Team Partners
EST Coaching Staff

Get To Know Our Coaching Staff

Coaching Staff

Scott Ward


Scott Ward is a certified ASCA Level 5 Swim Coach who has been professionally coaching since 1986.  In 1992, Coach Ward founded Eagle Swim Team where he continues to serve as team president and lead coach of the program's National Training Group.

Coach Ward is well respected in the USA swimming community and has developed a reputation for developing national and international level swimmers as evidenced by four of his alumni going on to win NCAA titles and three of them earned spots on the USA National Team.  Under Coach Ward's direction, the Eagle Swim Team has experienced tremendous gains in the past several years and has become a nationally recognized club team. Since 2005 EST has been awarded Bronze and Silver Medal awards by the United States Swimming Club Excellence program twelve times– one of only two Maryland clubs to be so recognized. Since 2006, the Eagles have captured ten Eastern Zone Sectional titles including combined team titles in 2011, 2012, 2014 and 2016. 

Coach Ward also serves as the head coach for the McDonogh School's outstanding men's and women's varsity swim teams.  At McDonogh, Coach Ward prides himself on developing the whole person – as shown by his teams being consistently recognized in the classroom earning over a 3.6 GPA each year.  Impressively under Coach Ward's guidance, the women's team has won 16 AIS/IAAM conference championships and the men's team captured two MSA “B” titles before moving to the MIAA “A” conference where they have won conference championship titles in 2012, 2018, 2019 & 2020. In dual meets, he owns a combined career coaching record of 295-81-2 thru the 2020 Season.

In addition to being the developmental coach for 2000 Olympic gold medal winner Tommy Hannan and 2015 Pan American Games gold medal winner Giles Smith, some other highlights of Coach Ward's coaching resume include the following accomplishments:

  • Thirty two US National qualifiers
  • Twelve US Olympic Trial qualifiers
  • Eighteen different state record holders
  • Five of his swimmers have earned Top 50 world rankings
  • Three different USA Junior National champion record holders
  • Two National Prep School Champions including one National Prep Record Holder 
  • Fifty three different High School All Americans for a total of 171 All American performances.    

Coach Ward did return to his alma mater (UMBC) where he served a short stint as the head coach for the Retriever Aquatic Club from the spring of 1998 to the spring of 2000. While there, he guided Megan Melgaard to a spot on the 1999 US Pan American Team where she earned a silver medal as part of the 800 Freestyle Relay. Prior to forming EST, Coach Ward coached at the Catonsville YMCA from 1989 thru 1992 where he started as an assistant and then rose to become the head coach. Over those four seasons, he helped build a strong team that went 1-6 in 1989 to 7-1 and C & P League Champions in 1992. The team also went from having no national qualifiers in 1989 to seven in 1992. Additionally, Coach Ward has been active on the Maryland Swimming Board of Directors serving in various board positions and with USA Swimming as a National Select Camp assistant coach (2009) and a Zone Select Camp Head Coach (2010).   He is a graduate of UMBC, where he was a school record holder, a 4-year letter winner and recognized twice as the team's Unsung Hero for the Retrievers. 

Daniel Russell

Assistant Head Coach, Lead Snr Prep


Coach Daniel Russell is entering his twelth season with the Eagle Swim Team!  Starting this fall (2020), he is the Assistant Head Coach, Lead Senior Prep Coach, and assisting with Senior Performance and Bronze 1 Groups.

Coach Danny started coaching in the summer of 2003 as an assistant coach with the Harper’s Choice Swim Team in Columbia, MD.  He became the head coach the following summer, and continued through the summer of 2012.  Coach Danny built great relationships with swimmers and their families, encouraging swimmers to continue into their middle school and high school years.  He also was able to encourage many swimmers to find year-round swimming clubs to become a part of. 

From 2006 – 2008, he was on the coaching staff of the Columbia Clippers, the team he grew up swimming for.  In 2013, Coach Danny became the head coach of the Forest Hill Swim Team, located in Ellicott City, and continued in that role through the 2015 season.

Coach Danny started swimming when he was 6 years old, for the Harper’s Choice Swim Team in Columbia, MD.  At the age of 9, he started swimming year-round for the Columbia Clippers, and continued to swim throughout high school and into college.  Coach Danny is a graduate of Towson University, competing on the Men’s Swimming and Diving team for four years, and earned a Bachelors of Science in Music Education.  In 2008, he was hired by the Howard County Public School System to be a full-time vocal music teacher at Veterans Elementary School, in Ellicott City.

