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Meet the Coaches

Meet the Coaches


HTAC continues to be fortunate to have one of the largest, most highly experienced and educated coaching staffs in Atlantic Canada! Our coaches have a strong history in competitive swimming and hold a multitude of coaching certifications.

The entire HTAC coaching staff aspires to work as a professional team, striving to provide a positive learning and training environment for the Trojan swimmers. Our coaches supply a structured and progressive training system that is appropriate for the athlete’s age and ability level, and that adheres to the Canadian Sport for Life Long-Term Athlete Development Model.

Important skills such as teamwork, problem solving and visualization, as well as goal setting and process orientated performance are emphasized in order to achieve common goals.

HEAD COACH MARK McGRANN - NATIONAL & NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT

Email: mcgrann@htac.ca

Coach Mark McGrann begins his third season as Head Coach of Halifax Trojan Aquatic Club. 

Born and raised in Ireland Coach Mark was Assistant Head Coach with Lisburn City Swim Club before moving to Chena Swim Club in North Vancouver as Senior and Assistant Head Coach. 

Mark’s belief is that competitive swimming provides a unique outlet for young, ambitious, energetic athletes to learn life lessons about health, hard work, body awareness, dedication, personal growth and above all, how to deal honourably with both success and failure. Each day he enlivens athletes to support each other and participate fully in creating a positive team environment. Mark encourages swimmers to relish the opportunities that competitive swimming affords and to develop the resilience that will enhance both their swimming careers and their wider aspirations.

Coach Mark’s message to the athletes is, "Be the best you can be". He proclaims that winning involves more than the achievement of first place but rather the fulfillment of an enduring personal objective. Mark strives to create a positive, enthusiastic environment that attracts dynamic coaches, committed swimmers and engaged, proud parents. 

 

COACH MAT BERNIER - LEAD COACH SENIOR BLUE

Email: Bernier@htac.ca

We are very excited to welcome back Coach Mat Bernier to our Team! Mat is a former Trojan and Dalhousie University athlete who has been developing his coaching career for the previous eight years. 

During that time, Mat has achieved various coaching awards including Swim Nova Scotia’s Summer Swimming Assistant Coach of the Year and Head Coach of the Year on two occasions. Following his Summer Club coaching successes, Mat progressed to year-round competitive coaching in 2018 and this season he continues his position with the Trojans.

Coach Mat's message to the swimmers and members of the Trojan's is that he "loves swimming, and coaching is a great way for me to keep in the sport that was very rewarding for me, while also giving back to my community. I look forward to this season with Halifax Trojan Aquatic Club and getting to know the swimmers, families and staff".

Mat studied Earth Sciences at Dalhousie University and has aspirations to transition into Sport Management and Psychology studies in the coming years. When Mat isn't on a pool-deck he enjoys photography, hiking and cooking.

 

COACH EBEN TEBAY - LEAD COACH SENIOR WHITE

Email: Tebay@htac.ca

Coach Eben Tebay is returning to the Trojans for his third season. Eben’s introduction to competitive swimming began as a Summer Swimmer and from then his passion developed for competitive swimming resulting in an eleven-year swimming career.

Influenced by encouraging coaches that helped develop him as an athlete, Eben continued his involvement with sport and currently studies Kinesiology at Dalhousie University, and is a member of the Dal Tigers Men’s Varsity Team. Eben aspires to expand his studies and education in his pursuit of further coaching qualifications and has coaching philosophy of engaging with swimmers with the same encouraging attitude that was shown to him.

 

ASSISTANT HEAD COACH CHRIS CORMIER - LEAD COACH JUNIOR BLUE 

Email: Cormier@htac.ca

The Trojans are eager to have Coach Chris return to the Trojans! Chris is a former Trojan graduate who moved to Ontario for his post-secondary education.

While in Ontario, Chris coached with Greater Ottawa Kingfish and Swim Ottawa. Following his graduation from the Algonquin College, he was employed by Swimming Canada and then Own the Podium both in the areas of High-Performance Data Management. As a result of his work in this field, Chris has been invited to attend major international competitions such as the 2016 Paralympic Games and the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang. 

Chris brings with him a wealth of experience and knowledge in the field of coaching and has been well-renowned amongst his peers. He can give you all the swimming stats your heart’s desire!

 

COACH NATASHA ASHBY - LEAD COACH JUNIOR WHITE 

Email: Ashby@htac.ca

The Trojans are excited to welcome back Coach Natasha for second season!

Natasha has been the assistant coach of the Colby Sailfish Summer Swim Team for three seasons and is beginning her third year at Dalhousie University.

Natasha started swimming when she was 8 years old, “I swam for ten years, seven with a Summer Club and three with the Dartmouth Crusaders. My favourite stroke is freestyle, and my favourite event was always the 400 free! I’m also a lifeguard at the Dalplex so when I’m not coaching, you’ll probably still see me on the deck! I’m so excited to start working with the Trojans and to continue progressing my coaching development.”

