Head Coach (SENIORS, CAT2)
Andrew is in his fifth season with the Columbus Aquatic
Club. Throughout his tenure in Columbus, the team has saw numerous
successes including multiple Georgia State Champions, Futures
Champions as well as Junior National, Senior National, Olympic
Trials qualifiers and an ISL (International Swim League)
swimmer. In 2020 Andrew also served as a coach for the
first professional swim league, ISL's D.C. Trident.
Andrew oversees all aspects of the Columbus Aquatic Club program
including the developmental, age group, senior and masters swim
programs. Andrew works directly with the Senior, Masters and CAT 2
Prior to coming to the Hurricanes, Andrew was most recently the
Director of Competitive Aquatics and Head Coach
for the Lionville Community YMCA in Exton, PA. Andrew took over the
Lionville program in the Fall of 2013, where the year prior
Lionville finished 17th at the State Championship Meet. In just
three years, Lionville accelerated from 17th in the State, to 10th
in 2014, 3rd in 2015 and 1st in 2016, setting multiple District,
State and National records along the way. Andrew, with the help and
support of the Parent Board, accelerated the Lionville YMCA from a
Level 1 USA Recognized Program, to a Level 4 in just 2 years, the
highest level of recognition in USA Swimming. His team went from
qualifying just 4 swimmers for Short Course YMCA Nationals in 2013
to qualifying 16 swimmers in 2016 for the Long Course National
Championship, where his girls’ relays finished top 16 in 4
out of 5 relays; the first time in program history that any relay
qualified for a final at the YMCA National Championship. Also,
while at Lionville, Andrew served on the Pennsylvania YMCA State
Committee as a Coaches Representative.
Prior to coaching for the Lionville YMCA, Andrew served as the
Associate Head Coach for Swarthmore College, where
he coached both the men's and women's teams. While at Swarthmore,
Andrew was the 2013 recipient of the CSCAA (College Swimming
Coach's Association) Jean Freeman Scholarship Award. This award is
given to one male and one female coach in each NCAA Division, who
exemplifies both leadership and integrity. As the Associate Head
Coach, he was responsible for recruiting, running/writing
practices, coordinating and designing dry-land programs, trip
planning, and running invitational meets.
Andrew has also coached for the Ridley Area YMCA for seven years
from 2006 - 2013, Brookhaven Swim Club, Pennypacker Country Club,
Riddlewood Swim Club and Sun Valley High School. In all of his
positions, he has led swimmers to multiple championships and
national rankings. He is known as a great technical teacher with
tremendous attention to detail and precision. One of the things he
is most proud of is having helped develop two swimmers to the
number #1 recuiting rank in Pennsylanvia in 2018, 2019 in Heather
MacCausland (NC State) and Emma Atkinson (Virgina Tech).
Andrew grew up in Brookhaven, PA and attended Rutgers University
on a track and field scholarship. He holds a BA in Applied
Mathematics from Eastern University.
Age Group Coach (CAT 5, CAT 3)
Kayla comes to us as a returning coach and is very excited to be back. She is passionate about swimming and was the Captain of her swim team in high school. Kayla is a Level 2 Coach and especially enjoys working with age group and developmental swimmers. She is currently employed at North Columbus Elementary and is engaged to be married.
Leah N. Gingrich
Assistant Coach (CAT 1)
Leah is in her fifth year with the Columbus Aquatic Club.
She made her way to Columbus from Pennsylvania after coaching
for three years in Harrisburg for the West Shore YMCA where she
swum as an age grouper.
Prior to coaching, most of her swimming experience comes in the
form of an athlete. Leah was a member of the University of Texas
swimming team from 2008 – 2012. As a member of the Longhorns
she was a 2-time All-American, 4-time Honorable mention
All-American, 6-time Big 12 Champion, 5-time finalist at the USA
Swimming National Championships. She has been a member of the
Junior National Team, World Youth Team, Pan American Team and World
Championship Team where she competed both in the pool and in open
water races. She was a 2-time Olympic Trials finalist in 2008 in
the 200 fly and 800 free where she finished eighth in both events.
