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Coaches & Directors

We 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. For all questions related to administrative, such as dues, safety, or policy issues, please contact one of the board members.

Coaching Staff

Patrick Marshall

Head Coach Senior Group/Founder CGA

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Patrick Marshall is the Founder and Head Coach of Cardinal & Gold Aquatics, as well as the Head Varsity Swim Coach for Calvert Hall. He is a USS certified, ASCA Level 2, and has been the Head Coach of Calvert Hall since 2008. In the summer of 2009, he restarted CGA as a USA swimming year round club. Patrick is also the Aquatics Director for Calvert Hall.

In eight seasons at Calvert Hall and CGA, Patrick has produced JR national qualifiers, Future's finalists and qualifiers, Sectional finalists and qualifiers, multiple All Americans, Maryland State champions and qualifiers, broken six Calvert Hall team records, and has registered four Top 20 NISCA rankings. 

CGA believes in creating a positive atmosphere where swimmers can approach new challenges every day. Patrick's program focuses>

Prior to working at Calvert Hall, he was the Assistant Coach (2005-2008) at St. John's College HS in Washington, D.C. While there, Patrick assisted in doubling the roster size, breaking ten team records, incorporating a dryland program, and moving the team into the top six in the Washington Metro area. Patrick has also coached in summer leagues in Lancaster, PA and Montogomery County, MD.

Before coaching, Patrick attended Franklin & Marshall College, where he swam for four years and was a part of three Centennial Conference championship teams. He is a 2001 graduate of Calvert Hall, where he captained the swim team in his final two seasons. In his younger days, he swam for Padonia, Towson Y, and KCO.

Currently, Patrick teaches Physical Education at Calvert Hall and lives in Glen Arm, MD with his wife Kelly and two children.

Ian Brooks

Head Coach - Age Group 1

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Ian Brooks has been involved with swimming for the past 43 years.  He began swimming in Utah for the Triton Swim Club when he was 7 and competed through high school before coming east to attend Johns Hopkins University where he was an 11 time All-American and three year Academic All-American.  During college, he began to coach summer league teams.  After college, he joined the faculty at Gilman where he is currently a senior member of the Upper School Math Department.  While at Gilman, he spent 20 years as Varsity Swimming Coach, leading them to 4 MIAA B Conference championships.  He has coached at multiple levels from summer league to high school to masters and he enjoys working with kids and encouraging them to be the best that they can be.  On a personal note, he is married and lives in the Towson area with his wife, four kids (All of whom swim for CGA) and one spoiled dog.

Mary Ellen Barrett

Head Coach - Age Group 2

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Has coached all ages and all abillty levels, from beginners to Senior National Qualifiers. 

Was Head Coach of the Towson YMCA for 35 years. Continues as Padonia Park Swim Club head coach for the past 40 years and counting.

One of the most respected coaches in MD swimming...we are so happy to have her with us!

Valerie Dernetz

Head Coach - Mini Cardinals

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Valerie Dernetz has been involved in competitive swimming  for over 35 years in variety of different roles including swimmer , coach, swim instructor, and parent.    She competed for 12 years in competitive swimming then went to open water to compete in several Olympic and sprint distance triathlons as well as one Ironman 70.3.  Although she loved to compete herself, Valerie learned early on that her true talent was in the instruction and guidance of young swimmers.  She began as a swim instructor for ages 3 to 18 for Columbia Aquatics Association (CAA) for 6 years.  She continued as an assistant coach for 2 years then as head coach for 2 years in CAA’s summer league.  Finally, she was the coach for the 8 and unders for CAA’s year round program where she focused on stroke development and technique for approximately 30 young swimmers.  Currently, Valerie is an elementary school nurse with Baltimore County Public Schools and parent to 2 CGA swimmers.  

Jeni Zeiler

Assistant Coach - Age Group 1

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Jeni Zeiler is returning to CGA after one year away! She will be assisting Coach Ian Brooks with our Age Group1 program.  Previously she served as the Head Age Group Coach from 2013-2016.

Jeni graduated in 2013 with a degree in Elementary Education from Bridgewater College, where she also swam for 4 years. She currently holds the school record at Bridgewater for the 100M breaststroke.  She finished her career on the All- Conference team and was one of six athletes from her school to be recognized on the Academic All-State Team by the Virginia Sports Directors. Jeni is a native of Baltimore where she swam competitively for many years at several clubs in the area. Those clubs included KCO, Towson Tigerfish, Towson Y, and York Manor Swim Club. She was also previously an assistant coach at York Manor for 4 summers.

Currently Jeni is a elementery school teacher in Baltimore County and resides in Towson, MD. 

Alex Thomas

Assistant Coach

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"Alex Thomas, entering his eighth season as an Assistant Coach for CGA, has been with the club since its inception. He primarily assists with stroke development in Age Group 2, but will work with all groups throughout the year.

Upon graduating from Calvert Hall in 2004, Alex had been a part of three MIAA Championship water polo teams, was twice selected for the All-MIAA team, and was named the 2003 Eastern Prep School tournament MVP. He was also a gold medalist at the MIAA swimming championships, swimming the breaststroke leg of the 200 medley relay for Calvert Hall. 

Alex graduated from Washington College in 2008, where he swam for four years, was named team MVP twice, and captained the team in 2007/2008. He collected five medals at the Centennial Conference swimming championships over the course of four years. In 2008, Alex earned Washington College's Eldridge Eliason award, which is given to a graduating senior who has accomplished the most in athletics while maintaining a GPA in the top half of the class.

Alex has over a decade of coaching experience, coaching all skill levels from Summer League minis to high school All Americans and Sectional Qualifiers. He has previously coached at Calvert Hall and in Baltimore County's Free State League for several years prior to arriving at CGA, including a three year stint as the Head Coach of the Hillcrest Heat.

He currently lives in Fells Point and is a Branch Manager and licensed Mortgage Loan Originator for Millennium Financial Group (Mlend)."