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PAAC Coaching Staff

We pride ourselves on having a very professional coaching staff.  Please contact us with any questions related to your specific swimmer, workouts, meets, events, goal setting, and other swimming related needs. For all questions that are administrative in nature such as billing or policy issues, please contact Carol Facchiano or one of the board members.

Coaching Staff

Matt Beckwith

Head Coach

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Matt comes with a wealth of experience in USA Swimming, having spent the last four years at Greater Philadelphia Aquatic Club (“GPAC”) where Matt was the Associate Head Coach and Head Age Group Coach.

Matt began his swimming career as an athlete at the University of Connecticut.  While swimming for the Huskies, Matt worked with the University Aquatic Club and upon graduation became a Volunteer Assistant Coach for the U Conn program under Coach Bill Ball.  Matt also worked as an Assistant Coach at the University of South Carolina, while acting as Head Senior Coach for Carolina Aquatics in Columbia, South Carolina.

Moving back to the Lehigh Valley in 2006, Matt began working with Lehigh University and the Atlantis Aquatic Club (“ATAC”) where he acted as Head Coach.  During his time at ATAC, Matt worked with National Team member and University of Georgia standout Kristin Shickora, as well as National Age Group Record Holder and University of Texas swimmer Jessica Guro.  In 2007 and 2008 Matt received recognition as an ASCA Coach of Excellence.

In 2009 Matt came to PAAC as the Head Age Group Coach, following a brief time with Penn State University as a Volunteer Assistant Coach under Head Coach John Hargis.  While at PAAC, Matt worked closely with former Head Coach Erik Posegay, now Head Coach/CEO of North Baltimore Aquatic Club, in helping PAAC achieve USA Swimming Club Excellence status as a Silver Medal Club, and being named Eastern Zone Section Women’s Champions.

Most recently, Matt has worked with 2014 National Champion and US Open Record Breaker, Brendan McHugh, while at GPAC.

Matt will play a key role in the continued success of PAAC and in furthering its mission and long term goal of “empowering young people to be champions in life through excellence in swimming”.

Jacob Thielen

Associate Head Coach

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Jacob has coached at PAAC for several years. He has experience coaching all ages and ability levels and is currently the Gold Group coach.  While overseeing Gold, he has coached dozens of JO swimmers, JO finalists, multiple Zones qualifiers, a Zone champion, and multiple Sectional qualifiers.  Jacob previously served as an assistant coach for the Parkland High School Varsity Swim Team, where he assisted in coaching several swimmers at both the District and State level.   He also was formerly the head coach of Kaybrook Green Hills Summer Swim Team in Orefield.

Jacob holds a Bachelor's Degree in Political Science from James Madison University.  He went on to earn his Juris Doctorate from Villanova University School of Law. Outside of coaching, Jacob is a Partner at the law firm O’Keefe, Miller & Thielen, P.C., a general practice firm with offices in Fleetwood and Allentown.  He currently serves as President of the Valley Swim League Board of Directors.  Jacob swam for both PAAC and Parkland High School where he was a four year varsity letter winner, and competed at both the district and state level.

You can follow him on Twitter @PAAC_CoachJT

James Hersh

Assistant Coach - Senior/National

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Coach Jim began coaching with PAAC in November 2014, but his roots in the Lehigh Valley swimming scene go way back. He was a high school state champion at Allen High School in the early 1980s and still holds the 50 free school record there. He went on to swim at Clarion and then returned to Allentown where he was a firefighter until his recent retirement. For the last few years, Jim has been an assistant coach for Salisbury High School, helping their boys' team to the 2013 State Championship. Coach Jim is an energetic teacher and uses knowledge and passion for yoga to help PAAC swimmers improve their strength and flexibility. We are excited to have him on board!

Steve Kelly

Assistant Coach - Bronze

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Coach Steve returned to PAAC in February 2015, to coach both the Bronze group and the STARS group. He immediately re-established goals for both groups, and expectations were far exceeded by season’s end.

His first tenure at PAAC lasted from April, 2005 to June, 2010. During that time, he coached many Middle Atlantic Junior Olympic and Elite Meet qualifiers, including some champions. Steve had one swimmer attain TOP 16 status. Steve has also coached adults over the years as he guided the Westend Racquet Club Masters swimmers from November, 1994 until September, 2013. He competed in Masters swim meets as well, starting in 1992 until he retired in 2007.

