Coach Josh is in his
sixth year with the Stingrays. He and his wife, Laura, moved
from Macomb, Illinois in August, 2012. Josh began swimming at age 5
and continued through college. He was a member of Loveland Swim
Club in Loveland, Colorado during his 13-year swimming career
before graduating from Thompson Valley High School. Club swimming
allowed him to travel around the country (Arizona, California,
Texas, Oregon, Washington, Tennessee, Florida, Wyoming, Nebraska)
and compete against the top swimmers in the nation. While in
high school, Josh was team captain his Junior and Senior
year. He was a conference champion in multiple events, won
four consecutive Team Conference Titles, and helped his
team win two Colorado State Championships, both of which have been
inducted into the Thompson Valley High School Hall of
He then traveled to Western
Illinois University in Macomb, Illinois. He was a scholarship
swimmer for the NCAA Division I team while studying Athletic
Training. He received multiple Academic All-Conference honors and
was selected as team captain his Junior and Senior year. After
receiving his Bachelor's Degree in Athletic Training, he remained
at Western Illinois University for his Master's Degree in Sport
While pursuing his Master's
Degree, Josh was the Graduate Assistant Coach for the Western swim
team. He assisted the head coach in workouts, meets, recruiting and
administration. He helped rebuild the team in numbers and talent,
and left the team ready to compete for a conference
Josh is an American Swim Coach's
Association Level III coach and has regularly attended the ASCA
World Clinic and USA Swimming Convention. He founded the Alaska
Coach Mentoring Program, the Stingray Masters Program, and
is a member of the Alaska Swimming Board of Directors (General
Chair (current), Legislative Chair (current), Diversity
& Inclusion Chair (2017-2018), Nominating Committee Chair
(2016-2018), Senior Coach's Rep (2014-2016)). He is committed to
building the Stingrays, and Alaska Swimming, into the strongest
organizations possible. Josh promotes technique, teamwork,
dedication, and goal setting.
Josh is thrilled to be a part of
the Stingray Swim Team and he enjoys the family first
atmosphere. "Each swimmer is a pleasure to work with, and the
parents/volunteers are outstanding. The board members have things
moving in the right direction, and the team has huge
Josh and Laura have two dogs,
Elias and Nali, and a cat, Roary. They enjoy the outdoors,
camping, hiking, fishing, and photography.
Head Age Group Coach
One of Heidi’s earliest memories include splashing around in the pool with family and friends while growing up in Houston, Texas. Heidi started swimming on a summer league swim team when she was nine years old. A few years later, she took the sport more seriously and began swimming year around with various club teams while concurrently playing other competitive sports. After experiencing a serious ankle injury during her freshman year of high school, Heidi found swimming to be very therapeutic as well as a competitive outlet while her ankle healed. From 1999-2003 Heidi swam exclusively for Oak Ridge High School Swim Team where she excelled and found her specialties in freestyle and backstroke, specifically in the 100 free, 100 back, and 200 butterfly. Heidi walked onto the University of North Texas Swim Team in 2003, but in 2004 she decided to exclusively focus on her academic endeavors.
In 2002 Heidi began coaching for the Shenandoah Sharks, a large team that she grew up swimming for, eventually working into the head coach position in 2005. Coaching is exceptionally rewarding for Heidi as she watches her swimmers improve and conquer their goals both in and out of the water. Heidi’s coaching philosophy includes improving stroke technique through repetition, copious amounts of positive reinforcement and above all – teaching swimmers how to be good athletes and positive role models in their community. Heidi understands the power of breaking down mental barriers by setting small, obtainable goals for each swimmer during practice and the phrase “Hard work pays off” is something Heidi often tells her swimmers during meets. In addition to coaching, Heidi has also taught swim lessons, lifeguarded, and instructed water aerobics classes on and off for the past fifteen years.
Heidi moved from Northeast Tennessee to Fairbanks in 2008 to pursue a Master of Fine Arts Degree from the University of Alaska Fairbanks. After graduation in 2011, Heidi established Morel Pottery Studio in Goldstream Valley where she runs a small pottery business. Heidi joined the coaching staff for the Stingray Swim Team in 2014, and is currently the Silver and Gold Coach. When Heidi is not coaching or working in her studio, she enjoys running/skijoring with her huskies, practicing yoga, and cooking with the produce she grows in her garden.
