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Coaches & Board

Coaches & Board of Directors


The Coaches are here to support your needs. If your questions are related to workouts, meets, events, goal setting, and other swimming related needs, please contact one of the coaches.

The Board of Directors can answer administrative questions, such as dues, safety, or policy issues.  If you have any questions please contact one of our Board Members.

Coaching Staff

Shawn Walsh

Head Coach

Email

Anthony J Bartolotta

Assistant Coach

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I have been with GILLS swim club for over 11 years. I started as a young swimmer, grew up to swim in high school & college, and have now transitoned to being a coach.

It is very rewarding to me to be able to watch your swimmers achieve their goals. Knowing I am part of that is important to me.

Swimming is tough both mentally and pysically, but it is always fun having laughs and being silly during our time together.

I wasn't sure what to expect at first, but now coaching has been an awsome experience!

Amber Leigh Wood

Assistant Coach

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I started swimming at a very young age with the EASC Sea Demons. When I moved to Homer Glen, I joined the LHSC Lightning where I swam competitively until joining the high school team. There, I swam all 4 years and I also played water polo for 3 years. I ended up swimming every stroke except breaststroke with butterfly being my best. After high school, I taught water polo and swim lessons and have now made my way to coaching with the GILLS. I’ve coached with the GILLS for a little over a year now and I am so excited to continue my coaching career with this team. The best part of coaching for me is being able to watch your swimmers be successful in their events and just knowing that you contributed to that successfulness. When a swimmer comes up to you after a race with pure happiness on their face knowing they just achieved their goal of getting that regional or state cut or any other goal, that lets me know that I’ve done my job as a coach and it makes me exceptionally happy too. There’s no job that’s more fun than being a coach to an awesome group of swimmers! Go GILLS!

Cullen Stine

Assistant Coach

Email

Cullen Stine began his competitive swimming career at the age of 6 and swam for the Oak Forest Swim Association (OFSA) Barracudas.  While at OFSA, he broke several age group records, qualified for state and the Junior Olympics.  When he was 12, he began training with the Hickory Willow swim team until high school.  He swam for Oak Forest’s High School varsity team for four years.  As a varsity swimmer, he swam all-conference every year, and was part of a relay record breaking team.

Coach Cullen began his coaching career with OFSA in the fall of 2012, and coached the Barracudas through the 2014 Winter Season. He was an assistant coach with GILLS this past summer season.  As a GILLS’ coach, he developed a great rapport with the swimmers and prepared technique driven workouts as well as workouts specializing in distance training. 

Currently, Cullen is an instructor and manager at Bear Paddle Swim School in Orland Park.  He teaches quality swim lessons to children as young as 6 months.  Coach Cullen prepares young swimmers to swim competitively and teaches them life safety skills in the water. Coach Cullen is looking forward to many more fun and successful seasons as a GILLS coach. 

Colleen Palermo

Assistant Coach

Email

Hey Everyone!  My name is Colleen Palermo and I look forward to working with your swimmers this season.  To tell you a little something about myself...I come from a swimming family and grew up swimming for the Tinley Park Sharks since the age of 6 til the age of 17.  I've also coached swimming for several years.   I am married and have 3 kids.  (I'm sad to say that none of them are swimmers. =-) My 2 oldest kids go to Tinley Park HS and my youngest is in 5th grade at Fulton School in Tinley Park.   A few of my goals for the season are to have fun and to help your child become a better swimmer; and I am confident that we can achieve both of those goals!  

Eric Villasenor

Assitant Coach

Email

I started my time with GILLS at age 7 as a swimmer. I stuck with swimming throughout high school & now swim at Valparaiso University. I have returned to this program as a coach to help with our swimmers stroke and technique. I will continue to support and push our swimmers to be the best they can.

Jake Villasenor

Assistant Coach

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I swam competitve for 12 years, starting with the GILLS at age 10. From there I continued swimming for Andrew high School and moved on to Valparaiso University. I was mainly backstroke events, but also freestyle. I was voted captain of the division swim team for Valparasio University.

I have been coaching GILLS since the summer of 2017. I am the type of coach that values quality over quantity. That is why I am specializing in technical work and mechanics with the swimmers on a pesonal level.

Kelsey Brittain

Assistant Coach

Email

Kelsey Brittain swam competitively for Lockport High School and played water polo all four years.  Kelsey has been swimming ever since she was very young. She was a breaststroker in high school.  Coach Kelsey began her coaching career with GILLS the summer of 2015. She is enthusiastic, energetic and loves in-water instruction.  She believes it is the key to a young swimmer’s success.  

Chris Marlow

Part-Time Assistant Coach

Email

I am married and the father of three Gills swimmers: Sophia, Gavin, and Chase. I swam competitively for 8 years, starting at the age of 8 and most of that time for the Charleston Swim Club in Charleston, IL. I only stopped due to the lack of a high school swim team. After swimming I switched to football and played in high school and college, but swimming has always been one of my favorite sports. 

I am currently a certified stroke and turn judge with Illinois swimming. Also, I taught swim lessons while lifeguarding during college and have experience coaching other sports, specifically basketball and flag football. I currently live in Orland Park and work as a patent attorney with Panduit Corp. in Tinley Park. I am excited to start coaching with the Gills this year.

Board of Directors

Michael Lynch

President

Email

Chris Galietta-VP

Vice President

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Gina Sherman

Treasurer

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Aimee Schatz

Public Relations and Timing Systems

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Lauren Hammerschmidt

Secretary

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