Coaching Staff

Coaches


Coaching Staff

Paul J Stafford

Head Coach

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Paul joined the Ford Aquatics staff in October of 2014.  Paul comes to Tucson from the San Francisco Bay Area of Northern California where he was the co-founder of Lamorinda Aquatic Club (more commonly known as LAMO Aquatics).  LAMO merged with Concord Pleasant Hill Swim Club in 1989 to form the Terrapins Swim Team.  Paul led the Terrapin Age Group program for 24 years as the Head Age Group coach before becoming the Head Coach in 2006.  Between the years of 2009-2012 Paul placed more athletes on the USA National Junior team than any coach in the United States (13).  Paul is also one of two coaches in the Nation who have led programs of less than 100 swimmers to Gold Medal Club status.  
Paul's body of work over the course of 35 years in the sport is significant, and he is recognized as one of the top developmental coaches in the sport.  Paul has placed athletes on many USA Swimming International Teams including the World University Games, Pan Pac Games, and World Championship teams.  His athletes have set Pacific records, National Age Group records,  and one American Record (50 meter breast held for a total of 6 hours).  All of these were accomplished with home grown athletes that were developed under Paul’s direction from youngsters until their graduation from High school.  Paul has 4 grown children (Sarah, Theresa, Christianna, and John).

Emma Munsch

Senior Coach

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Emma Darlington Munsch is a Tucson native who attended Salpointe Catholic High School, and swam for FORD Aquatics from 2004-2007.  After high school she attended and swam collegiately for the University of Arizona where she received her B.A in History, minor in Psychology, and her Masters in Teaching and Teacher's Education.  During her career at the University of Arizona she was an NCAA qualifier all four years, two-time NCAA All-American, three-time PAC-10 Champion, two-time Olympic Trials qualifier, USA Swimming National Champion, Co-Captain, and a member of the 2008 Pac-10 and NCAA Championship team.    

Emma has been with FORD since 2014 and has helped athletes achieve qualifying times for State Championships, Sectionals, Junior and Senior Nationals, and Olympic Trials.  In 2018 she served as the Assistant Women's Coach for the NCSA All-American team in Dublin, Ireland. She is thankful to be able to do what she loves and work with an awesome group of kids at FORD.

Rick B Laing

Senior Coach

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Senior Coach Rick Laing joined Ford Aquatics in May 2014.  Before that Coach Rick was the Head Coach of El Dorado Aquatics from November 2008 - May 2014.  Coach Rick moved to Tucson in 2000 from New Zealand, where he earned his international coaching reputation. With over 15 years experience on deck, coaching age groupers right up to Olympic medalists, he coached along side his father, legendary New Zealand coach Duncan Laing. Coach Rick mentored New Zealand star Danyon Loader who won gold in the 200 and the 400 freestyle at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics and silver in the 200 fly at the 1992 Barcelona games. He also coached Olympian Liz van Welie.

(Under Coach Rick, EDAC swimmers competed exceptionally well in local, state, and regional meets. Locally, in non-USA swimming events, EDAC won the 2010 Santa Cruz SAAA League Championship, and placed well in high school state championships including an EDAC 2009 state champion in three events and two seniors, one of whom was a freshman, in A finals in 2010. At the year-around state level, EDAC swimmers amassed three top three high point trophies, multiple state titles and top three medals, as well as top 5 high point winners at Arizona Age-group State Championships in 2009-2010 seasons. Regionally, in 2010, six EDAC swimmers went to Far Westerns, winning one title and nine top 8 medals. Coach Rick has also coached three EDAC swimmers to top 10 or top 20 national rankings in their main events.

Matt Barber

Senior Coach

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Matt Barber joined Ford Aquatics in August 2018 working alongside Coach Austin. Before moving to Tucson, Coach Matt grew up in Houston, Texas where he started swimming at a very young age. During his swim career in Texas, he was a multiple state champion specializing in freestyle and butterfly events. He also competed on a number of different junior national teams including the 2008 World Youth Team; 2009 Jr. Pan Pacific Team; 2009-2010 National Youth Team; and 2010 NCSA All-Star team in Dublin, Ireland.

After high school Coach Matt attended and swam collegiately at the University of Arizona where he majored in Business Management with a minor in Sustainable Built Environments. During his collegiate career Coach Matt was an NCAA qualifier all four years and a three-time All-American. He also competed at the 2013 World University Games in Kazan, Russia. While at the University of Arizona, Coach Matt qualified for the second time (2008) Olympic Trials during the 2012 Olympic year. 

During the day Coach Matt is the VP of Operations for a local toy design company, PlayAbility Toys. When he is not working or coaching, he enjoys the outdoors, watching NFL Football, and spending time with his wife, Sarah and dog, Stetson. Coach Matt is eager to pass down his knowledge of the sport to the hard working and passionate kids at Ford

Paige Martin

Age Group Coach

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Paige Martin is originally from Phoenix, Arizona and has been swimming competitively since she was 8, when she started swimming with Sun Devil Aquatics. Paige swam competitively for her high school’s varsity team all 4 years that she attended, Mesa Aquatics Club and later, Scottsdale Aquatics Club until she moved to Tucson after high school graduation.

Paige has been coaching with ford since January of 2018 and has assisted with all groups at the Age Group level, ranging from the bronze and developmental groups to Silver, Gold and Elite. She is currently studying biochemistry, physiology, and math at the University of Arizona, and plans to pursue a career in the medical field after she graduates.

Brent C Zang

Development Coach

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Brent Zang joined Ford Aquatics in November 2012 and competed until August 2018. He attended Cholla High School where he won 2 state runner up medals for the 500 freestyle and 200 freestyle in 2016.  After graduating in 2016 Brent has continued his education at The University of Arizona and competed for 2 more years for Ford Aquatics where he competed at Futures Championships in 2016, 2017, and 2018. During his career he obtained a Summer junior national cut and several Winter junior national cuts.

Brent has been coaching on ford since August of 2018 and has been working alongside coach Rick Laing with the Senior 1 group. He is currently studying physiology at The University of Arizona and plans on attending PT (physical therapy) school after he graduates. When done with school he plans on continuing his coaching career.

Kirsten Ann Martin

Development Coach

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Kirsten Martin is from Phoenix and started swimming competitively at age 7 when she joined Sun Devil Aquatics. She swam on her varsity high school team, and later swam for Mesa Aquatics Club and Scottsdale Aquatics Club. She will be working primarily with the developmental groups.

Kirsten is also attending the University of Arizona to study pharmaceutical sciences, and plans to go to pharmacy school after she completes her degree. 

 

Lily Anne Lukavich

Development Coach

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Jim Stites

Head Coach Masters Swimming

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Jim has served as the Ford Masters coach since 1990. A native of Cincinnati, Ohio, he followed legendary Arizona coach, Frank Busch to Tucson when Frank first made his move to the desert. Since becoming the head masters coach, Jim has grown the program from 30 swimmers to more than 140.

Jim swam in college at the University of Cincinnati. He continues to swim, cycle, and run. Jim runs both the morning and noon workouts.

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