 

COACH ALEX VRAGOVIC - LEAD COACH YOUTH BLUE 

Email: Vragovic@htac.ca

Coach Alex is currently entering her third season with the Halifax Trojan Aquatic Club.

Originally from Pickering, Ontario, Alex brings a wealth of swimming knowledge with her.  Having just graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology from Dalhousie University, Alex looks forward to using both her academic knowledge and her own experience in the world of swimming to help athletes achieve their goals while still finding their love for the sport. 

With 11 years of competitive swimming under her belt – both at the Club and Varsity levels, as well as several years of administrative experience with Swim Ontario, Alex hopes to create a fun and encouraging environment for swimmers to thrive.  Coach Alex’s message to her swimmers is to “do what you love -  swimming has brought me so many friends and experiences that I wouldn’t trade for the world, so enjoy your journey in this sport!”  Alex has had various coaching positions, both in Ontario and with the Trojans over the past few years.

 

COACH MARIAH SWINKELS - LEAD COACH YOUTH WHITE 

Email: Swinkels@htac.ca

Coach Mariah has been involved in swimming for the past twelve years. Seven as a swimmer and five as a coach. She recently graduated with a B.A. in Psychology from Saint Mary's University.

In addition to this being Mariah's second year with the Trojans, she has been a very successful head coach for the Bedford Beavers summer team for the past three years; prior to that she worked with the Sackville Waves. Mariah was awarded Swim Nova Scotia's Summer Swimming Head Coach of the Year Award in 2019 for her outstanding accomplishments.
 

COACH DINA ROGERS - LEAD COACH ASPIRE 

EmailRogers@htac.ca

We are delighted to have Dina join the Trojan coaching staff for her first season!

Dina will be lead coach for the Trojan’s Aspire Group. Going into her fifth year coaching, Dina is an Age Group Coach (formerly known as Level 2) and loves to find creative ways to engage her swimmers. She was an Assistant Coach with SWAT where she worked with all levels of swimmers from Novatech up to Olympic Trials qualified as well as Assistant Head Coach of the Bedford Beavers Swim Team (with Coach Mariah).

After swimming competitively, Dina began to invest her energy into spreading her passion for swimming through coaching. Dina is currently participating in the Canadian Sport Centre Atlantic Mentorship program for 2020-2021 after being selected for the program a second time. She is excited to acquire new knowledge from this program a second time around.

Dina is studying at Dalhousie University and has the intent to achieve a Bachelor of Science with a major in Biochemistry & Molecular Biology.

Dina’s objective for the Aspire Group is to learn the basics of competitive swimming while having a ton of fun. Swimming should always be the best part of the day because it keeps the young swimmers active and builds their self-esteem. She believes that with hard work, determination and a positive attitude every athlete will experience their own success!

 

COACH ADRIANNA PILGRIM - LEAD COACH TROJAN SKILLS 

Email: Pilgrim@htac.ca

Adrianna Pilgrim, a former Trojan member, Coach and National level athlete is looking forward to another year with the Trojan family where she had many amazing successes, memories and experiences. “I have been a swimmer for most of my life and have been a part of the HTAC team for about nine years both as a swimmer and as a coach”.

“I will be graduating from Dalhousie University with a Bachelor of Social Work in the fall, and greatly look forward to joining the team for another season. I am hoping to work with children and youth as a social worker in the future, so having the opportunity to coach young swimmers is important to me. I am so enthusiastic about being a part of the team again this year, and I can't wait to see what this season will bring!"

Coach Adrianna is the Lead Coach of the Trojan Skills program for the 2020-2021 season.

 

COACH MARISOL ROCHA - ASSISTANT COACH TROJAN SKILLS 

Email: Rocha@htac.ca

Marisol is a current swimmer in the Trojan Senior White Group who is giving back to our program by inspiring future Trojans as an upcoming Coach.  Coach Marisol is starting her second year of coaching with the Trojans.  While working as a coach, lifeguard and swim instructor, Marisol always strives to ensure that every child can benefit from sports and recreational activities in a fun way. 

 

COACH SAM CUSIMANO - ASSISTANT COACH ASPIRE 

EmailCusimano@htac.ca

Sam is very excited to join the Trojan Coaching Staff!

He grew up in Toronto, where he swam for the Granite Gators, competed and won medals at Ontario Provincial Championships and Age group National championships. 

He then swam for the Dalhousie Tigers for 3 years where he won medals at the AUS Championships and set Nova Scotia provincial records.

You can always catch Sam with a smile on his face, ready to have fun and work hard in the pool!

 

COACH SHEIDA MOUSAVI - ASSISTANT COACH YOUTH WHITE 

EmailMousavi@htac.ca

Sheida joins us for her second season and is another former Trojan swimmer who has taken on the Coaching ranks!!

We are looking forward to having Sheida’s positive attitude and energetic personality on deck this season!

Coaching Staff