Hilary K Nichols
Assistant Age Group Coach
Hilary spent the majority of her childhood at the community swimming pool. Being the daughter of the head coach of the club and high school swim teams in Tigard Oregon, it was only natural to begin swimming competitively at the young age of 6. She swam all through school on both the club team and the high school team, as well as playing water polo in high school. After graduating high school, Hilary moved to Fairbanks to pursue a degree in Biological Sciences. After 2 years of only lap swimming for fun, she got a call from a coach (Scott Lemley) starting a women's swim team at UAF, and he wanted Hilary to help him start up the team. Although a little rusty and out of shape, she got back in the pool and swam as co-captain for the UAF Nanook swim team for 2 years until she graduated. Hilary's best and favorite events were the 200 backstroke and 200 butterfly. Butterfly is by far her favorite stroke.
Hilary also works at the University in marine fisheries research, and loves everything to do with the ocean, especially the critters that live in it. She has 2 sons, 5 and 1.5 years old, and she loves playing with her boys in the pool, skiing, cooking and exercising.
Kristina ALEXANDRA Miller
Madi grew up on a small farm in southwestern PA, spending a lot of time at the pool where her mom coached the local club. Her love for competition caused her to branch out to other sports such as running track and cross country, and racing triathlons. She swam and ran through high school, before deciding to continue swimming for Cornell University in college. Madi dedicated two years to swimming for Cornell while pursuing degrees in Animal Sciences and Biology. She decided to take a break from swimming to study abroad in her third year, where she took up water polo, joining a local club in Bariloche, Argentina.
After graduating from Cornell, Madi has worked for several non-profit wildlife research organizations, focusing on the study of migratory birds, following them from the Arctic to the Antarctic and back. Between job contracts, she has been excited to return to her swimming roots, teaching all-ages lessons in various states. Alaska became home base when her boyfriend began graduate studies at UAF, and she has been excited to have access to a pool once again. Madi still enjoys swimming, mountain biking, and competing in distance running, and she is excited to spend as much time as possible on the pool deck, sharing her love for swimming, racing, and the atmosphere of team inspiration!
Felina began her swimming career
at the age of eight for North Pole Aquatic Club. At the age of
twelve she moved to town and started swimming for Midnight Sun Swim
Team and eventually in college swam as a senior member of the
Stingrays. After a long absence from swimming, Felina spent a
year competing Division II at University of Alaska, Fairbanks as a
As an age group and high school
swimmer Felina specialized in distance and mid-distance freestyle.
Dominating three state titles in both the 200 and 500 freestyles
freshman through junior year swimming for Lathrop High
School. During her senior year in high school she took the
state title in the 100 freestyle, and was runner up in the 200
free. She graduated from Lathrop High School in 2005.
Felina swam for UAF during the
2009-10 season and decided to try her hand at sprinting. She went
to Division II National Championships in the 50 and 100 freestyles
where she finished her competitive swimming career.
Felina and her husband John are
both lifelong Alaskans. They have two small boys, Braxton (2)
and Brady (1) and two small dogs Kami and Dougie. Together
with their kids they enjoy cross country skiing, biking,
four-wheeling, dirt-biking, camping and fishing. Felina also
Becky has been swimming since she was a kid; however growing up, she was never interested in swimming on a team. Her real love for water began when she started attending summer camp in upstate New York as a teen. She became a lifeguard in 2003, and ever since has spent a good portion of her free time underwater.
Looking back now, Becky wonders how she ever passed the swim test section of the lifeguard certification because she truly was a below-mediocre swimmer. After a 70 foot fall in northwestern Montana in 2006, resulting in a broken back and scapula, Becky looked for an opportunity to do something to prove to herself and others that she was back to normal. In August 2007, she entered her first triathlon in her home state of Indiana – still as an unexceptional swimmer.
That experience motivated her to become a “real” swimmer. After moving to Estes Park, Colorado in 2008, Becky finally learned how to swim – breathing, kicking, flip turns – the works! Working at the YMCA of the Rockies, she began teaching younger children how to swim. This was very rewarding, as she remembered the frustration of acknowledging that what she was doing wasn’t working, but not knowing how to correct it. Becky enjoys breaking down complex swimming skills to help swimmers achieve success. She truly believes that you can learn to do anything new if you are motivated, curious, hardworking and humble.
Becky currently holds American Red Cross certifications for: Lifeguard, Lifeguard Instructor, CPR/AED/First Aid/Oxygen Administration Instructor, Water Safety Instructor and Wilderness & Remote First Aid. She is also a NOLS Wilderness First Responder and an EMT level I.
Becky is originally from Indiana and has lived in New York, Montana and Colorado. She has always wanted to live in Alaska, and so, after working on the North Slope during the summer of 2013, has settled in Fairbanks. She enjoys running, backpacking, snowboarding and rock climbing. She is thrilled to say she has finally driven a snow machine for the first time ever this winter in Alaska!