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Coaching Staff

Charles D Lersch

Head Coach

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ASCA Level 1

Charles Lersch has 12 years of competitive swim coaching experience after making a career change from architecture. His children inspired this change when they started swimming in 2006. And today, both of his children are still swimmers; Patrick is a rising junior student/athlete at George Washington University, and Maeve is a rising freshman student/athlete at Rider University. Coach Lersch still remembers the influence that his own coaches had on him as a young swimmer, and he strives to have such influence in the lives of those he coaches today. His passion for character development and smart swimming is evident in his athletes.

Coach Lersch came to Woodland Hills Aquatic Cub in 2015 as the Head Coach. Since his arrival, WHAT went from ranking 25th to 14th within AMS. The club is currently posting its highest ever VCC (Virtual Club Championship).  During the 2016/17 season, WHAT also became a  Level 1 certified club through USA Swimming Club Excellence Program 

He had previously been the Head Age Group Coach at Upper St. Clair Swim Club (USCS) from fall 2009 through spring 2015. His accomplishments there included; National Age Group Top 10 Swimmers, Eastern Zone (EZ) Age Group Champions, EZ Age Group Champs Finalists, EZ Record Holder (relay), IM Extreme Games-NE Champion, AMS Swimmer of the Year and AMS Record Holders. His swimmers broke over 120 (70 SC, 50 LC) individual club records and also qualified for EZ Sectionals, EZ Super Sectionals, EZ Senior Champs and USA Futures Champs (as well as WPIAL Champs). Coach Lersch coached WPIAL and PIAA qualifiers, finalists, and champions at the high school level, as well as Junior National qualifiers and finalists, US National qualifiers and Olympic Trial qualifiers at the club level.

He is active in AMS leadership and is currently the Age Group Vice Chair- Elect. He was a member of the Age Group Committee from 2010 through 2015 while serving as the Chair from 2013-2015. Coach Lersch was an AMS Zones Team Coach from 2010 through 2013. 

He is a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh (BS, Applied Mathematics) and studied architecture at Virginia Tech (Master of Architecture).

During his years as a swimmer at Pitt, he qualified for US Nationals twenty-one times, US Junior Nationals eight times, was a two-time Big East Champion, a member of the four-time Big East Champion Team, a member of the US National Championship Team (LC, 1987) and team captain. Swimming in high school (Hempfield HS, Landisville), he was a two-time team captain, PIAA finalist, and District 3 Champion.

Coach Lersch lives in Upper St. Clair with his wife Nora, their children Patrick and Maeve (and their dog Libby).

Rebecca Rice

Assistant Coach

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Coach Becca has been involved in swimming all her life. She grew up swimming for the Monroeville Marlins. She swam for Gateway High School where she was a WPIAL qualifier in many events all four years and a PIAA qualifier her senior year. She proceeded to swim for SRU until rotator cuff surgery ended her swimming career her sophomore year. She has an associates degree in Massage Therapy.

Coach Becca had been with the Monroeville Marlins from 2010 to 2016. She spent two years as an Assistant, and the last four as Head Coach. She's also Head Coach at Haymaker swim club during the summer months. During the 2014-2015 season Coach Becca was an assistant coach for the AMS All Star Team 10 and under age groups at both short course and long course Eastern Zone Age Group Championshps. She will be an assistant coach for the 11-12 age groups for the 2015-2016 season.

Coach Beccas mantra for swimming is simple "Swim Smart, Swim Fast, and Have FUN!!!

Anna Lepsch

Assistant Coach

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Assistant Coach Anna Lepsch, comes to WHAT with over 20 years of both competitive and recreational swimming experience. In addition to a passion for all things swimming, Coach Anna is a certified special education teacher currently working in cyber school.  She resides with her husband in the Woodland Hills School District from which both her children are graduates.

Coach Anna has been a swim instructor and life guard at the Wilmerding YMCA for over 23 years. During that time she has taught both children and adults from beginner to competitive level swimming skills. Many of her students have gone on to become lifeguards, swim instructors and swim team participants at local swim clubs, high schools, and colleges. Her experiences in competitive swimming began when her son started swimming for the YMCA at age 5 (he is now 26).

