Coach Jeff started swimming
for CNSL at age 12 and with the Clippers at 16. He parlayed
his love of swimming into a career, first coaching in the
neighborhood swim league for 7 years. He’s now been
coaching for the Clippers for 25 years! He became our head coach in
2003 and has coached every age group and level throughout the
years. Under his leadership, Coach Jeff has had swimmers qualify
for Junior Nationals, Nationals, U.S. Open and Olympic Trials in
Jeff loves when his
swimmers come back years later to visit, or send letters in the
mail about the important lessons they learned while being a part of
Outside of coaching, you
can find Coach Jeff hiking, cycling, thrill-riding at amusement
parks and taking care of a few other swimmers... his fish. He also
has a pretty adorable son who’s known to make appearances
Assistand Head Coach
Coach Stephen grew up
swimming for the Clippers and GBSA. He then went on to swim
Division III for Catholic University of America, where he was named
lead-captain in his senior year. Stephen was a Landmark Conference
finalist in the Freestyle and Backstroke events during his junior
and senior years.
This is Stephen’s 8th
year coaching. Throughout his time on the pool deck, Stephen has
brought all of his swimmers to many personal bests and overall
growth in the sport. Stephen has coached swimmers to their first
appearances at State Championships, AAAA time standards, individual
and relay club records, top finishers at regional meets, and most
recently an open water junior nationals qualifier.
Coach Stephen has a highly
engaging coaching style that puts him all-in to each practice.
Stephen strives to be as motivating as possible to each of his
swimmers, by using creative techniques to best prepare his swimmers
for their highest success. He works to create a fun culture in each
of his groups, where the swimmers and coaches feel like a family,
and learn the importance of being a great teammate.
Stephen still keeps in the
pool himself by being an active member of Columbia Masters
Swimming, where he trains for competitive open water races each
summer. He also loves to run, and races in various distances around
the country. In his down-time, Stephen can be found relaxing,
watching reality television, and drinking a great cup of
Kelsey Smith Lord
Head Age Group Coach
swam for the Clippers from the age of 5 through high school and
represented the club at a number of State and Sectional meets. She
later went on to swim at Indiana University of Pennsylvania for
four years and participated in PSAC Conference Championships. She
earned her bachelor’s degree in Marketing and minored in
entering her fifth year coaching for the Clippers where she has
coached swimmers of all ages and ability levels. She’s
previously coached swimmers in the Competition 1, Competition 2,
Development 3, and Elite Prep 1 groups. She has helped her swimmers
reach their goals of achieving new time standards, MD State and
Junior State Championship meets, and breaking individual and relay
team records. In 2019, Kelsey was awarded the Age Group Coach
Bronze Award by Maryland Swimming in recognition of her
time in high school and college, Kelsey also head coached a team in
the Columbia Neighborhood Swim League (CNSL) and assistant coached
the Development 3 equivalent practice group.
aspect of coaching is motivating and inspiring swimmers to achieve
their goals. The swim season can often seem long, but it is a fun
journey to see swimmers hard work and dedication pay off throughout
the season. Swimming has been such a huge part of Kelsey’s
life and taught her so many important life skills that she hopes to
be able to instill those same skills into the swimmers that she
enjoys spending time with her husband, dog, family and friends. She
also enjoys the beach, crafting, attending/watching football games,
and watching reality tv.
Coach Ben, now in his
second full season as a coach, swam competitively for the team from
the age of 8 to 18. He was also the Junior Athlete
Representative and then the Senior Athlete Representative to the
Maryland Swimming Board and had the privilege to attend the USA
Swimming National Convention on behalf of Maryland swimmers.
While in college, Ben coached Clippers groups during the summer,
and was the head coach of the Dorsey Search Dolphins.
Ben emphasizes having
strong fundamentals in all aspects of technique and developing the
ability to really race from the blocks even at the end of practice.
He loves sharing and repeating his favorite quotes about the
process of working through adversity… which ultimately means
that he gets to quote Star Wars!
While not on the Clippers
deck, Coach Ben is practicing and performing as a classical
flutist. He also enjoys slowly reading through Tolstoy and
Dostoevsky in Russian.
Coach Caitlin has a long
swimming resume. She started swimming with the Clippers at
the age of 8 and continued all the way through high school, before
swimming for 4 years at Salisbury University. She has been a
Clippers coach since 2008, and has coached various summer teams in
the CNSL and CMSL since 2007.
