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Our Coaches and Board of Directors

Our professional coaching staff is here to support your needs. All of our coaches are background checked, trained and registered through USA Swimming.  Our Makos coaches are some of the most experienced coaches in the entire state of Florida and are continuously focused on further education in the sport of swimming and child/athlete development.

If your questions are related to workouts, meets, events, goal setting, and other swimming related needs, please feel free to 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.

Meet our Coaches!

Leonard Kraus

Head Coach & Senior Sharks

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Coach Leonard Kraus is in his eighth year coaching the MAKOS and has been coaching competitive swimming for 27 years.  Over his first seven years the MAKOS have grown in number as well as continued to raise in the rankings at both the FLAGS & Senior State Championships as well as added an Olympic Trails Qualifier and Southern Zone Individual Champion. Coach Kraus has also been selected to help coach both the LSC's All-Star and Southern Zone Teams.

Prior to the MAKOS, Coach Kraus spent 9 years as the founding head coach for Marshall University in Huntington, West Virginia.  While at Marshall, Coach Kraus had multiple NCAA division I qualifiers as well as conference champions in Conference USA and the Mid-American Conference.  Coach Kraus also led several of his international athletes to their Olympic Trail meets in their respective countries. In addition to his collegiate coaching in Huntington, Coach Kraus also served as an assistant coach for the Huntington YMCA Charleston Aquatic Team program, as well as the West Virginia Swimming LSC General Chair (two years), Age Group Chair (four years) and WV Zone Team Head Coach.

Prior to becoming the Head Coach at Marshall Coach Kraus spent 3 years at the University of Toledo and 3 years at Ball State University as the Head Assistant Coach at both programs.  During this time, Coach Kraus was able to work with numerous conference champions and NCAA qualifiers.

Coach Kraus spent the early years of his career coaching at the club level as the Head Coach for the Cardinal Community Swim Club in Muncie, Indiana.  While at Cardinal Coach Kraus led several of his athletes to the USA Junior and Senior National meets.

Coach Kraus graduated from Ball State with a Major in Sport Administration with minors in Business and Aquatics/Coaching.  While at Ball State he swam for Coach Bob Thomas and also played Water Polo. 

Coach Kraus is an American Swim Coaches Association (ASCA) Level 4 coach and continues to expand his knowledge of the sport of swimming.  Coach Kraus is a USA registered Coach and is certified in CPR, AED, First Aid and Lifeguarding.

Coach Leonard Kraus and his wife Joy Kraus have been married for 19 years and have two daughters; Alena (18) and Makayla (16).

Joy Kraus

Head Age Group Coach

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Coach Joy is in her eighth year coaching with the Makos and has been coaching swimming for over 21 years.  During her time with the Makos she has lead several of her swimmers to FLAGS and All Star/Zone Championship meets.

Along with her experience at HYCAT Coach Joy brings along club coaching experience from her previous teams, Greater Toldedo Aquatic Club and Cardinal Community Swim Club. She also spent several summers as a camp counselor and coach at the Ball State University swim camps.

Coach Joy earned a degree in Elementary Education from Ball State University and was a swimmer for  BSU swim team.  While at BSU,  Coach Joy was a USA Swimming All American, NCAA Divison I All-American, NCAA Division I Academic All American and was an Olympic Trial Qualifier.  Her specialty events were the 50 & 100 Freestyle. Coach Joy was inducted into the Ball State University Athletic Hall of Fame in 2009 as "the Winningest Swimmer in the schools history".

Coach Joy began swimming at the age of 8 in her hometown of Midlothian, Illinois where her 1st season nick name was "lane line Joy".  She later went on to be multiple time HS scorer.

Coach Joy is a USA swimming registered coach as well as a member of the the American Swimming Coaches Association (ASCA) where she is currently a level 3 (out of 5 levels) for her coaching accomplishments and educational experience.  Coach Joy is a USA registered coach and is certified in CPR, AED, First Aid and Lifeguarding.

Alan F Hussey

Platinum Sharks

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Coach Alan is in his ninth year coaching with the MAKOS.  He started out with the summer league, then moved on to coach multiple groups and now coaches the Platinum Sharks group.

Coach Alan swam for 8 years with the Blue Dolphins in Orlando. He swam for Timber Creek High School and was a 4 time regionals scorer.  He also qualified for the Florida High School State Championships in the 100 Breaststroke.

Alan graduated with a Bachelor's degree in Biology and a Masters degree Math Education from UF.  In his "other" job Coach Alan is a seveth grade math teacher at Howard Bishop Middle School here in Gainesville.

Harrison Scott Gibson

Flex

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Coach Harrison is in his fourth year of coaching with the Makos.  His primary duty is to coach the Flex Sharks but he also assists with Novice, Pups and  Blue Sharks.   That is versatility!  He has coached many high school regional and state qualifiers.  He is ASCA level 2 and continues to educate himself with USA Swimming camps and clinics.

Harrison swam at UF and was a breaststroker.  He has grown up around the pool and swimming, his parents are longtime and wonderful coaches that currently coach in Ft. Lauderdale, FL.  Coach Harrison is currently finishing up his undergraduate degree at UF.

Rachel Collins

Blue & Pup Sharks

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Coach Rachel has coached Summer League at Makos since 2011. In 2015, she became the Blue sharks coach. She is a former Makos swimmer who joined the team in 2008. She also swam for Gainesville High School and was a four time regional qualifier. After high school, she went on to swim and study at Berry College for a year. At Berry, she swam distance freestyle. She is attending the University of Florida to finish her BS in Electrical Engineering.

 

Rob Ramirez

Individual and Small Lessons Instructor

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Coach Rob Ramirez was born in 29 Palms California, in the upper Mojave Desert.  Rob grew up in a military family traveling and living all around the United States.  As a swimmer Rob was a High School All-American, a University of Florida All-American (5-time) and a world ranked swimmer.  Coach Rob is still ranked top 100 all time in his 50 free!

Coach Rob has been teaching 'learn to swim' in Gainesville since 1976 and has been  the Gainesville High School swim coach for the last 29 years.  Coach Rob has lead Gainesville to many city, district, regional and State Championships (Boys in 2011; Girls in 2015).  He has also been named Coach of the Year multiple times!

Rob has been employed by the Alachua County School Board for the last 33 years.  His first 14 years at A. Quinn Jones Center he was responsible for implementing a Physical Eduncation program, a first of its kind, and for the last 19 years Rob has been Dean of Students.

Rob has a history with us, it started when he helped start/merge the Boys and Girls Club team known as the Lightening into the North Florida YMCA Bolts who are now known as the (you guessed it!!!) Makos Aquatics Club of Gainesville.

Coach Rob is happily married to his lovely wife, Susan, and they have been together for 32 years.  They are the proud parents of Carly and Lily.  Lily was a High School All-American (12-time) and followed her dad to swim at UF.  Carly is a Sophmore University of Tennesse.  She swam and was active in the Performing Arts in Gainesville.

When Coach Rob is not coaching or teaching he enjoys the outdoors.

Sara Knight

Pups, Novice, Blue

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Courtney Meyer

Pups, Novice, Blue

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Katie Nirenberg

Pups, Novice, Blue

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Board of Directors

Kent Walker

President

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Joy Kraus

WebMaster

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