Coach Anna became a deck official and then a meet manager for the team along with serving on the swim team board for several years. Coach Anna was involved with the YMCA team for 15 years. During that time she was also involved with the White Oak swim team for several summer seasons. In 2006, Coach Anna became the manager of the Blackridge Swim Club located in Churchill, PA. She took over as head coach of their swim team in 2007 and held the position until 2011.

Coach Anna’s focus when coaching and teaching is to help swimmers to see and reach their potential, encourage a positive work ethic and foster a love of swimming that will last a lifetime!

Hosea Holder

Assistant Coach

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Assistant Coach Hosea Holder, comes to WHAT with over 50 years of coaching competitive and recreational swimming experience.  He is the oldest African American coach registered with USA Swimming and is the 2nd oldest coach associated with AMS Swimming.

Coach Holder moved to Pittsburgh from Birmingham, Alabama when he was 9 years old and fell in love with swimming.  He learned to swim at Ammon Pool in the Hill District and that’s where his passion for swimming started. He became a lifeguard and his passion for swimming evolved into a coaching position in 1965. Coach Holder has always wanted to coach children from various socioeconomic backgrounds.

Coach Holder is a “stroke enhancement specialist” whose strong philosophy of dedication, hard work, and perseverance has produced champion swimmers for more than 45 years.

Coach Holder continues to live his passion for swimming and he knows the value of the sport.  He believes that swimmers show their greatness not when they find success, but when they fail to achieve their goal.  He sees good in everyone and he uses that insight to inspire his swimmers to overcome adversity in the moment and to be their best.

Meghan Mendez

Assistant Coach

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Meghan has been a swimmer since the age of 6, and enjoys coaching all ages. She began giving swim lessons at the age of 12 and coached the Haymaker Hammerheads for three years next to Coach Becca. She also worked for a non-profit while living in NYC that focused on bringing sports education and healthy living habits to inner-city youth. She views this as one of the most rewarding experiences she was able to participate in and hopes to eventually go back and continue the work she started.

As a swimmer, she swam locally for FAST, JCCS, and Franklin Regional before finishing her swimming career at Wagner College in Staten Island, NY. As a high school swimmer, she was a three time All American, a four time WPIAL qualifier in multiple events, and a three time PIAA qualifier in multiple events. Her junior year, her 200 medley relay won the WPIAL, broke the WPIAL record and got third at the PIAA meet. In college she was voted to the All Conference second team and was an A finalist in the 100 backstroke at the NEC championship for four years. She also made the B final for four years in the 200 backstroke. Her sophomore year, she was a member of the first Wagner team to win the NEC title.

Meghan graduated from Wagner in the Spring of 2016 with a B.A. in Government and Politics and  B.A. in History. She is now attending law school at the University of Pittsburgh and hopes to pursue either family law or become a public defender.

As a coach, Meghan hopes to be able to encourage and motivate her swimmers the same way that her coaches motivated her!

Meghan start coaching at WHAT in 2016.

Kristen Swaney

Assistant Coach

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Kristen began swimming at 8 years old, and has been involved with the sport in some capacity ever since. She swam for the Monroeville Marlins & Gateway Heights Swim Club as a kid, and also swam for the varsity team at Gateway High School. After graduating high school, Kristen began coaching for Gateway Heights. She spent 6 summers (2009-2015) coaching for the Gators. She also spent 3 years as an assistant coach for the Monroeville Marlins (2012-2015). In the fall of 2015, Kristen moved to central PA for a job, but continued coaching for 2 years as an assistant coach for the Bellefonte YMCA.
 
In addition to coaching, Kristen spends the rest of her time working as a teacher. She has her Bachelors from Slippery Rock University in Elementary Education and just completed her Masters in Reading Education from Pitt. She currently is working as a Reading Specialist at Ellwood City Area School District.

Alyssa Grieco

Assistant Coach

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Phyllis Rinsma

Swim School Director

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Lesson Instructor

Board of Directors

Michelle Bernard

President 412 901 6347

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Laurie Winslow

Vice President

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Robert LaRoche

Treasurer

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