Head Coach Chris Prator has over 35 years of coaching experience. He focuses his attention on perfection of stroke techniques, racing strategies, endurance athleticism, and balancing busy teen years with a dedication to the sport of swimming. He believes this combination of skills will provide all with a foundation for future success as swimmers, as well as well-rounded individuals in life. Chris has coached and guided many athletes to collegiate scholarships in swimming and brought several swimmers to the Junior and Senior National level as well as Olympic Trials.
Coach Chris has been associated with the Hurricanes for over 30 years. While in high school, he was one of the founding members of the Hurricane Swim Club and was responsible for selecting the name for the team. He swam on scholarship at the University of Southern Mississippi and was a USM graduate assistant while in graduate school. Chris received his Bachelor's degree from the University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg and received a Master's degree in Education from the Northeast Louisiana University (now ULM).
After Graduate school, he coached the USS team at the Metairie YMCA as Head Coach and Aquatic Director from 1985-1996. He then moved to the Northshore as Head Coach of Pelican Athletic Club from 1996-2008 where he founded the team. He returned to coach with the Hurricanes in 2008.
Chris is married to Shannon, who is an RN and also a swim coach. He has two older children, Austin, who swam with HSC and is now a professional photographer, and Brittany, who is an insurance agent. Chris and his family reside in Mandeville, LA.
Head Assistant Coach
Shannon has been coaching and teaching swim lessons since 1987
and is a USS certified Swim Coach. She swam year round from age 7
– 18 in Metairie for the Bolts and Metairie YMCA. She
received her Bachelor's degree in Nursing from LSU Nursing School.
She is a Certified Legal Nurse Consultant and runs her own legal
nursing business but considers coaching to be her passion. She and
Chris have been coaching together since 1990; first at the Metairie
Y while in school and then as Assistant Coach at Pelican Athletic
Club from 1997 – 2008. Shannon has been coaching the
Hurricanes since 2010 and loves to work with the 12 & Unders
and developmental aged swimmers. She believes in positive
reinforcement of stroke techniques and challenging, yet fun
workouts that foster a love of the sport and encourage children to
continue swimming as a lifelong activity. Shannon is also a fellow
swim parent with children aged 20 and 24 who have been USS
swimmers since the age of 5 as well as coaches.
Jennifer Kontour-Rice is a former Hurricane swimmer who also
attended Delta State University on a swimming scholarship from 1998
– 2000. She received a Bachelor’s of Business
Administration in 2001 and also received an MBA from UNO in 2006.
Jennifer worked at Wells Fargo as manager, and then moved to
Fidelity Homestead as manager, Assistant VP, and Loan Originator.
Jennifer taught swim lessons and coached at Crossgates and has
three children under 12 - one of whom is an accomplished HSC
swimmer. She and her husband reside in Slidell where she currently
is a board member of the Junior Auxillary and volunteers
extensively with this organization. Jennifer is thrilled to be
coaching HSC and loves to share her expertise and knowledge of
swimming with the team where she first fell in love with the sport.
Tiffany started swimming at age 7 in Summer league and
competed in high school as well as having been a competitive year
round volleyball player. She became a licensed horticulturist
and retail florist spending several years in this industry before
moving into the hotel management industry. Tiffany realized how
much she missed swimming and competitive sports and has been
teaching swim lessons since 1996. She is the Head Coach of the Lake
Castle Slidell swim team as well as President and Team Manager for
the Pinewood Plantation summer swim team. In addition, she is a
social studies, writing and P.E. teacher at Lake Castle
Slidell School. She has a daughter who is also an HSC swimmer and
coaches at both of our locations at Crossgates and in Covington at
Tchefuncta Country Club. Tiffany is excited to coach year round
swimming and considers coaching her favorite job. She knows what it
takes to be a competitive athlete and strives to instill dedication
and enthusiasm for the sport.
Leon G Hebert
Leon Hebert has been a swimmer since age 5 swimming year round
and summer league at the Metairie YMCA. He swam for
Rummel High School as well. He is certifed by United States
Swimming and is a WSI certified swim instructor. He has
been teaching swim lessons and coaching off and on since age 16.