Leah has been featured in Swimming World Magazine, Swimswam, and
Floswimming over the course of her career. As of this year she
still holds 3 YMCA National Records as a member of the West Shore
YMCA from 2008, some of the oldest records on the books at those
Championships. As a member of her East Pennsboro High School team
she was a 4-time NISCA All-American, 6-time Individual State
Champion in Pennsylvania and 2-time Pennsylvania State MVP. She is
excited about being apart of CAC and being able to share her
experiences with the athletes.
After taking six (6) years off of competitive swimming after
2012, Leah made her way back to the pool in the Spring of 2018 in
her quest to make the 2021 Olympic Team. Since coming back to the
pool she has set multiple PR's and is currently ranked top 30 in
the world and top 10 in the USA in the 200 fly. Most recently, she
was signed to swim for the Washington D.C. Trident as part of the
second season of the ISL (International Swim League). She will
travel to Budapest, Hungary in the fall of 2020 to compete over 6
Leah is currently a Certified Elementary Teacher (PreK-4) and
Reading Specialist. She earned a BA in Education with a Minor in
Corporate Communications, from the University of Texas.
Assistant Coach (CAT 4, CAT 2)
Melissa Johnson joins the Columbus Hurricanes
swimming program after relocating from Iowa with her family where
she has coached for the past 8 years. Melissa swam competitively
from the age of 4 through her freshman year of college, when an
injury pulled her out of swimming. She began coaching in
Florida in 1998, while she was in college at the University of
South Florida. After graduating from college in 2002, Melissa
took a break from coaching until she moved to Iowa in 2011. Melissa
has worked the past 8 years as an age group coach, working
primarily with athletes 14 & under who regularly competed in
state regional level championships. Melissa's has coached
multiple medal winners at the age group championship meet level in
both Florida and Iowa.
Melissa spends her summers working as an Aquatics Director for a
youth camp in the mountains of Northeast Georgia where she manages
and oversees all aquatic activities and aquatic staff for the camp.
Melissa is also a certified lifeguard instructor and looks forward
to having opportunities locally to teach and inspire future
aquatics staff members. Melissa now lives in Midland with her
husband and 4 daughters. She is a home-schooling mom to her three
younger children, while her oldest is an adult and no longer in
school. Melissa is passionate about fundraising and advocating for
childhood cancer research after having one of her daughters go
through treatment. She enjoys reading, bike riding and spending
time with her daughters and husband.
Melissa is excited to join the Columbus Hurricanes and looks
forward to many years of memories with the swimmers and families
here in Columbus.
Assistant Coach (Billing & Registration)
Jennifer will be joining us after coaching for ASL for 4 years.
This past year Jennifer was a Georgia Select Zone Camp coach,
Georgia Open Water coach, and a Georgia Age Group Coach where her
15 and over girls won high point for the meet. She was chosen as
Georgia’s 2017 Emerging Coach of the year and has helped
numerous ASL swimmers obtain some major goals for USA swimming that
include U.S. Open qualifiers, Junior National qualifiers, zone
champions and record holders, numerous futures and sectional
qualifiers, state and divisional champions. Coach Jenn has been
coaching competitive swimming for over 15 years and has swam
competitively for most of her life including in college. She has
swam for and coached with some of the top coaches in the nation and
brings a wealth of knowledge, motivation, and talent to our
program. Jennifer has also led ASL to breaking the top ten teams in
Georgia the past two years and the coveted southeastern divisional
spirit award winners 2 times running. Outside of swimming Jenn
enjoys watching her STL Cardinals and Mizzou Tigers play, spending
time with her husband Britton and daughter Genevieve, and shopping.
Emmie is from Alaska and swam in college at Boise state university.
She graduated in 2020 with a bachelors in biology and
chemistry. She’s been very passionate for the sport
from coaching at her club team back in Alaska to teaching swim
lessons the last 4 years while in college. At BSU she swam 50 free,
100 free and 100 fly and was on my of the relays at conference. She
is on the 200 medley relay team that holds the school record at
Besides swimming , Emmie loves the outdoors, whether it’s
camping, fishing, biking or just laying at the beach. Also a major
Green Bay Packers fan, so if anyone wants to talk sports,
she’s ready for it! She’s so excited to get to coach
swimming again after taking a short break due to plans changing