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Coaching Staff

Head Coach - Rob Taylor

Rob has been involved in competitive swimming for 24 years. He spent his first 20 years in the sport as an athlete and returned to swimming four years ago to begin coaching. 

Rob began swimming at the age of 8 with the Cobra Swim Club in Brampton. While representing Cobra, Rob won 26 Provincial Championship titles, 9 Youth National titles, 2 National titles, set 4 Ontario records and 2 Canadian Records. He swam to a silver medal at the 1998 Commonwealth Games and a 13th finish at the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games. Rob went on to represent Texas A&M University earning All-American Honours and then the Unviersity of Western Ontario where he became an OUA champion, OUA all-star and CIS medallist. Rob retired from swimming following the 2008 Olympic Trials where he swam to a gold medal in the 100m Backstroke.

Rob began his coaching career with Club Warriors in Waterloo. There, he helped the team develop one of the strongest Age Group programs in Ontario. His swimmers won multiple Ontario Festival titles, and many went on to become Ontario Provincial medallists and Age Group National medallists. In 2015 Club Warriors won the 'Best Backstroke Team' at the Ontario Winter Festival. The following season at the same meet the team won the "Best Butterfly Team' award and also won the Ontario Division 2 Team Championship.

Rob's passion for swimming is evident when you speak with him. He possesses a wealth of swimming knowledge gleaned from years of being taught by renowned coaches like Bill O'Toole and Paul Bergen. He also was mentored by some outstanding coaches in his first three seasons at Club Warriors learning from Chuck & Allison Meklensek, Russ Franklin, and Jeff Slater at the University of Waterloo.  Rob loves to refine technique using technology such as underwater cameras, iPads, and Triton Wear. He also very much enjoys teaching swimmers outside of the pool while in the weight room and during dryland.

Outside of the pool Rob enjoys spending time with his family. He can often be found at the gym lifting weights, playing guitar, or watching his favourite sports teams: the Toronto Maple Leafs, Toronto Blue Jays, Toronto Raptors, and Dallas Cowboys.

For all inquiries, please email Rob directly.
coachrob@hotmail.com

 


Assistant Coach - Lee Gour
NCCP Level 1

Lee has been a part of the swimming community since age 6. After not making tryouts her first time around, she worked all year to make the team the next season. She swam for the Kingston Blue Marlins for 13 years. In her early swimming career, Lee became provincial champion in backstroke and individual medley, and continued her career as an age group national finalist in a mix of sprint events. She has extended her swim career by competing as a Masters swimmer and won gold for her age group in the 100 metre and 200 metre backstroke at the Masters Swimming Ontario Provincial Championship in March 2018.

As she progressed through her swimming career, Lee started coaching as a volunteer and fell in love with it. In her final year of age group swimming, Lee took a good look at her swimming and where it was going to take her. She trained and competed during her final season, but coached twice as much as previous years and brought excitement and passion to her work. Lee decided from that point on, she wanted to help others get an incredible experience out of the sport, just as she had.

This season will be Lee’s ninth year coaching and her first year with the Otters. Her previous coaching experience is with the Kingston Blue Marlins and Queen’s University. She has coached many varieties of swimmers, from novice to senior swimming, as well as masters and varsity. She was Assistant Coach for the Queen’s University Swim Team in 2017 and has coached alongside her former coach, Ken Anderson, since the start. Lee also completed an internship with David C. Salo, PhD, at the University of Southern California in June 2018, where she learned how impactful a positive mindset and thinking beyond the water can transform a swimmer and their performance.

Lee continues to hop in the water frequently to try different sets, techniques and training styles, to see what she can incorporate in her groups’ and her own programming. Lee is a big advocate of strength training and recovery. After a chronic back injury, she has used these concepts from her coaching to help her recover. She is very enthusiastic about learning and understanding.

Lee is new to Orangeville and is very excited to explore her new home and the surrounding area. She is not a foodie, but does enjoy grabbing a bite to eat at a local eatery, no matter the time of day. Apart from swimming, football is her favourite sport. During the Short Course season, you will most likely see Lee sporting her favourite NFL team, the San Francisco 49ers. Lee won’t be packing much in her move up here, but she will be bringing her smile to the Otters.
 


Assistant Coach - Heidi Moore
NCCP Level 1

Heidi began swimming at the age of 6 in Ottawa for the Ottawa Youth Olympians Swim Club (OYO). She competed locally, provincially and nationally for 12 years and excelled at the short distances making nationals regularly for 50/100 Breast. Her favorite events were the 100/200 I.M.

In high school she was recruited to play Water polo with the senior Ottawa woman's team and from there she was selected to play for Ontario in the '83 Canada Games earning a bronze medal.

