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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 send an email to swimming@pinecrest.edu or call 954-492-4173.

 

Coaching Staff

Mariusz Podkoscielny

Head Aquatics Director / National Coach

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Coach Mariusz was a 2-time Olympian for Poland and finished 5th in both the 1500 and 400 meter freestyle at the 1988 Olympic Games.  In the prelims for the 400 free he set the Olympic Record.  He enjoyed success at the collegiate level as well, winning the 1650 at NCAAs as a freshman at the University of Arizona, and coming within 22 one hundredths of the NCAA record.

His transition to coaching started where his swimming career ended, at the University of Arizona.  From there Mariusz took the head coaching job at Oregon State before moving on to Miami to head their swimming program.  Today he is the Assistant Aquatics Director and Senior Coach at our Ft. Lauderdale campus.  Mariusz is married to Dagmara and has a young daughter, Julia.

Janet Gabriel

Head Diving Coach

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While training with the 1968 and 1972 Olympic Diving Coach, Hobie Billingsley, Janet earned a bachelor’s degree in 1974 at Indiana University in Physical Education with K-12 teaching certification and an emphasis in elementary education. She was a member of the IU women’s diving and gymnastics teams. She was also a member of the 1972-1973 joint IU-Purdue International Study Program in Hamburg, Germany where she studied German and Physical Education. While at IU, Janet was a finalist at the AAU national championships on 1-, 3- and 10-m, the 1970 DGWS national collegiate championships on 3-m, the 1971 U.S. Pan Am Team Trials on 10m and 1972 U.S. Olympic Team Trials on 10-m.

After graduating, she taught Physical Education K-12 and coached diving and gymnastics at The Hockaday School in Dallas, TX from 1974-76.  Janet became the Head Age Group Diving Coach of the Longhorn Diving Club at the Texas Swimming Center for ten years. She developed two age group national champions, Junior Can-Am-Mex Team members and Senior National semi-finalists. She coached her age group team to ten Texas Age Group State Team Championships and was voted the 1986 Texas Age Group Coach of the Year. In 1980, she served as the U.S. Diving Team Manager for the Springertag in Rostock, GDR, and the U.S. Olympic Team tour to Japan.

In 1982, she earned a master’s degree in Physical and Health Education at the University of Texas at Austin. Janet was employed by U.S. Diving, the national governing body for the sport of competitive diving, as the Director of Safety, Education and Development from 1987-2003. She piloted USA Diving’s Dive Safe, a learn-to-dive program, while coaching the lessons program for the Fort Lauderdale Diving Team from 1994-1995. She was an independent contractor to USA Diving from 2003 to 2009.

Janet has been acknowledged by many for her multiple publications in Diving and contributions to the development of diving materials.

She returned to coaching part-time as a varsity, junior high and club coach at Westminster Academy (2003-2006) coaching two divers to the Class 1A high school state championship finals. Janet has been the Varsity and Club Diving Coach for the Pine Crest School since February of 2008. She currently holds a Professional license to instruct Physical Education K-12 and Health and USA Diving Safety Certification. She is a recipient of the Whosam Award (1994), ISHOF’s Paragon Award (1996) and the Glenn McCormick Memorial Award (2000) for service to diving. Janet has one daughter, Maya Carroll, a Pine Crest graduate.

Tom Smith

Site Director/Age Group Coach

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Coach Tom was High School All-American.  Tom attended the University of Tennessee- SEC Team and Varsity Letter winner.  He graduated from Eastern Michigan University, 1984, B.B.A= Accounting, MAC Team, NCAA Team, MAC Swimmer of the Year (1982, 1983) MAC Senior Swimmer of the Year (1984).  Tom was inducted into the EMU Sports Hall of Fame (1998).
Level 5 ASCA Coach since 1992.  Tom has a young son, Tyler.

 



 

 

Eddie Wolling

Age Group Coach

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Eddie Wolling has been part of Pine Crest Swimming since1993.  Eddie swam as an age group swimmer first at the Boca Raton campus and later as a senior swimmer at the Fort Lauderdale Campus.  He has won multiple events for Pine Crest at the Junior Olympic Level and went onto represent Pine Crest at Junior Nationals as a senior level swimmer.

Eddie graduated from Olympic Heights High School in 2000 and earned a swimming scholarship to University of Kentucky.  He was part of a top 15 University of Kentucky Swim Team from 2000- 2003.

Eddie became a coach at Pine Crest in 2004, first assisting Jay Fitzgerald in Fort Lauderdale campus then assisting Tom Smith in the Boca Raton Campus until present. Eddie also had the privilege of swimming under and coached by both Tom Smith and Jay Fitzgerald.  He has coached lesson and age group swimmers and worked with many Junior Olympic qualifiers as well as Junior Olympic Champions here in the Florida Gold Coast.


 

Tonya Hammond

Head Lessons & Novice Coach

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Tonya was born and raised in Australia, graduated from St. Hilda's Anglican School for Girls and Hartill-Underwood Business College in Perth, Australia in 1985, and moved to New Jersey in 1987.  Tonya worked for the Hewlett-Packard Company for 8 years then moved to Florida in 2003.

