Head Coach, ASCA Level 5
SARASOTA SWIM ACADEMY/SRQ TSUNAMI SWIM TEAM is under the direction of Head Coach Ira Klein, who has coached 7 OLYMPIANS and over 40 USA, YMCA & COLLEGIATE NATIONAL CHAMPIONS.
Coach Ira is a certified Level 5 Coach, the highest level attainable with the American Swim Coaches Association. He was the first coach in the country to attain that level as a Senior, Age Group, and YMCA coach. He brings more than four decades of teaching experience and coaching excellence to our program.
Coach Ira is from New York City, graduating in 1975 from Queens College with a BA in Physical Education. He then did his graduate study in Exercise Science at the Univ. of Massachusetts. At Queens College Coach Ira lettered in both swimming and water polo.
Coaching has taken him around the country, including four years in Colorado at the Olympic Training Center creating a new Club Services department for USA Swimming. When he was ready to return to the coaching deck he decided to turn down all offers and return to Sarasota where he had prior headed the YMCA program for five years.
AMONG HIS COACHING CREDENTIALS ARE;
· 100% of all program graduating athletes have entered and attended college
· 65% of all program graduates attending college have received scholarships
· Five time USA National Team Coach
· Two time past President of the American Swim Coaches Association [ASCA]
· Past Vice President of USA Swimming
· ASCA Coach 'Gold Medal' Level; received for more than 20 years as a national ‘Coaching Excellence’ award recipient.
· Coached over 100 USA Swimming National, NCAA Collegiate, YMCA National, National Age Group and Junior Olympic; individual and team champions!
But when asked what he enjoys most in swimming, the singular answer is "the ability to watch a young person achieve something, at any level, that they had never done before and learn that all is possible if they are willing to work for it."
Guy L Bergeron
Senior Coach GT Bray, ASCA Level 4
Coach Guy is a USA and
Canadian Level 4 certified swim coach. He has been
coaching all his life since swimming at the national level himself
in Canada. Guy has coached and instructed children from ages 4
years to 18 years (learn to swim to Competitive swimming at
National Level). Coaching is a passion for him and he
believes every athlete has the potential to develop their own
talent to wherever it can take them if they are willing to pay the
price of hard work. He believes swimming is a good way to learn
about self-discipline, time management and work ethics that will be
a benefit in all areas of life. With a degree in Psychology
and having coached at a NCAA Division I
University, Coach Guy has gained a broad background in developing
athletes to their potential.
Sr & Jr Group Coach - John Marble
Chris began coaching with Suburban Swim Club, the team he grew up swimming for under the tutelage of the legendary swim coach Charlie Kennedy. There he taught all age groups and abilities ranging from novice to Olympic Trial finalists. After 8 years learning from one of the great coaches in U.S. Swimming, he got the opportunity to become the head coach of Sunnyvale Swim Club a member of Pacific Swimming, one of the strongest LSC's in the country.
There he coached some of the fastest age group swimmers in Pacific Swimming, while growing the team in numbers and abilities. He coached there for 3 years, and saw multiple all star team members as well as coaching a number of NAG top ten swimmers. He left Sunnyvale Swim Team, so his wife could pursue further education back on the east coast.
Once back on the east coast he took the head age group coaching position at YMCA of the North Shore Sharks, one of the largest YMCA programs in the country. Chris oversaw a multi- site program leading the age group program for one year before taking a small hiatus from coaching.
He loves the sport of swimming for the teaching aspect but also the continued learning that occurs everyday. Chris is an ASCA Level 3 Certified Coach.
When he's not coaching he enjoys working out and training for obstacle course races and loves spending time outdoors with his wife Courtney and his dog Raul.
He looks forward to working with Tsunami, the swimmers, and the great coaching staff.
Lead Age Group Coach - Arlington Park
Lisa Repassy grew up in Winter Haven, Fl. where she competed and
was ranked nationally as a Synchronized Swimmer
through high school.