In addition to EST, Coach Danny is a full-time staff member of McDonogh School's Physical Education Dept., teaching swim and water polo units during PE (1st thru 6th grade), as well as coaching Junior Varsity Water Polo and Middle School, Junior Varsity, and Varsity Swimming.

Coach Danny is married and has four children.  They currently reside in Taneytown, MD.

Coach Danny looks forward to a very fun and successful season with the Eagle Swim Team!


Matthew Brinton

Head Age Grp Coach, Lead Gold & Senior


Coach Matt Brinton is in his second season coaching with the Eagle Swim Team. He is from Landenberg PA where he attended Avon Grove High School. He started swimming when he was seven years old with local YMCA programs in Delaware and Pennsylvania. He then swam for the Delaware Swim Team throughout high school and went on to compete for the Towson University swim team for the 2013-2014 season.  He was primarily a backstroke and sprint freestyler and held the freshmen records in the 100 & 200 backstroke events at Towson.  Matt started coaching when he was 15 for a summer league team and has also coached at Kennett Area Y Sea Dragons and then the Y of Central Maryland Blue Crabs.  Matt has a Bachelors in Sociology degree.

Ken DeGruchy

Lead Senior Performance


Coach Ken DeGruchy is in his first year with Eagle Swim Team where he serves as the Lead Senior Performance coach. He has been coaching in Maryland swimming for 39 years. He started coaching in the Central Maryland Swim League in 1982.  Coach DeGruchy served as the Head Coach of the Catonsville YMCA where he garnered Coach of the Year honors during his second season.  Coach DeGruchy moved onto the Navy Juniors Swim Club where he coached from 1989-1996. After a successful career with NAJSC Coach DeGruchy co-founded the Annapolis Swim Club where he remained for 25 years as Head Coach. During those 39 years he amassed 1 Olympic Trial qualifier, 1 USA Open water Champion, 1 Para-Olympic Gold Medalist, 45 sectional qualifiers, 6 Future Qualifiers, 3 Winter National Qualifiers, 7 TYR/Speedo Pro Series qualifiers, 6 current Maryland Swimming record holders, and 1 Maryland Swimming Hall of Fame inductee. Coach DeGruchy also served on the Maryland Swimming Committee as the technical chair.

Coach Degruchy is a graduate of Towson State University we he received his bachelor’s degree in English Literature and a Second Education certification. Coach DeGruchy has an ASCA Level 4 certification. He has been on the coaching staff of the Eastern Zone Select and distance camps numerous times.

Coach DeGruchy has twin daughters who attend Salisbury University where they are members of the Varsity Swim Team and Varsity Cheer Team.

Ben Shriner

Lead Intro, Gold/Sil1/Snr Div Assist


Coach Ben Shriner is in his first season with Eagle Swim Team. He grew up near Boston in Massachusetts, where he swam for Gator Swim Club, as well as his high school team. While in highschool, Ben served as captain of his high school team for both Junior and Senior years, where he first discovered his appreciation for leading a swim program. After graduating in 2013, Ben began swimming for Goucher College, where he also served as captain his senior year, and studied education. In 2017 Ben returned to MA to put both skills to use, starting coaching with Gator, while also working in elementary school as a Special Education Aide. It did not take long for Ben to come to the conclusion that while he did enjoy being in the classroom, coaching was where he ultimately wanted to focus his attention. With a personal focus on the coach-athlete relationship, Ben coached for a bit over 3 years with Gator, discovering his own coaching style and philosophy. Excited to start the next chapter in his coaching career, Coach Ben joined the Eagle staff in August of 2020.

Allen Jones

Lead Silver 2


Coach Allen Jones started swimming competitively as a freshman at Mount Saint Joseph High School, Baltimore, MD. He continued to swim for a local club team year round while the High School season was not in session. During his four years of high school Coach Allen developed skill, technique, and the experience he needed to become a successful swimmer. He excelled in butterfly and middle distance freestyle.

After High-School Coach Allen decided to pursue a career in Law Enforcement. Currently, Coach Allen works for the Baltimore County Police Department serving honorably for over 17 years, Coach Allen is currently a Detective with his agency.

Coach Allen stumbled into coaching as an assistant swim coach for the YRAC Sharks in 2010, where he volunteered for his first full season and feel in love with coaching. Coach Allen spent 5 years as an assistant coach and 1 year as the head swim coach for the Sharks. Coach Allen assisted with transitioning the Sharks from a YMCA only club to a YMCA/USA level 1 swim club.

Coach Allen is excited about returning the Eagle family, and looking forward to a successful 3rd season.

