebaut

Age Group Coach- Bronze


Rebecca Hutsebaut


As a 2015 graduate from Drew University, Rebecca majored in Psychology and Elementary Education obtaining teaching certifications for preschool through sixth grade, as well as earning a special education certification. Throughout her undergraduate career, she competed at a varsity level as a captain for softball and swimming while continuing to teach swim lessons and lifeguard. Still ranked in Drew University women's swimming all time, top 15 performances for the 100 and 200 breaststroke, Rebecca brings in over eight years of experience in competitive high school and collegiate level swimming. Previously coaching at Scenic Lakes and Sussex Wantage, she has been coaching for a combined eight years and counting. Rebecca has been an active member of the community she grew up in by completing a service project of landscaping the front of the YMCA and completing her gold award. 

Barbara Hunton

Assistant Coach


Coach Barbara began her swimming career with swimming lessons right here at the Sussex County Y. She quickly progressed, and eventually joined the Swordfish where she excelled for several seasons. She became certified as an American Red Cross Lifeguard and eventually a Water Safety Instructor. Aside from her role as a support coach assisting with practices, Coach Barbara works as a swimming instructor teaching a myriad of classes and private lessons (even teaching some of our current Swordfish!); she also works as a lifeguard.

Sean Hunton

Age Group Coach


Rahkeem Ladson

Dry land coach


Anastasia Kurdziel

Dry land coach