Leon has coached all ages from the beginner level to Master's
swimmers and currently trains adults at Stone Creek Club in
Covington. He has a Bachelor's degree in Health and Physical
Education currently working as an Elementary Physical
Education teacher at Lyon Elementary. Leon loves coaching
swimming and strives to always add fun to his workouts believing
that kids should enjoy their sport while working hard. Leon is
married to Kim has three children aged 14 - 21.
Zrinka Wagemann was born in Croatia and began swimming at age 5.
She competed in synchronized swimming as well as
competitively and was a member of the Croatian National Team
starting at age 14. With this opportunity, she was able to
travel the world representing Croatia and had the opportunity to
train with Olympic swimmers from around the world. She was
awarded a full athletic swimming scholarship to Texas Christian
University in 2008 where she also began coaching during this time.
She developed a love of coaching to match her passion for the
water as a swimmer and coached all ages and levels from TCU swim
camps, summer swim, lessons for toddlers through teens, and in her
senior year, she coached TCU’s Varsity team. Zrinka
graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Nutrition and a Minor
in Psychology first working in the Nutrition Department as a
Supervisor at a Fort Worth Hospital. She returned home to
Croatia and coached with Club Orka until 2016 when she returned to
the US and married her husband Brandon and gained a daughter in the
process. She and Brandon now have a 1.5 year old son, Noran,
as well. Zrinka started with HSC in 2018 after coaching the
summer and Developmental teams at Crossgates for several years.
Zrinka is thrilled to be able to impart her passion for
swimming to our little ones at HSC with the succinct understanding
that swimming teaches our young athletes perseverance, sacrifice,
clarity of mind, and builds confidence that carries over to
enabling one to conquer any challenge that is put in our paths.
If she can impart this bit of knowledge to her young charges,
then her day is considered complete. Zrinka continues to swim
Masters and also loves to read, crochet, exercise, garden, and
spend time with her 12 year old daughter, toddler son, and her
Renee Salinas is a native Ohioan and grew up as a swimmer and
multisport athlete in Columbus. She attained a scholarship to
play Golf at the University of Findlay in Ohio and earned a
Master’s of Physical Therapy degree. She has spent the
majority of her professional career as a Physical Therapist and
lives in Picayune, MS with her husband and two daughters aged 10
and 7 who are both competitive, and accomplished, HSC swimmers.
Renee has been coaching since 2017 where she pioneered
several swim programs in her town including developing the Swim
Programs at Heritage Christian Academy. She has been coaching
our 10 & Unders at HSC since 2019. Renee’s passion
for swimming is evident in her focus on development of proper
technique with her swimmers. She also stresses the importance
of having fun while learning to be competitive and helping foster
the family atmosphere of our team.
In Memory - "Coach"
In Memory: Coach Ed Kelly brought a
unique and exciting perspective to the Hurricane Swim Program when
he was Head Coach. He believed that each and every swimmer, given
the right coaching and motivation, could reach potential beyond
expectation. Through his own determination and conviction, Coach
Kelly taught each swimmer to set goals and to dream big. The
character that was developed in his swim program carried over into
every aspect of life, developing the skill and discipline for every
swimmer to Be the Best You Can Be.
Sadly, Coach Kelly passed away in July 2013. He will be greatly
missed and we will treasure his memory forever. Coach Kelly was the
founder of the team in 1977. He also coached the Northshore High
School Swim Team for 15 years and his girls’ team won the 5A
State Championship in 2008 and 2009. Coach Kelly retired from the
military after 26 years of service. He and his wife raised 5
children and had 10 grandchildren.
Janet began swimming at a young age starting as a summer leaguer in New Jersey. After moving to Slidell, she swam year round for Northshore Aquatics and was a top athlete in the 50 freestyle events. She was a walk-on at Northeast Louisiana University earning a swimming scholarship after her first year. Coach Chris happended to be coaching there at that time! Janet swam US Masters competitions for many years and is certified in both USS and USMS coaching as well as holds certifications as a USS Stroke and Turn Official. She currently works as a Personal Trainer at Crossgates. Janet has taught swimmers from a very young age to high school swimmers at all levels. She enjoys coaching HSC's littlest swimmers helping them to develop the skills needed to become champions! Janet is married and has two children - Alicia age 20 and Brett age 15.