Each season, Caitlin enjoys
watching swimmers learn and grow while having fun and making new
friends and memories. She finds it great to see swimmers accomplish
a difficult task, and learning that they can do anything they allow
themselves to do! She focuses on technique with her swimmers,
which is critical to increase speed and to continue in the sport
for a lifetime.
her free time, Caitlin can be found cheering on her favorites on
The Bachelor and The Bachelorette and spending time with friends
and her cats.
Coach Callie has
experienced a lot of different coaching styles, having swum
competitively for 6 different teams through the age of
Callie has coached the CNSL
team Oakland Mills Tigersharks for the past 4 years, and is
currently in her second year coaching with the Clippers. She enjoys
watching swimmers grow in the sport, and being there to support
them through their triumphs and loses.
When she’s not
poolside, you can find Coach Callie behind the wheel road tripping
around the country! She travels both to visit family and just
for pure adventure, and likes to try new foods wherever she
Growing up in Illinois,
Dylan swam for 12 years on club and high school teams. His
coaching experience is not limited to swimming - he coached Cross
Country and Track at the collegiate level in Iowa. In his personal
life, he still competes in triathlons as well as running events
throughout the year.
Coach Dylan enjoys working
on developing young swimmers - and helping them improve from the
first practice, to the first meet, and through the entire
Coach Georgia has been
swimming competitively for 7 years on both summer swim teams and
various club teams. Currently, she competes out of the water on her
high school cross country team, but still has a strong passion for
swimming and for helping others develop that same passion.
While this is
Georgia’s first year with the Clippers, she was an assistant
coach with CNSL this past summer and has taught swim lessons and a
stroke and turn clinics. These experiences have helped her learn
how to teach and correct strokes to ensure that swimmers develop
their skills, and have shown her how to coach swimming and making
favorite aspect of coaching is seeing the swimmers improve and gain
confidence in themselves, and finds it rewarding to help a swimmer
accomplish a new milestone, such as a best time or completing a
longer race. She loves working with kids because they remind her of
the excitement she felt when she first started swimming.
Outside of coaching and
swimming, Georgia enjoy running, singing in choirs, biking, and
traveling. Recently, she had the opportunity to combine two of her
passions when she went on a choir tour in Costa Rica. She
also likes to read and spend time with friends and family.
Coach Ivan swam for the
Clippers for 8 years. He is currently a student at UMBC and
continues to swim for the University’s club team. He is
excited to join CAA in his first season as a coach, and looks
forward to making working hard and having fun synonymous for his
Away from the pool deck,
you can find Coach Ivan playing with his dog, Bubbles, or jamming
with his friends on the guitar.
Coach Joanne is a life-long
swimmer. She first dove in and began her journey as a
competitive swimmer at the young age of 4. Her love of swimming and
competing propelled her into the world of Triathlons, where she
became the East Coast Champion for the Xterra Season in
Having previously coached
both Age Group and Masters for the Retriever Aquatic Club, she now
enjoys watching some of our youngest swimmers learn new skills and
develop throughout the season.
Coach Joanne is a full-time
real estate agent, and enjoys running and spending time with her
family when not on deck.
Coach Kelly grew up
swimming for RMSC in Silver Spring before heading off to swim and
study at Frostburg State University. He previously coached a
summer swim team, Calverton Chargers, part of the Montgomery County
Swim League, and was an Assistant Coach at Frostburg State.
He’s kept up with his personal love of swimming by
participating on several masters teams in College Park, Columbia
Kelly is focused on working
with his Senior group of swimmers on their form and enhanced body
positions for optimum efficiency and racing. He watches a lot
of files on Dolphin kicking and how flexibility plays a big role in
Out of the water, Coach
Kelly programs API plugins and streams video games on the platform
Twitch. He also gets outdoors to bike and run, and enjoys spending
time being a Dad.
Kristin Smith Burns
Coach Kristin swam for the
Clippers from age 8 through high school, and represented the club
at State, Zone, and National level meets. Kristin went on to swim
at Penn State for four years, during which time Penn State Women's
Swimming and Diving won back-to-back Big Ten Conference
Championship titles. She was named an Academic All-Big Ten Honoree
all four years and earned her bachelor’s degree in Industrial
Engineering, as well as her master’s degree in Industrial
Engineering and Operations Research.
