PARTNERS
GULF+SHORES+RESORT
Girls+Inc+of+Sarasota
SPEEDO+USA
Swimoutlet
TOAD+HOLLOW+ATHLETICS
CryoStudios+Sarasota
Stitchin%27+Wave+Embroidery
Safe+Sport
Florida+LSC
USA+Swimming
MAKE+A+SPLASH+USA+Swimming+Foundation
Florida+LMSC
USMS
SARASOTA SWIM TEAM COACHES & DIRECTORS

We are here to support your needs and help educate parents as well as athletes. If you have any questions 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 either the Head Coach or the Team Adminstrator.

Coaching Staff

Ira Klein

Head Coach, ASCA Level 5

Email

Born and grew up in NYC, Far Rockaway to be exact. Undergraduate attended Queens College, NYC - Physical Education, 1975, both swam and played water polo there. Co-Captain my senior year.  Graduate School Univ. of Mass., Amherst, - Exercise Science, 1977
Started the Tsunami Swim Team in 2010
American Swim Coach Assoc. [ASCA] Level 5 Coach Senior, Age Group and YMCA.  Past President of ASCA,  Past Vice Pres. of USA Swimming
National Team Coach 5 times
45 years of national and international experience;  I've been privileged to have coached 7 Olympic athletes,  more than two dozen national age group record holders,
over 40 senior, junior & YMCA individual national champions and several hundred top ten nationally ranked swimmers.

Lisa Repassy

Tsunami Head Age Group Coach

Email

Guy L Bergeron

Senior Coach - Marble, ASCA Level 4

Email

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.

David Tucker

Junior Team Coach - John Marble

Email

I started swimming in Richmond VA at the age of 6 in 1969.  My parents moved us to Charleston WV for the next 11 years I swam under Coach Greg Olsen.  I attended Bethany college and received a Degree in Economics.  I was Captain of the Bethany College swim team for 3 years, MVP for 4 years, placed 21st and 23rd in the 400 IM for Division III and still currently hold the 400 IM school record.  I still swim masters and have done the Lido beach swim as a team for the last two years.  I have swum Alcatraz four times and plan to do it again.  
I started coaching in 1983 for my local summer league, then in 1986-87 assistant coach for Bethany College.  I was the assistant coach for VCU for the 1989-90 Season.  My USA swimming coaching experience started in 1990 with NOVA then TRAC of Richmond till 1995.  When we moved to Mooresville NC  I coached for Lake Norman YMCA from 1995 to 2000, Then SwimMac from 2001 to 2011.  I started my own YMCA team from 2012 to 2014 till we moved to Cary NC.  There I coached for NCAC for the 2014-15 season.  
I am a ASCA level 3 coach and had 5 all American swims with Lake Norman High School.  I also coached over 20 years for summer leagues.  
I have a Business High School Teaching Degree from VCU and taught in Richmond VA 1990 to 95 and Mooresville NC from 2001 to 2014.  
I have two wonderful kids.  Austin 25, who graduated from VA Tech with a Mechanical Engineer degree and living in Lexington Park MD, and my Daughter Elle is living in New York City and graduated in sports marketing from NYU where she was captain of the swim team in 2019.  
I met my lovely wife Kathy at Bethany College.  We just celebrated 30 years of marriage.  We moved to Sarasota to be closer to my father and love it here.  
My other side business is a boat touring business called Tucker Tours.  My wife is my first mate.  We have a 35 foot Sea Ray Sundancer and enjoy getting to meet new people and enjoy the Sarasota Bay.  Fun fact… I got a WSET level III wine certification from the Napa Valley Wine Academy in 2017.   
I look forward to meeting the swimmers and the parents of the Tsunami Swim Team. 

Samantha Groom

Age Group Coach - Arlington Park

Email

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. 

Taylor Ann Katz

Age Group Coach - Arlington Park

Email

Coach Taylor is a recent graduate of the University of Florida. She began swimming at the age of ten. In high school she was a 6-time state champion, 8-time high school All-American, and four-time Florida Swimmer of the year. She competed at the 2012 and 2016 Olympic trials in the 400 and 800 freestyle, 400 IM, and 200 Butterfly. While swimming collegiately for the Gators she competed at both the SEC and NCAA championships, where she went on to become an All-American in the 200 Butterfly. She was a team captain her senior year, and was a CSCAA Scholar All American. Taylor received the Tracey Caulkins Outstanding Freshman Award, the Donald Gibb Award, and the Leadership Award while she was a Gator swimmer. She graduated with a Bachelors of Science in Psychology and a minor in education.

Robyn Faulkner Trainor

Red Team Coach - Arlington Park

Email

Courtney Lewandrowski

Red Team Coach - John Marble

Email

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.

Rachel Elizabeth Vos

Red Team Coach - GT Bray

Email

Jeff W Waddle

Masters Coach

Email

Masters Coach Jeff Waddle

Jeff Waddle joined the Tsunami Masters coaching staff in 2018. He is USMS Masters certified level 2 coach and U.S. Masters Swimming-certified adult learn-to-swim instructor and brings multisport experience to the Arlington Park pool deck. 

Waddle retired in 2018 after 31 years on the corporate side of residential construction and is currently pursuing his purpose and passion to coach and teach adults to swim. He is co-coach of the Masters program, and will head Tsunami’s new adult learn-to-swim program when it launches in the fall of 2018. He enjoys helping adults to overcome fear and past experiences in the water, in addition to working with non-fearful beginner swimmers and those who want to improve their technique. 

Coach Jeff is an Ironman triathlete who has more than 65 triathlons on his athlete resume. He has completed premier open-water events like the Escape from Alcatraz swim, Swim Around Ft. De Soto, and Swim Around Lido Key. He has been a key member of the Tsunami Masters club since 2016, when he moved to Sarasota from Hilton Head, S.C.

Coach Jeff is a graduate of the University of Georgia, and is pursing USMS Masters coach certification (to be completed in the fall). When Jeff isn’t swimming, cycling or running, he can be found woodworking, gardening, baking, and hiking. (Ask him about Kilimanjaro in 2016). Jeff is married to Janet, and they have two Frenchies that rule the roost.

Leslie Barron

Red Team Coach - GT Bray

Email

Holly J Neumann

Volunteer Masters & Age Group Coach

Email

Holly Neumann coaches the Tsunami Masters team. She is a Level 2 USMS Masters coach and a USMS-certified adult learn-to-swim instructor.

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 safely.

Holly is also the mother of two boys who compete for the Sarasota Tsunami age-group team.

Michelle Lynn Armer

Volunteer Age Group Coach

Email

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.

Julie A Santiago

Volunteer Senior Coach

Email

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, NV                       Head Coach
  • Seneca Valley  Swim Team, Pittsburgh, PA                         Assistant Coach
  • Murray Youth Swim Team, Murray, KY                                   Head Coach
  • Sarasota Tsunami Swim Team, Sarasota, FL                     Age Group Coach

 

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.

Deb Walker

Volunteer Age Group Coach

Email

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

Service Awards

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)