She completed her BS in Marketing and
Management at Troy State University. After 13 years
in Retail Visual Marketing and Design management she stopped
working to raise a family, Jared 12 and Julia 7 (who both
swim for the Tsunami.)
During this time she discovered her love for swimming again
while training for triathlons. Lisa swims
with a Masters Group and is a member of their Support team. Lisa is
a continual Top Ten U.S. Masters ranked swimmer
and part of the team that achieved numerous YMCA Masters titles and
Masters National Championships.
Her love of swimming expanded into coaching under the guidance
of Head Coach Ira Klein. Lisa is a
Level 2 USA Swimming certified Coach, Lifeguard,
CPR, and First Aid certified, a member of ASCA and USMS.
Michelle Lynn Armer
Age Group Coach - GT Bray
Michelle began swimming at the age of 9 for the Milan Swim Club
in Milan, MI. She was a 4-time state champion and a high school
All-American while competing for Milan High School. She went on to
swim for the University of Michigan and contributed to four team
Big Ten Championships. She competed at the NCAA Championships all
four years on relays and was team captain her senior year. Michelle
has coached on and off since graduating from the University of
Michigan with a BA in sports management and communications. She
teaches math at Manatee High School. She feels fortunate to coach
her son as well as all the other fantastic
young athletes with Tsunami.
Varsity Coach - Arlington Park
Sam grew up in Wellesley, Massachusetts but has lived in 7 states thanks to the US Coast Guard. She served for 6 years both active duty and reserve before leaving to raise a family. Now the family stays on the move thanks to her husbands 19 year carer in the Coast Guard. She has been teaching swim lessons since she becoming a Life Guard and Water Safety Instructor 18 years ago. Teaching in Massachusetts at the Wellesley Center and Longfellow Sports Club. While living in New York she was the swim lesson director for New York Sports Club, learn to swim program. Once her 3 children moved on from swim lessons into competitive swimming she began coaching stroke team and young age group swimmers for the Tideriders in Arkansas. She is passionate about water safety and creating a life-long, love of swimming. When not on the pool deck coaching or watching Sailor 12, Hudson 9 and Linden 6 practice and compete, you will find her at the beach Sailing or traveling with the family in their vintage Shasta camper.
Michael James Hazard
Age Group Coach - Arlington Park
Michael Hazard was born Ithaca, NY and grew up in Cortland, NY. He swam for the Cortland YMCA for 10 years growing up. Coach Mike made Y nationals 4 times and had multiple state championships and YMCA All-American swims. He went to SUNY Oswego where he swam on the college team, graduating with a BS in Education. Mike began swimming again 3 years ago when he started swimming masters. Swimming masters led him into coaching and pursuing aquatics as a profession. He first started coaching a masters team in Ocean City, Maryland and assistant coaching with the Mid Delmarva YMCA, that led to a head coaching position in Berlin, MD and then an aquatics director/head coaching position at the Cortland, NY YMCA. Michael competed at Masters nationals in 2013 and had 3 top 10 finishes at 2014 Summer Nationals. He is a USA Swimming and ASCA level 2 certified coach. Some of the things he enjoys are reading fantasy books, playing guitar, playing with his pug, going to yard sales, photography and walking the beach at sunset. Coach Mike says 'I'm grateful and excited to be a part of the Tsunami and look forward to contributing to make the team better.'
Red Team Coach - John Marble
Originally from Wayne, New Jersey, Courtney moved to Sarasota in 1975. She swam for the Sarasota YMCA Sharks from 1983 to 1989, including 4 years under head coach Ira Klein. She also swam for the Riverview High School and was team captain her Senior year. Courtney started teaching and coaching swimming in 1990 for the Sarasota YMCA. Also earned a bachelor of science degree in child development from the Florida State University in 1995. In 2010-11 Coach Courtney was the head age group for the Fayetteville YMCA Sea Dragons in North Carolina. She continues to coach today for the Sarasota Tsunami, re-uniting with Coach Ira. In addition Courtney also works full-time for Children First of Sarasota. She lives with husband Greg and their two daughters Paige, 16 and Payton, 12, plus a loving golden retriever Tucker.
