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

Dean Henze

Head Coach


Dean has over twenty five years of swim coaching experience, and is heading into his 9th year with SLSC. His successes have included coaching multiple swimmers to Provincial tour teams, Canada Games, and International tours. Dean’s commitment to professional development and coaching is strong. His involvement in Swim Ontario has included the Ontario Swim Coaches Association (OSCA) Board of Directors, Ethics Chair, and the development of the LTAD (Long Term Athlete Development) model. Currently Dean is the NEOR coaches representative on the NEOR board of directors, and the lead MEntor coach for the Regions Senior training camps and tours.

Dean is originally from Atikokan, Ontario where he swam for a number of years before attending the University of Manitoba. While in Manitoba Dean worked with the Manitoba Marlins, University of Manitoba and the Selkirk Dolphin swim club. After 11 years in Barrie coaching the Trojans, Dean came here to rebuild the program to the competitive program it is now. Dean’s goal in coaching is to try and get the most out of each athlete that they can give and show them that they can achieve great and wonderful things in the process.

Connor A Watson

Age Group Coach


Prior to moving up to Sudbury, I lived in Kitchener-Waterloo for 21 years.  While there, I was the Assistant Coach for the Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks Varsity Team for two and a half years, and an Age Group Coach with the Region of Waterloo (ROW) Swim Club for four years.  I was involved in the 12 and under program, as well as the Senior (14 and over) program.  I was the volunteer swim coach for two International Children’s Games (ICG) –one held in Ontario (2013) and the other in Australia (2014).  This experience has provided me with an awesome opportunity to network and interact with young athletes and other coaches from around the world.

In addition to coaching swimming, I was also an Assistant Coach for the Kitchener-Waterloo Predator 14 & Under volleyball team, and I was responsible for providing the team with a strength and conditioning program.  I had the opportunity to travel to competitions with them on a number of occasions, including the USA Boys’ Junior National Championships in Dallas, Texas (2014).

My personal athletic background consists of a variety of high school sports, and university level swimming (albeit for a short period).  During my university career, I realized I preferred helping others succeed in achieving their goals, which is when I became seriously involved in the coaching aspect of the sport.

Currently, I am the Age Group 1 coach for the Sudbury Laurentian Swim, the lead coach for the Senior 3 program, the assistant coach for the Laurentian University Varsity Team, and the Head Coach for the Laurentian Masters Swim Club.  I am also a Regional Mentor coach.  While creating and facilitating program for a number of groups, I am also enrolled in my third year at Cambrian College in the Physical Fitness Management (FLBU) program.

I consider my move up to Sudbury one of the best moments in my life as it has provided me with great educational and professional opportunities.  I hope to make my time here the best it can be, and offer all my swimmers the knowledge and instruction to achieve whatever they set out!

Thierry Middleton


Thierry makes his return to SLSC this season after being away for the last four years. A graduate of the Sport Psychology and Education degree programs at Laurentian, he was a varsity swimmer and also coached Swim Skills and Masters during different parts of his undergrad education. After leaving Laurentian, Thierry travlled to Europe to teach for a year in Rome and then complete a double masters degree in Sport and Exercise Psychology in Finland and Germany. Returning to Sudbury to complete a PhD in Sport Psychology, Thierry is excited to be back on the Jeno Tihanyi Gold Pool deck and ready to have fun and work hard with Age Group 2.

Courtney Thorpe


Shane Rock



Shane is starting his second year with us at SLSC.  Shane is from the Sault and is a long time swimmer (retired).  Shane will be working with Senior 3 and Novice 1 this season.

Diane Vaillancourt


Diane is going into her 4th year of coaching. This will be her 1st year with SLSC.  Prior to SLSC, she lived in Sturgeon Falls and was Head Coach for Equipe de Natation Sturgeon Falls Swim Team (The Sharks); where she helped build the team from 12 swimmers to 26.

In addition to coaching, Diane has been on deck involved with teaching swimming lessons for over 35 yrs.

She joined coaching when her daughter took up competitive swimming and has not looked back since.

Currently, Diane is the lead coach of Novice 1 and 2.  Also she is presently studying Massage Therapy at College Boreal.

She is looking forward to the new challenge, and creating new dreams for our swimmers.

Chloe Francoeur


Phil Parker

Assistant Head Coach


Coach Parker is the Head coach of the Laurentian University M/W Varsity swim teams.  Phil is in his 13th year as Head Coach of the Voyageurs and worked with Dr Tihanyi for a number of years before that.  SLSC is lucky to have Phil around to fill in for Dean when he is away at competitions (schedule permitting). Once the Varsity season ends Phil is a steady sight on pool deck helping with the Senior squads or any other group we may need a hand with.

Outside the pool, Coach Parker is also a part-time professor within the School of Human Kinetics here at Laurentian University teaching 1st year undergraduate students Anatomy and Kinesiology, along with a 4th year Biological Growth and Maturation coarse. Phil also enjoys traveling, mountain biking, and live music. He is a huge hockey fan and is the king of winning hockey pools throughout the city. Coach Parker lives with his wife Tamara, and son Nolan here in Sudbury.