Kristin is entering her
tenth year coaching for the Clippers where she has worked primarily
with 12&U swimmers. Kristin has helped swimmers achieve
new BB to AAAA time standards, reach the MD State and Junior State
Championship meets, break individual and relay team records, place
top 10 in the state including a number of individual and relay
state champions, and had swimmers named Maryland Swimming’s
Swimmer of the Year. In 2017, she was awarded the Age Group
Coach Bronze Award by Maryland Swimming based on her
swimmers’ accomplishments. Kristin also coached in the
Columbia Neighborhood Swim League (CNSL) for seven years.
Kristin loves coaching
because she gets to share her love of the sport with the
swimmers. She aims to set swimmers up for long-term success
in the sport by placing greater emphasis on technique over
speed. She enjoys working with the swimmers on how to do
things more efficiently and how to execute the best race strategies
for different events.
Coach Kristin has two young
children (who may make appearances occasionally on the pool deck)
and loves spending time with her family. She also enjoys
crafting with her sister (Coach Kelsey), baking and cooking,
watching football, and going to the beach. Kristin works full-time
for Booz Allen Hamilton.
Coach Mariana grew up
swimming for CNSL and Clippers, before continuing as a club
swimmers at UMBC. She has coached the Owen Brown Barracudas for the
past 3 years, and joined the Clippers coaching staff in January
Mariana is focused on
helping our middle school aged swimmers realize what they are
capable of both in and out of the pool. When not coaching, she can
be found watching and playing all types of sports, seeking out live
music, enjoying photography, writing and reading.
has a long tenure with the Clippers, having swum on the team from
2007 through 2013. She is entering her 5th season as a C1
seeing the swimmers’ hard work pay off. She works every day
to teach our swimmers essential in-water skills, but finds the
truest joy in seeing those swimmers succeed in their personal
swimming, Coach Marlee is busy working to become an English
teacher. She is student teaching in a Twelfth Grade English class
this year and will graduate with a Masters in Teaching in
May. She also reads just about anything she can get her hands
on. She is currently obsessed with the Stormlight Archive by
Brandon Sanderson, and is always looking for new book
Melissa grew up swimming
for the Three Village Swim Club on Long Island in New York, and
participated in club swimming in college at SUNY Cortland. She was
also a lifeguard and swim lesson instructor throughout her time in
Coach Melissa is beginning
her 4th season coaching with the Clippers, and also coached summer
swimming at Forest Hill Swim and Tennis Club this year. Here love
of teaching and sports extends beyond the pool deck, as a middle
school health and physical education in Howard County.
thing about coaching is watching the swimmers improve throughout
the season and seeing how their hard work and dedication pays off.
She also hopes to instill a lifelong love of swimming with her
swimmers, and to show them how swimming teaches us so many other
lessons such as time management, taking responsibility, hard work,
commitment and the importance of working as a team.
Coach Michelle swam for
Frostburg State in Western Maryland before joining the Clippers
coaching staff. She was a Clippers swimmer for 5 years during
middle and high school. She is in her 7th year of working with our
swimmers, and each season looks forward to instilling a love for
the sport of swimming with the next generation.
When not guiding her
swimmers, Coach Michelle can be found enjoying art and photography,
skiing, hiking, and taking in the latest flick on the big
Noah swam with the Clippers
for 12 years before going on to a successful collegiate swimming
career at Towson University. He has coached for CNSL for 6
years, and is currently beginning his 4th season with the
Coach Noah enjoys teaching
the philosophies of swimming and instilling a love of learning and
hard-work ethic among all the swimmers. Outside of the pool,
he is a self-declared “computer and video-game
Coach Sara began swimming
with the Clippers when she was just 6 years old, and swam with the
team for a total of 13 years! She is currently starting her
6th year as a Clippers coach.
She loves working with kids
and seeing the progress they make, and helping their passion for
the sport grow throughout the season.
Coach Sara is currently a
Graduate student getting her Masters degree in Clinical
Psychology, and uses the little free time she has she to read and
spend time with friends/family.
many of our Clippers swimmers have learned the basic fundamentals
and techniques from Coach Sue! After swimming competitively
throughout her own childhood, Sue went on to swim in high school
and college. In addition to the Clippers, she has coached the
Columbia Corsairs (the original Clippers!), for the Eagles Swim
Team, and also currently coaches the Columbia Masters.
Coach Sue feels that
coaching isn’t just about the swimming stuff. It’s
about teaching life lessons. In her own words, “every kid is
Outside of coaching, Coach
Sue can be found riding her bike and paddling her kayak. Just put
her by the water and she’s happy!