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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 one of the coaches. For all questions related to administrative, such as dues, safety, or policy issues, please contact one of the board members.

Coaching Staff

Dan Taylor

Head Coach

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Dan began coaching with the Woodland Hills Aquatic Team in 1990 as an assistant coach and held this position for 5 seasons before becoming the Head Coach of the Franklin Area Swim Team in Murrysville. In the three years as Head Coach of FAST, the team grew to over 180 swimmers. In 1998, Dan founded the Greater Pittsburgh Aquatic Club. During his 8 years at GPAC, Dan coached swimmers to over 40 Top 16 reportable times and had 20 swimmers ranked in the Top 16 in the nation, including two #1 rankings. Dan has coached numerous swimmers to Sectional, Junior National, Senior National, and Olympic Trial qualifying times. Dan has been the Head Coach for the Allegheny Mountain Eastern Zone Team three times.  In 1998, Dan was awarded the Allegheny Mountain Swimming Age Group Coach of the Year. In 2007 Dan became the lead age group coach with the Killer Whales and helped the program emerge to one of the top age group swimming programs in the Pittsburgh area. In 2014 Dan was named Head Coach of the Fox Chapel Killer Whales.  Dan is a graduate of both the University of Pittsburgh and Gannon University. He has a B.A. in English Literature and a Master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction. In addition to coaching, Dan is a teacher in the Franklin Regional School District, a position he has held for 24 years. Dan resides in Plum Borough with his wife Susan and daughters Devan and McKaley.

 

Q & A with Coach Dan: 

When did you start with Killer Whales: I was hired in August of 2006

What is your coaching background: I began volunteering as a club coach when I was a senior in high school. Beginning in the the fall of 1990, I was hired as an assistant coach with the Woodland Hills Aquatic Team. In the summer of 1995 I was hired as the head coach for the Franklin Area Swim Team (FAST). In the summer of 1998, I started the Greater Pittsburgh Aquatic Club (GPAC). Over the past 27 years I have had the good fortune working with kids of all ages and helping them achieve their goals. Some of the swimmers I have coached have been age group champions, zone champions, sectional champions, wpial champions, Pennsylvania state champions, USA Swimming Top 100 ranked, junior national qualifiers, senior national qualifiers, and most recently an Olympic Trials qualifier.

What is your swimming background: I began swimming when I was 5 years old at my summer club. I was a club swimmer through High School, swimming for the Churchill Area Swim Club (which is now the Woodland Hills Aquatic Club). 

What do you enjoy about coaching: What I enjoy about coaching is watching swimmers achieve a goal that they have been working toward.

What one tip can you give universally to your swimmers: The best tip I can give swimmers is to try and have a positive mental attitude as much of the time in your life as possible. Quite often your attitude dictates your performance both in practice and in a meet.

Cindy Woods

Assistant Coach

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Your Name: Cynthia Woods

When did you start with Killer Whales: October of 2012

What is your coaching background: I have coached for 22 years, producing top performing athletes at every level; zones swimmers, sectional qualifiers, wpial and piaa champions and record holders, junior national qualifiers and an Olympic trials qualifier

What is your swimming background: I swam competitively for 11 years, through high school and college. In college Iwas a four year academic all American and 2 year captain and MVP.

What do you enjoy about coaching: I love impacting young athletes. It means the world to me to have adults come back to say what an influence I have had on their lives.

What one tip can you give universally to your swimmers: The moment right before you want to quit is where every single improvement is made.

Jonathan Moore

Assistant Coach

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Your name: Jonathan Moore

When did you start with Killer Whales:  July 2018 

What is your coaching background:  I helped coached ESA and YMCA teams when I was in High School and after college spent a few years working as the head coach for a middle school team and an assistant coach at the high school level.  I spent time as a Head Age Group coach as well as serving as a head coach of several teams.  I am currently part of the Fox Chapel Swimming and Diving team coaching staff.  I have worked with athletes at all levels of swimming from WPIAL and State Champions, accomplished NCAA swimmers, to your first time swimmers.

What is your swimming background: I have been around the sport of swimming for most of my life and started swimming at a young age.  My mother and brother were swimmers, so I suppose it was in my blood!  Starting with club teams in Michigan and swimming for the middle, high school, and YMCA teams throughout my adolescence.

What do you enjoy about coaching: I truly enjoy all aspects of coaching.  Watching athletes develop the skills and then adapting them and exceeding their goals brings me joy.  