Holly J Neumann
Holly Neumann coaches the Tsunami Masters team. She is a Level 2
USMS Masters coach and a USMS-certified adult learn-to-swim
She also works for the U.S. Masters Swimming National Office,
managing the adult learn-to-swim initiative, including the Swimming
Saves Lives Foundation.
Before moving to Sarasota in 2015, Holly helped establish a Masters
workout group in West Hartford, Conn., and taught swim lessons to
both adults and children. She also coached a youth winter-league
recreational swim team. She is a lifelong swimmer with collegiate
experience at California State University Bakersfield. She has
completed many open-water swimming events, including the La Jolla
Rough Water Swim and the Great Chesapeake Bay swim multiple times.
She loves the camaraderie found in a Masters workout and finds
great joy in helping others to learn to swim and enjoy the water
Holly is also the mother of two boys who compete for the Sarasota
Tsunami age-group team.
Senior Coach - John Marble
Every direction that Julie Santiago turns, she usually ends up
near the water. Her most recent change of direction was
moving to Florida with her family where she re-connected with one
of her former swim coaches,Ira
Klein. A stand-out swimmer at a young age,
Julie became a High School All American swimming for York Suburban
High School in York, PA. She would eventually enroll at the
University of Nevada , Las Vegas, on a swimming scholarship.
In 1992, she competed in the NCAA Swimming and Diving
Championships at the University of Texas in Austin where
she competed in the 200 and 500 free and 200
backstroke events. In 1994, she was named the
Big West Conference’s Scholar Athlete of the
Year, an honor that she is extremely proud of.
After earning a Masters Degree in Sport and
Leisure Services from UNLV, Julie was well on her way to a
career in Sports Marketing as she would become the Director
of Marketing for the UNLV Athletic Department.
The sport of swimming pulled her back in when her young kids
began to swim and Team Rebel Aquatics hired her as the Head Age
Group coach. Since then, Julie has held a variety of coaching
positions spanning over 13 years:
- St. Anne School Swim Team, Las Vegas,
- Seneca Valley Swim Team, Pittsburgh,
- Murray Youth Swim Team, Murray,
- Sarasota Tsunami Swim Team, Sarasota,
Now a USA Swimming, Level 2 Coach, Julie
continues on her swimming journey. She has always had a
passion to give back to the sport that provided the foundation for
her life. She feels fortunate to have an opportunity to coach
2 of her children as well as an amazing group of young athletes
that are the Sarasota Tsunami.
Volunteer Age Group Coach
Deb Walker grew up in Valley Forge, Pa, and swam for Suburban Swim Club. She obtained a degree in Clinical Chemistry from Penn State University where she was captain of the swim team for three years. After earning a certification as a Microsoft Systems Engineer (MCSE), she worked in IT for several years before deciding teaching was what she found most gratifying. Deb earned a Master’s Degree (Education) specialty in Integrating Technology in the Classroom, and currently teaches sixth grade science in the IB program at Brookside. She also is the web administrator for Toad Hollow Athletics, a swim supply ecommerce site. Her two grown children were born in Sarasota, and represented Swim Florida where she coached for 16 years.Swimming Credentials
Master’s Swimmer: 28 National and 18 World Records since 1980.
1985-1999: Certified USA Swim Coach, Swim Florida 1992-1999: Head Coach, Cardinal Mooney High School
1992: Appeared in Sports Illustrated “Faces in the Crowd” Voted Florida Swimmer of the year
1993: Voted High School Coach of the year by the Sarasota Herald Tribune
2004: Inducted into Dick Vitale’s Sports Hall of Fame Program Director, SwimAmerica
1991: President George W. Bush’s Point of Light for volunteering at the Boys and Girls Club
2004: Frank Tillotson Service award by the Florida LMSC
2005: Congressional Special Recognition by Katherine Harris, 2005
2005: Dorothy Donnelly Service award by the USMS (United States Masters Swimming)