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 over 50 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 and numerous swimmers who have
trained under him have qualified for the Allegheny Mountain Zone
team. 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 club 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 fifth grade teacher in the Franklin Regional
School District, a position he has held for 21 years. Dan resides
in Plum Borough with his wife Susan and daughters Devan and
Q & A with Coach
When did you start with
Killer Whales: I was hired in August of 2006.
What groups do you coach for
KW: As the head coach of the team, I am responsible for overseeing
all groups. However, my primary group is the senior
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
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
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.
Your Name: Cynthia Woods
When did you start with Killer Whales: October of 2012
What groups do you coach for KW: developmental 2,3, add junior,
all groups for dryland
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 I was 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.
Your Name: Tim O'Toole
When did you start coaching with the Killer Whales: Fall 2017
What groups do you coach for KW: I coach the Senior group and D1
& 3 groups as well.
What is your coaching background: I started coaching about 20
years ago after attending clinics and watching my son Patrick and
daughter Stephanie begin their swimming careers. My first coaching
job was Knoch High School as they started their swimming program. I
moved to Blackhawk for 6 seasons until the school district took
over the club program. I have also coached at Butler YMCA and
What is your swimming background: I have traveled extensively
throughout the US and Canada was a National Champion roller skater
and bought my own rink when I was 25. I was drawn to swimming
through my kids participation and love the team and individual
components that swimming and skating provide.
What do you enjoy about coaching: My biggest enjoyment is
empowering the swimmers to do things in the water they never
thought they could do. I have encouraged my swimmers to always
DREAM BIG DREAMS!!!
What one tip can you give universally to your swimmers: There
are so many life lessons swimmers can attain from being on a swim
team. Come to practice, be on time, do your best and persevere when
the going gets tough. These lessons will stay with them for the
balance of their life!
When did you start with Killer Whales: July 2018
What groups do you (will you) coach for KW: All groups
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 the Head Age
Group Coach at GPAC and the Head Coach of the Monroeville Marlins.
I am also currently the Head Swimming and Diving Coach of
Gateway High School.
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)
Your Name: Andrew Kraus
When did you start with Killer Whales: August 2011
What groups do you coach for KW: I consider myself a
"Floater" and see almost every group every week. Primarily this
year I will be working with Pre-Comp and D2.
What is your swimming background: Assistant for DLAC during
High School,Richland Swim Club Summer team for one year and Hampton
Dolphins for 3 years while in college.
Swam from 6th grade through High school. Currently Swim masters
What do you enjoy about coaching: Making Kids work hard to
accomplish their goals.
What is one tip can you give universally to your swimmers: Trust
Katie McCue Stack
Your Name: Katie Stack
When did you start with Killer Whales: Fall of 2013
What groups do you coach for KW: Pre-competitive and Swim
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 Varsity 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 until 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
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.
Your Name: Lauren Weisser
When did you start with Killer Whales: November 2015
What groups do you coach for KW: Developmental 1 and 2
What is your coaching background: I started coaching a summer
team at a local country club 12 years ago. I am still coaching in
the Country Club league in the summer, now at the Longue Vue Club.
Also, before coming to the Killer Whales, I worked for the Woodland
Hills Aquatics Team for three years. I started a free swim lesson
program for underprivileged students in the Woodland Hills School
District that is still in place.
What is your swimming background: I began swimming when I was 5,
after taking lessons at Plum Aqua (and following in the footsteps
of my two older brothers, who were great swimmers). When I was 8, I
began swimming AMS for Kiski School Aquatics and then swam in high
school at Franklin Regional.
What do you enjoy about coaching: I love watching the progress
that each swimmer makes over a short course of time. It is so fun
to watch someone that maybe wasn't legal in a stroke or couldn't
dive, master that skill!
What one tip can you give universally to your swimmers: Really
listen to your coaches as they give technique instruction. If you
think about what your body is doing long enough, it will become
habit! Oh, and kick hard!
Your Name: Matt "Matty Mo" Mauclair
When did you start with Killer Whales: Oct. '16
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 very opinionated group of local
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 mile swim 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 swimmers minds 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's of 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
Your name: Sheryl
When did you start with Killer Whales: September
What groups do you (will you) coach for KW:
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
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
What one tip can you give universally to your
swimmers: Nothing comes easy, you have to work for it and
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
What groups do you (will you) coach for
KW: So far, I’ve been mostly working with the
Pre-Competitive Group but I also bounce around to some of the other
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
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
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!