What one tip can you give universally to your swimmers: Enjoy the process and take ownership in your development!  (For the little swimmers: have fun)

Andrew Kraus

Assistant Coach

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Your Name: Andrew Kraus

When did you start with Killer Whales: August 2011 

What is your swimming background: I was an Assistant for DLAC during High School, I coached one summer for the Richland Swim Club Summer team before making my Transition to Hampton Dolphins for 3 years. I am also an Assistant coach for Shaler Area Varsity Swim team. I Swam from 6th grade through High school. Currently I am also Swimming/Coaching masters for FFH.

What do you enjoy about coaching: Making Kids work hard to accomplish their goals. Seeing Kids get excited for lowering their time or qualifing for a big meet is the best feeling I get as a coach.

What is one tip can you give universally to your swimmers: Trust your Training, Have Fun and stick with it when things get tough. Your Hardwork WILL pay off!!

Katie McCue Stack

Assistant Coach

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Your Name: Katie Stack

When did you start with KW: Fall of 2013

What is your coaching background: I started coaching when I was 15 with swim lessons.  Then moved on to coach the 8 and under team and finally the entire 8-18 Sylvan swim team until I was 22.  After college, I was the assistant coach for Allegheny Valley YMCA swim team for about 4 years.  During that time, I was also the assistant and head coach for the Highlands Varisty swim team.

What is your swimming background:  I started swimming for my local summer league at the age of 4 (those are awesome pictures!) and swam competitively unitl I completed high school.

What do you enjoy about coaching:  I love seeing the sense of accomplishment when a swimmer completed a task he/she has never done before.

What one tip can you give universally to your swimmers:  Enjoy the little moments each swimming day offers.  One day you will realize swimming presents the best challenges, friends, and memories sports can offer.

Sheryl Schrecongost

Assistant Coach

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Your name: Sheryl Schrecongost  

 

When did you start with Killer Whales: September 2018

 

What is your coaching background:  I got started coaching as a YMCA Official because of my children’s involvement in the sport.   After a few years of officiating I decided to become an assistant coach at the AVYMCA and SPY where I remained for 3 years.   During this time I had also become head coach of a summer league team at Sylvan Pool, just completing my forth summer. After leaving the YMCA swimming league in 2015, I met up with CSC where I was an assistant coach for 1 season. 

 

What is your swimming background:  I swam in High School during my Sophomore and Junior years.  I gave up swimming because I was a tri-athlete competing in competitive cheer and softball up until my senior year.  I realized that I could not handle all 3 sports but tried my very best.
 

What do you enjoy about coaching:  There are numerous things I enjoy about coaching.  When working with younger swimmers especially, I absolutely love watching their face light up when they accomplish something that they have been working on so hard and so long – and they did it!!
 

What one tip can you give universally to your swimmers:  Nothing comes easy, you have to work for it and want it!

Hailey Farrell

Assistant Coach

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Your Name: Hailey Farrell

When did you start with Killer Whales:  Coaching – in November 2018.  But I am a Killer Whale alumni! I began swimming for the Killer Whales when I was 6 years old.

What is your coaching background:  In high school and college I was a lifeguard at Community Swim Club and at Boyce Park Wavepool and taught swim lessons to all different age groups and skill levels.  This is my first time actually coaching a swim team, but I started swimming when I was 4 years old so I’ve had plenty of great coaches to look up to over the years.

What is your swimming background:  I began swimming “competitively” on Community Swim Club when I was 4.   After that, I bounced around to a few club teams starting with the Hampton Dolphins, then the Killer Whales, then the Jewish Community Sailfish.  When I started high school at Fox Chapel I came back to Killer Whales (with Coach Dan!) before I transferred to Oakland Catholic and went back with the Sailfish.  I then went on to swim all four years of college at the University of Delaware.

What do you enjoy about coaching:  I love the idea of being able to inspire and help swimmers to achieve a goal they thought was out of reach.  Some of my best coaches knew that I was going to reach a goal way before I even believed in myself.

What one tip can you give universally to your swimmers:  Don’t forget to have fun!  The workouts can be grueling and the early morning practices can seem realllyyy early but remember the reasons you started swimming in the first place and don’t forget to have fun!

Ryan K O'Toole

Assistant Coach

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Your name: Ryan O’Toole

 

When did you start with Killer Whales: September 2019

 

What is your coaching background: This is my seventh year coaching swimming. I previously spent three years with the Valley Points Family YMCA, three years with the Cavalier Swim Club, and one year with the Burrell High School swim team. I have coached swimmers of all levels ranging from learn-to-swim, up through and including WPIAL qualifiers, YMCA district and state champions, YMCA national qualifiers, AMS Junior Olympic Champions, Zones qualifiers, Sectional qualifiers, and Futures Championship qualifiers.