Tonya began her outdoor love of sports by coaching in the Lessons Program at the Boca Raton campus of Pine Crest School.  After helping build the Lessons and Age Group Program she moved to the Ft. Lauderdale campus in 2010 to continue her coaching as an Age Group Coach.  Tonya does occasionally swim in Master’s Swimming for the Gold Coast.  Tonya is married to David Hammond, who volunteers as a Swim Official and has two daughters - Ashley who graduated from Pine Crest School in 2012, and Brittany who graduated Pine Crest School in 2013 and is currently at the University of Missouri.

ASCA LEVEL 2

Barbara Milanese

Novice Coach

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Barbara began swimming at the age of six years, first with the Saskatooon Kinsmen Goldfins Club in Canada.

In March 1977, Barbara attended her first national meet in Montreal, swimming the 400m and 800m freestyle faster than anyone else in Saskatchewan in her age class.

Barbara represented Canada at the 1978 British Commonwealth Games and was fifth in the 800m freestyle.  She also attended the World Championships in West Berlin, Germany.  She made the Canadian team at the 1979 Pan American Games in San Juan, Puerto Rico, and won a bronze medal for a thrid place finish in the 800m with a time of 8:54.82.  She also represented Saskatchewan at the 1979 Canada Summer Games.

Barbara attended two international meets in 1979, a dual meet against the Soviets where she earned a third and a fifth and the FINA Cup meet at Tokyo, Japan, where she was fifth in the 800m freestyle.

She won a scholarship to the University of Miami in 1979-80.  She stayed in the United States and has been active in the masters swimming program and has held several Dixie Zone records.

Barbara Shockey-Milanese was inducted into the Saskatoon Sports Hall of Fame in 1995.

ASCA Level 2

 

Danny V Palmiotto

Age Group Coach

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Danny Palmiotto was born and raised in New York and Connecticut. He began swimming competitively at the age of 6 through his high school career, ultimately earning a scholarship to swim at Wingate University. There, he was an academic and athletic all-conference member of the bulldogs from 2008 to 2012. During his junior and senior years at Wingate, he served as the team captain to the #5 ranked program in Division II. Danny graduated from Wingate with a Bachelors of Science in Middle Grade Education in 2012.

Danny first came to Pine Crest as a camper for Pine Crest Swim Camp in 2007. He began his employment as a camp counselor in 2011, and has been working Pine Crest Swim Camp ever since. Danny joined as a full-time coach for Pine Crest in 2013. In addition to coaching, Danny teaches within the science department at Pine Crest School.  ASCA Level III Certified.

Ewa M Dorante

Age Group Coach

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Ewa represented her home country- Poland in multiple international swim meets. She was a member of the Polish Junior National Team from 2004-2006.

As a college student-athlete, Ewa earned athletic and academic All-America honors while at Nova Southeastern University. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication studies and later went on to get her Master's degree in Business Administration (Sports Management).

Ewa has experience coaching club, college and masters swimming.

ASCA Level 2 certified.

Laurie Miller

Lesson/Age Group Coach

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Laurie was born and raised in South Florida, and has always had a passion for swimming.  She began taking lesons in middle school and completely fell in love with the sport.  She started swimming competitively for the City of Coral Springs, and also for Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.  She had the chance to take part in many Junior Olympic swim meets, and to represent the Eagles at their District and State Championships.

Laurie continued onto lifeguarding and teaching swim lessons for many years.  She has a love for the water, and also for children.  Coach Laurie is so excited to join the Pine Crest team as an In-School & After-School Lesson Instructor, and has also partnered up with Coach Eddie in coaching the Green 1 Age Group.

 

Katelyn M Miller

Senior Coach

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Originally from Pennsylvania, Katelyn has been involved in swimming much of her life.  Katelyn swam Club at Hershey Aquatic Club and qualified for sectional and national meets.  She also kept busy as a swim instructor, lifeguard, and volunteered as a coach for the Special Olympics.  She graduated from Hershey High School in 2011 after competing five years of varsity, she onto compete and attend Penn State University where she swam at the Big Ten Conference and earned All-American Honors.  Katelyn graduated in 2015 with a BS degree in Psychology and a minor in Human Development and Family Studies.  She has also been a Camp Counselor and Office Manager for the Pine Crest Swim Camp in the summers.  Katelyn is now the Senior Coach for Pine Crest Swimming and works in the College and Academic Advising Office of Pine Crest School.

Christopher M Morris

Age Group Coach

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Christopher is from Millville, New Jersey and went to Millville High School and competed four years and finished with school records.  He went onto to attend and compete at Wingate Universrity in North Carolina and graduated in 2015 with a Bachelors of Science / Community and Commercial Recreation.  Chris competed at the Bluegrass Mountain Conference Championships 2012-2014 with a focus on the 100 and 200 backstroke.  He has worked as a lifeguard, pool manager, swim instructor, corrections officer, Assistant Swim Coach for Catawba College in North Carolina, and swim camp counsellor for our own Pine Crest Swim Camp in 2013, 2014, and 2017.  He currently is the White Group coach at the Fort Lauderdale campus.