Matthew Arrick Kopald
Matt has been swimming for as long as he can remember.
Growing up in Los Angeles, CA, 26 blocks from the beach he
was an avid swimmer and water polo player. After high school
he played water polo at Northwestern University before a shoulder
injury sidelined him. With his playing career over, Matt
found passion in coaching. He has coached both swimming and
water polo at almost every level - including Age Group, High School
and Collegiate. Prior to becoming the Head Coach of the
Belvidere Barracudas he held head coaching and assistant coaching
positions at for various other clubs in Northern Illinois,
both YMCA and USAS.
He has coached multiple USA Junior National Qualifiers, USAS
Zone/Sectional Medalists, USAS-IL Senior Champions, USAS-IL Age
Group Medalists, YMCA State Medalists and NCAA Division 1 Swimmers.
Matt lives in Rockford with his wife, Mindy and two girls,
Adeline (4 years) and Eloise (2 months). His first "child" is
his adopted dog Brinkley.
Growing up, my dad was a swimmer and my mom worked at the YMCA, so naturally I learned to love swimming at an early age. I started swimming competitively at the age of 5 for the Rockford RAYS. In high school I swam for Harlem High Scool. Before finishing my swimming career, I competed at Nationals in Ft. Lauderdale in 2005. I graduated from Illinois State University with a degree in Elementary Education and now currently teach 7th and 8th grade science in Amboy.
I have taught swim lessons for many years in high school and after college I started my coaching career at the RAYS in Rockford and at Harlem High School. I'm very excited about joining the Belvidere Barracudas coaching staff!
And, my husband and I got married this past June. We don't have any swimmers on the team, but we do have an adorable puppy named Smokey!
My name is Amy Taylor. I'm a new coach to the Belvidere Barracudas after spending the last 5 years with the Rockford Rays. I also have coached the Lincoln Jr High swim team for the last 4 years and now I've also starting coaching at Rockford East High School girls team as an assistant coach.
As a young child I was terrified of water and wouldn't even go in a baby pool. My mom forced me to take swim lessons and I have loved the water since. We spent our summers at a local pool swimming every day. I swam for the Freeport High School Pretzels and the great Mr. Pisula was my coach. My events were the 200 and 500 free. I wasnt the fastest or one of the best, but my coach treated me like I was a star. That's a great coach.
I love being a swim coach. I love what I am able to share and teach to swimmers. I'm really excited to continue my coaching journey with the Cudas.