 

What is your swimming background: It started when I was two years old and I was dropped into the old, non-heated AVY swimming pool in Tarentum in mid-January for swim lessons (that was fun!) I swam a little when I was young but swimming was not my primary sport. I focused on other sports as I got older and wound up playing volleyball through high school and in college. I got involved with swimming again when my children began to swim.

 

What do you enjoy about coaching: I enjoy interacting with athletes of various backgrounds and abilities and working with them to set and achieve goals. There is nothing like seeing the smile on their face when they learn something new or accomplish a goal they set for themselves!

 

What's one tip you can give universally to our swimmers:   Stay positive, work hard, and have fun. Swimming is as much about the journey as it is about reaching your destination!

 

Lindsay Martin Wood

Assistant Coach

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Your name: Lindsay Wood
 
When did you start with Killer Whales: September 2019 (though I've been training with the Flying Fish Heads -- KW's masters swimming program -- for the past few years).
 
What is your coaching background: Despite teaching many children to swim and occasionally coaching my fellow FFH and Pitt masters swimmers, this would be my first foray into the world of coaching. I am presently coaching our D1 swimmers.
 
What is your swimming background: Water is the antidote to my fire, so I've always been inclined toward swimming. My dad was an ASCA level 3 swim coach, and I've been blessed with moral and technical support from the start. I was a high level competitive swimmer from age 5 through high school but paused to pursue other endeavors in college. I resumed swimming when I came to Pittsburgh for graduate school and currently train/compete with the FFH. I am a nationally (USMS) and internationally (FINA) top-ranked backstroker.
 
What do you enjoy about coaching: I love helping others -- in any capacity. This is a remarkable opportunity for me to be for others who I needed when I was a young swimmer. So much of becoming a good swimmer has to do with our mindset, so cultivating a good attitude is imperative. Seeing that translate from the pool and into daily life is beyond satisfying!
 
What's one tip you can give universally to our swimmers: BE KIND. Always. And streamline.

Matt Mauclair

Assistant Coach

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Your Name: Matt "Matty Mo" Mauclair

When did you start with Killer Whales: Oct. 2016

What groups do you coach for KW: I coach the Flying Fish Heads Master's Team Fox Chapel - (this team is made up of wonderful, eccentric, compassionate, unique, fabulous, sometimes confused, immensely intelligent, sometimes veryopinionated group of local adult swimmers.)

What is your coaching background: After 15 years training and racing at a high level in the sport of triathlon - swim, bike and run - and crossing all the finish lines - short course triathlon to Ironman distance racing - I set goals for, I decided to start my own coaching business "Trust The Plan Coaching" to guide others to their goal start and finish line(s).

What is your swimming background: Until I learned that triathlon included swimming, I had a mean doggie paddle stroke:) With my interest in multisport, I took a beginner swim class at a local YMCA back in 2003, joined the Master's Swim Program at Pitt a year later and studied technique and form throughout the years from some of the best coaches and athletes in the country.

Aside from 2.4 mileswim legs in Ironman racing, I've completed the Chesapeake Bay 4.4 Mile Endurance Swim.

What do you enjoy about coaching: It's the journey I love to talk with kids about. So much young people are hurried to make grown-up decisions about where to take their life at this age. I talk with them about enjoying the journey, i.e., the training sessions with your peers that challenge and build character the most ... those are the times you'll remember the most.

What one tip can you give universally to your swimmers: What I try to speak into the swimmersminds the most is to stay in the moment. Each day they see a 5k workout written out and the moans and groans sweep across the pool deck. Instead of looking at the 20 x 100 on 1:10 min. or the 15 x 200 desc. by group'sof three ... OR ... the 1200 IM at the end of practice, concentrate on getting through the warm-up then focus on the next set and the next ... stay in the moment so your best effort can be maximized for that set.

Board of Directors

Scott Resek - BoD Pres

President

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Kathy Dantey- BoD VP

Vice President

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Shannon Smith - BoD Treas

Treasurer

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Heather Wygonik - BoD Sect

Secretary

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Lynn Gackenbach - BoD

Board Member

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Amanda Kovach- BoD

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Dan Taylor - BoD

Board Member

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Margaret Haas - BoD

Board Member

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Heth Turnquist - BoD

Board Member

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Lisabeth Culbertson Ernharth- BoD

Board Member

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Heather Kennedy

Financial Manager

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