Coaches Corner

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

Mike O'Brien

Head Coach

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Coach Mike began his ARAC career as a swimmer, in the Gold group as an 8 & under, and spent his entire swimming career here at ARAC. He was named an Assistant Coach in 2006 and was named head coach in 2014. Coach Mike also serves as Head Coach of Sacred Heart Academy and is an Adjunct Instructor at Southern Connecticut State University. He is a graduate of Southern Connecticut State University, earning a B.S. in Recreation and Leisure studies, with a concentration in Community Recreation and Youth Development. Additionally, he also is an employee of the Orange Park and Rec Department.

Matthew Pohlman

Head Senior Program Coach

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Matt Pohlman is in his second year with ARAC. He is also serving on the Connecticut Swimming, Inc. Board of Directors as Coach-at-Large. Before ARAC, Matt had several years of coaching experience with local clubs and high school teams in the area. Most recently, he served as Head Coach of the Stratford YMCA swim team (BSY) from 2015-2018. In 2013, he co-founded the Park City Wolfpack swim club (WOLF), while also serving as Assistant Head Coach. From 1997-2003, he served as Head Coach of the boys' team at Staples High School in Westport, and was the girls' team Assistant Coach from 2000-2002. He also served as an Assistant Coach for the Westport YMCA swim team (WRAT) from 1996-1998. Matt is a resident of Stratford, and a 1998 graduate of Southern Connecticut State University with a B.S. in Excercise Science.

Office Hours:   Monday-Friday; 9:00am-2:00pm via email, or by appointment.

Ashley DeCosta

Developmental Coach

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Ashley DeCosta is beginning her first year with ARAC. Before ARAC, Ashley had several years of coaching experience with local clubs and high school teams in the area. Most recently, she served as Site Manager of Gateway Sports and Pools out of Albertus Magnus College in addition to serving as Assistant Coach of Trumbull Pisces Swimming. She was Aquatics Director at Wings Over Water School of Swimming, while also serving as Head Age Group Coach of Oxford Swimming. Additionally, she served as an aquatic fitness instructor, Assistant Coach of Cougar Aquatics Team, and Assistant Aquatics Director at Faulkner Physical Therapy. Ashley is a resident of West Haven, and a Division I Swimmer out of Central Connecticut State University.

Brittany Hicks

Developmental Coach

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Brittany is in her 2nd year with ARAC.  She came to us from the Milford YMCA where she taught swim lessons for over 13 years and was the Aquatics Director.  She also has coaches two previous swim teams, working mainly with 8 and under swimmers.  Additionally, she has been to Futures and Jr. Nationals as a coach.  As a youth, Brittany even swam for ARAC.

Hilde P Gehr

Developmental Coach

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Hilde first joined ARAC as a swimmer in 2012 as a sophmore in high school.  She swam with ARAC throughout her high school career and continued to swim in college for two years at the division three level.  She recently graduated from Central Connecticut State University earning a B.S. in Hospitality and Tourism.  She has also been a lifeguard and swim instructor for the Town of Orange for the last five years.  Hilde is excited to come back to ARAC now as a coach.

Board of Directors

Kelly Bodie

President

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Allison Beers-Jacheo

Vice President

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Sharon Belfonti

Treasurer

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Melissa Carrington

Secretary/Registrar

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