As a child, Steve competed in club swimming while growing up in Springfield (Delaware County) PA, starting at age 7 until he graduated high school. He swam first for the Community YMCA in Upper Darby, PA then for the Suburban Swim Club in Marple-Newtown, PA. Steve’s passion for swimming goes beyond the pool as he served as Committee Chairman for the Delaware Valley Masters Swim Committee from September, 2002 until September 2006. He also served as Westend Masters Swim Meet Director from 1993 to 1997.

Professionally, Steve has been is sales and sales management since graduating Lehigh University in 1980. He is married, with 2 children (twin daughters) and 2 grandchildren.

Patricia Karedis

Assistant Coach - STARS, Instructional

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Patricia grew up swimming for PAAC and Parkland High School. During her time at Parkland, she competed at districts and states, mainly swimming the 100 Breastroke. She achieved a varsity letter four years in a row and in 2006 was a part of Parkland's state championship team under then head coach Erik Posegay. 
Patricia has coached for PAAC since the Fall of 2012. She mainly works with the Instructional and Stars groups. She also coached  summer league swimming for Kaybrook Green Hills in Orefield under then head coach Jacob Thielen.
Outside of the pool, Patricia has earned a Merchandise Marketing and Business Management degree from FIDM in Los Angeles, California. She returned to the area to be closer to family and is currently working on starting her own business in real estate.

Alex Otero

Assistant Coach - Silver

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I began my swimming career at EMAC when I was in elementary school.  When I got to Parkland High School, I switched to PAAC.  In high school, I was a 4-time district qualifier, a 2-time district champion, and a 2-time states qualifier.  After high school, I attended Bloomsburg University on a partial scholarship and competed in the 200 Individual Medley, 200 Freestyle, 100 Backstroke, 200 Backstroke, and the 800 Freestyle relay.  At Bloomsburg, I was a 4-time PSAC qualifier, a 3-time All-PSAC Award winner, 1-time NCAA Division 2 Championship qualifier, Team MVP winner, and Captain’s Award winner.  I am currently a record holder in the 800 Freestyle relay and hold 15 All-time Top 10 times.  I graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science and I am currently a Personal Trainer at Steel Fitness Premier.  I started my coaching career at Westwood Heights Swim Club where I swam summer league.  In addition, I learned some advanced coaching techniques and strategies from the great Stu Marvin at Bloomsburg University. 

Brooke Gilson

Assistant Coach - STARS, Instructional

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Brooke grew up swimming with PAAC and swam for Whitehall High School. During High School, she was a 4-time district qualifier, a district champion, and a 3-time state qualifier. She then went onto Bloomsburg University on a partial scholarship and competed in the 1650 freestyle, 1000 freestyle, 500 freestyle, 200 freestyle, 400 Individual Medley, 800 freestyle relay, and 400 freestyle relay.  At BU, she was a 4-time PSAC qualifier, PSAC All-Conference, a 2-time NCAA Division 2 Championship qualifier, NCAA All-American, Dean’s List recipient, BU Scholar Athlete, and PSAC Scholar Athlete. She is also a current record holder in the 800 freestyle relay, #2 in the 1650 freestyle, #3 in the 1000 freestyle, #6 in the 500 freestyle, and #10 in the 400 IM.

Brooke will be graduating in December with a bachelor’s degree in Middle Level Mathematics Education. Right now she is completing her student teaching at Easton Middle School and hopes to solidify a teaching job in the coming year. She started her coaching career at Stones Crossing Swim Club and Whitehall Waves Aquatic Club. Here she learned how to manage and coach an entire team of all-aged swimmers. 

Nate Wynosky

Assistant Coach

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Nate began his swimming career with Orchard View, then PAAC and Parkland High School.  During his time at Parkland he was a four-time district qualifier, competing mostly in the 500 freestyle and 100 backstroke.  After high school, he continued his swimming career at the University of Scranton where he was a four-time conference qualifier and held records in the 500, 1000 and 1650 freestyle.  Throughout his swimming career, he managed to balance work with fun, built lifelong friendships, and developed leadership skills.  He is eager to instill those abilities in the athletes he coaches while refining their skills in the water. Outside of the pool, Nate graduated from Scranton with a degree in Biology and is currently pursuing a second degree in Nursing at DeSales University.

Board of Directors

Craig Walls

President

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Joe Fahrney

Vice President

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Mayra Avila

Treasurer

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Joseph Herman

Secretary

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Bruce Bubser

Board Member

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Steve Evans

Board Member

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Jeff Fleischaker

Board Member

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Teena Kerr

Board Member

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Darren Traub

Board Member

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Kevin Wynosky

Board Member

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