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

Robert Novak

Head Coach - Senior Competitive


Robert has a long track record of success in Canadian swimming, most recently as Head Age Group Coach and Junior National Coach at The Etobicoke Swim Club where he worked under Head Coach Kevin Thorburn, a prominent Canadian Olympic swim coach. A former competitive swimmer himself, Robert swam for several Manitoba swim clubs and the University of Manitoba, competing at the national, youth and junior national levels and twice competing in the Canada Games (1997 and 2001). Robert’s best events were the 200 Free and 100 Back.

Among many accomplishments, Robert’s swimmers have achieved numerous National Age Group Records and Provincial Records (Ontario), Senior Canadian Records, World Junior Records.  2 Age Group National Titles(2009 & 2011), Age Group National Womens Title (2016) 10 Jr. Provincial Titles and an Eastern and Western Canadian Title. He has coached 100+ Provincial Champion swimmers and 30 Single Age National Champions and with this acieving CSCA Award for Domestic Excellence in 11 consecutive seasons.

Robert has coached many swimmers as an Age Group coach that have reached many Provincial Teams, NACC Teams, and Junior National Development Teams. His accomplishments have been recognized by SNC which has selected Robert for NACC staff twice, Austrialian Tour Teams, Junior Pan Pacific Championships, World Junior Championships and Swimming Canada's Select Coaches Program. 

Currently pursuing his NCI Level 4 certification, Robert has an appreciation for the development of a strong, progressive program that builds the technical, physical and mental base for performance excellence in the pool while providing a positive overall swim and life experience for swimmers. Motivation and growth of the swimmers, steering them past obstacles is a core strength of his. He also brings the continuous learning and development philosophy to the coaching staff, himself included.

Laurence Mills

Senior Development


Laurence joins our club from the United Kingdom.  For the past 2 years, he coached for the Bolton Metro and helped them achieve the most improved program in the North West of England for the past 2 season.  Laurence has coached multiple county, regional and national medallists and has had his swimmers selected for England's national talent program for the past 5 seasons.  In 2016, he had his most successful season where he coached 15 swimmers to the British National Championships achieving 11 Medals and a top 5 finish in the top age group club.

Laurence was a national standard swimmer until the age of 18.  At that time, he took a 2 year coaching apprenticeship and became passionate about coaching the next generation of accomplished swimmers!

Laurence visited Canada in 2016 as part of his ongoing coaching education and was a participant at the Canadian Coaches Conference in Toronto.  At that time, he spent his time visiting some of the top senior swimming programs in Ontario.  

Laurence is a results driven, straight talking Yorkshire-man and a great motivator.  He believes in creating a positive team environment with relentless consistency.  His motto:  "What can we do today to make us better than yesterday"

Glen Steacy

Head Age Group Coach - AGP 1


Glen is a former college swimmer who has returned to the sport as a coach.  He began swimming in London, Ontario at the age of 6 with the London Aquatic Club.  He swam at LAC for 13 years, three of them as a National Qualifier.  He was Junior National Champion in 1996 in the 1500 free.  Glen received a swimming scholarship to St. John’s University in New York City, where he swam in the NCAA Division 1 for four years while studying Business.  He was Team Captain in his senior year.

Glen began his coaching career with McGill University Masters Swimming, coaching there for four seasons and producing Provincial and National record holders.  He has been in charge of the program for the last two years, while also serving as the Assistant Coach for the McGill University varsity swim team.  Glen is currently completing his CAC Level 1 certification and is excited to continue his coaching education.  He is looking forward to working with young up and coming swimmers and growing with Markham Aquatic Club.

Valerie Hayward

Age Group Performance 2


Val swam competitively for 15 years. At the age of 15, she joined the Canadian Senior National team and during that time (1976-1980) she represented Canada and competed internationally in places such as; France, Germany, Netherlands, Russia and Japan. While at the FINA World Cup in Japan she received a silver medal as part of the 4 x 100m freestyle relay.

Val is a graduate of the University of South Carolina where she received a full athletic scholarship. During her time at USC she remained on the Dean's Honor role until graduating in 1986. Val broke school records and attained All-American plaques in her specialty events (50, 100, 200 freestyle, sprint relays).

Val is a fully certified Level 2 coach and is working towards completing her Level 3 accreditation. She has been Head Coach at a team in Eastern Ontario for the past 8 years.(2009-2017) and while there, her swimmers qualified for Trials, Senior & Junior Nationals and Provincial meets. Val was also part of the coaching staff for Eastern Ontario's successful 2012 Ontario Summer Games Team.

Val wants to encourage her swimmers to dream big and be fearless in their pursuit of them......"Hitch your wagon to a star!"

Wayne Zhang

Junior A and Junior B


Wayne was a professional athlete in China. He trained in the sport swimming for over 10 years and was on the Provincial Swim Team since 1987. Between 2000 and 2010, He has completed his Bachelors and Masters degree in Education; and started coaching young swimmers since 2007. He has his swimming certification from China and continues his swimming education here in Canada.

Wayne believes that winning is more than simply a swimmers' position in a race. He considers that his responsibility as a coach is to create an environment for swimmers to reach their highest personal potential as both people and athletes. His objective is to devise cutting-edge skill training, provide coaching and support and ensure that young athletes develop valuable sporting skills and principles.


Lev Oumanski

Determination Group


Lev’s desire to be a competitive swim coach started when he was working with local swim schools and helping swimmers achieve their goals in all avenues. He is passionate about coaching competitive swimming and helping swimmers achieve well roundedness, efficiency in all four competitive strokes, developing a strong kick and encourages the swimmers to be a student of the sport.

He is excited to be apart of the Markham Aquatic Club family and believes swimming is a great sport that develops sportsmanship, encourages team involvement, self discipline, builds self confidence and provides individual growth.

"I believe our job as a coach is to help our young athletes to develop into the best version of themselves. We hope that they will develop into exceptional individuals during their time with the club, and during their journey will also reach all their goals as student athletes. I will teach the swimmers that working hard and doing the right work can be an exciting and fun process, which will help with their development in all areas of their life."

Lev is currently pursuing  a Bachelor of Science in Engineering at York University and has completed NCCP Coaching Level 2. 

Jim Snow

Discovery Group


Coach Snow brings a unique combination of experience, technology, videography and photography to the Markham Aquatic Club. A passionate coach for effective and efficient stroke and fluid mechanics, Coach Snow draws upon over 40 years of competitive swimming coaching experience with stops in Windsor, Hamilton, Vancouver, Etobicoke, UofT, Dorado Stars, Barrie and most recently completed a 4 year career as the Head Coach of the Whitby Dolphins. 

A certified Level II Coach/Instructor, Coach Snow has a Bachelor of Human Kinetics, specializing in Exercise Physiology and Sport Administration, He is a guest speaker at coaching clinics and the coaching host of underwater stroke analysis sessions with swimmers of all ages. Coach Snow provides the swimmer and his colleagues with an interactive view of the stroke from all angles, providing the viewer with the tools and information to improve the efficiency of the stroke.

The Father of My Three Sons, Ben, Davis and Keaton. A woodworker, web designer, boater, and a 10 year rider in the Ride to Conquer Cancer. 

"Capturing Performance, Technique and Memories One Frame At A Time".