While studying Fine Arts at the University of Ottawa and Architectural Technology at Algonquin College in the mid 80's, she cycled for the Ottawa bike club and enjoyed racing in Criteriums and Triathlons.

She decided to return to the pool when her children were all grown up and moved out, and enjoys coaching for the Otters and teaching aquatics, lifesaving & First Aid for the town of Orangeville.
 


Assistant Coach - Kimberly McGowan

Kimberly has been with the Orangeville Otters Swim Club for over 20 years both as a coach and competitive athlete. She originally joined as a swimmer as part of the Dufferin Aquatic Masters group organized through OOSC.

Her swimming career began in Georgetown when she joined the High School swim team. She then became a member of the Halton Hills Blue Fins and swam with both groups. As a competitive swimmer, Kimberly has raced at the Provincial and National levels winning Gold, Silver and Bronze medals. Her recent accomplishments include qualifying for the Montreal World Games in 2014, and this past November Kimberly swam in Etobicoke earning two 1st place and three 2nd place finishes. Her favourite events are the 400 Free and 200 Back.

Kimberly’s passion for swimming naturally led her into teaching and she became as a lifeguard and swim instructor through the YMCA. She has been teaching with the Town of Orangeville for 17 years. She currently is a Level 4 Official with Swim Ontario and is working towards her Level 1 Coaching designation.

Kimberly is motivated not only in her own swimming but also from seeing her swimmers succeed with their own swim goals. She takes a lot of pride in seeing students execute a skill they have been working so hard to learn. She just loves swimming, she loves the work-outs, the competitions and camaraderies. 
 


Assistant Coach - Lara Gray 

Lara started swimming competitively at the age of 10 in Montreal in the fall of 1980. She swam for Dollard des Ormeaux for 2 years where she made Eastern Junior Nationals for the first time both long and short course for long distance freestyle and backstroke. She then moved to Pointe Claire for a year where she trained as a sprint freestyler and set the Canadian record for 13-14 girls and won the long course Canadian Youth Championships in Winnipeg. She also made Senior Nationals that year both long and short course and was on the bronze medal relay team at Senior Nationals. While living in Quebec she swam numerous meets as part of the Quebec Provincial team.

In 1983 she moved to Ontario and started training with the Etobicoke Swim Club. She swam there for three years, swimming at Senior Nationals in 100 free and long distance events. While swimming for Etobicoke she won several medals at Nationals for Relays. After leaving competitive swimming she swam for her high school at OFSA and won gold in the 50 and 100 free as well as setting records.

Lara moved to Orangeville in 1997 and has been busy running a business and raising her four children. After a 30 year break from swimming she decided to return to the pool as a coach and is very excited to be working with the Otters in the coming season.


Assistant Coach - Karsyn Fink

Karsyn started swimming at the age of 7 with the Orangeville Otters Swim Club. She competed both provincially and nationally from the age of 14 and up. Karsyn enjoyed training butterfly, her best events being 50m and 100m butterfly.  Her passion kept her with the sport for 10 years before she decided to take a break to focus on her studies. She finished her swimming career reaching one of her own personal goals. In 2017 at the age of 17 she travelled to Montreal to compete at the Canadian Swimming Championships, the largest competition of her career. 
 
Karsyn also was a strong team member on her high school swim team competing at OFSAA every year. In 2016 she was apart of the Westside Swimming's OPEN Women's relay who placed 3rd and in 2017 apart of the team who finished with a silver in the same event. Karsyn hopes to use her personal experience to teach the younger, future Otters good habits and technique. 

Outside of the sport, she plans to finish her final year of high school and move on to attend University. Next to being at the pool, doing high jump in track and field and spending time with her family and friends are the things she loves to do most.
 


Assistant Coach - Ashley Gibson

Ashley began her competitive swimming career with the Orangeville Otters Swim Club at the age of 8. She also swam with the Dorado Stars Swim Club from the age of 9 -17. At the age of 10, Ashley won her first Provincial title in the 50m backstroke. Many Provincial Championship and Junior/Youth National titles followed.

-Ashely qualified for Senior Nationals at the age of 13 and went on to achieve Senior Nationals/Olympic Trials time qualifications. She was also a part of the Junior National Team for 4 years. A highlight of Ashley’s swim career includes representing Team Ontario at the 1997 Canada Games; winning 1 gold, 2 silver and 1 bronze. She feels her strongest races were the 50, 100 & 200 freestyle and her favourite race was the 100 IM.

Ashley is a Secondary School Teacher and is the English Department Lead at Erin District High School. She attended Acadia University completing her B.A. and B.Ed. She also has her NCCP Level 1. In her free time she is with her family or travelling the world.