“I have found my passion in life. . . teaching the sport I love, while impacting the lives of students”

Clarke Nyman

Lead Silver 1


Coach Clarke Nyman is a certified ASCA Level 2 Swim Coach who has been professionally coaching since 2007.  For Eagle Swim Team, he serves as the Associate Head Coach in charge of the development and success of the Age Group Program (9-14 year old swimmers), as well as the day to day management of late afternoon practice and meet entries.  Coach Clarke strives to develop young swimmers into fine young ladies and gentlemen that uphold the team’s vision to “Strive for Excellence in Swimming and in Life.” His goal is to develop every swimmer to reach their utmost potential, yet be selfless and take interest in the success of others.  Clarke encourages all of his swimmers to be themselves: unique, complicated, and passionate; but also strive to be leaders in and out of the pool.

On the pool deck, Coach Clarke is the current lead of our GOLD training group and Senior/National Distance Team.  He also serves as the coach of the McDonogh Middle School Water Polo and Swim Team. Clarke is known for his creative approaches to aerobic development, as well as detail-oriented drilling and stroke focus.  Since joining Eagle Swim Team in 2015:

The Age Group Program (9-14 year old swimmers) has accomplished:

  • Fifty-four New Team Records (31 SCY, 23 LCM)
  • Nine Sectional Qualifiers, Four Futures Qualifiers, and two Junior National Qualifiers
  • Two Resident & Area Maryland State Records
  • Two Top 100 USA all-time Ranked Swims

The Senior/National Distance Team (400 Free to 1650 Free) has accomplished:

  • Three Junior National Qualifiers
  • Six Futures Championship Qualifiers
  • Eighteen Sectional Qualifiers

Prior to his time coaching for EST, Coach Clarke graduated Magna Cum Laude from the Crane School of Music at SUNY Potsdam with a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education and performance concentrations in Percussion and Clarinet.  Clarke spent eight years developing multiple organizations that include: the Roland Run Summer Swim Club, the Boys’ Latin School Instrumental Music program, and the Mariner Swim Club.

Coach Clarke is a lifelong scholar of swimming and finds great joy in learning new techniques and trying new approaches to develop young athletes.   He looks forward to a long and successful career with the Eagle Swim Team, and helping swimmers find success and excellence in their approach to swimming and life.

Lenore Cruz

Lead Bronze 2 & Minis


Coach Lenore Cruz is new to the Eagles team this year. She has swam all of her life, and loves the sport of swimming. She started swim lessons at 4 years old, and then joined the Catonsville YMCA at the age of 6 where Coach Ward was actually her first swim coach. When she turned 8, Coach Lenore moved on to GBSA where she swam until she graduated from high school. She continued her swimming career in college at Towson University. After undergraduate school, Coach Lenore continued to further her education while starting her career in coaching in 2006. She coached 4 summers for the CMSL at Woodbridge Valley (2 years) and Roland Run Club (2 years). Coach Lenore also coached for GBSA for 4 years before taking a break from coaching to start graduate school. However, she could not stay away from the pool. She started coaching again in September 2012 at Mariner Swim Club (MSC) with Coach Clarke. During her 6 years at MSC, Coach Lenore coached all ages between 8-18, became the Head Age Group Coach, and Business Manager. 
Coach Lenore enjoys critiquing technique while making it fun for young swimmers. She also strives to teach young people life skills that will help them be more independent, respectable people. Coach Lenore hopes that her swimmers learn a lot and utilize what they learn in everyday life.  

Jermaine Winstead

Lead Bronze 1


Coach Jermaine (Coach J) Winstead started swim lessons at the age of 16 months at the YMCA in Asheville, NC because his mother wanted him to learn how to swim since she couldn't. He took lessons until the age of 5 and began competitive swimming in a local swim team until the family relocated to Roxboro, NC when he was 8. After a 3 year break, he started competitive swimming again at a YMCA in Durham, NC from 11-15.  In the summer of 1990 Durham Parks and Recreation opened a center with a pool where Jermaine started to lifeguard.  In the fall of 1990 the center started a swim team which Jermaine swam as well as lifeguarded and taught lessons for the remainder of his high school years.

Jermaine entered college in the Fall of 1993 majoring in Chemistry at North Carolina A&T State University in Greensboro, NC.  While in college Jermaine marched in the Blue & Gold Marching Machine as a snare drummer.  Swimming was still a passion of his so he continued to lifeguard and teach lessons at a local inner city facility and high school.  NC A&T only had a girls swim team so he practiced with them to stay in shape and learn how to coach.  In the summers of 95 & 96 Coach J coached an inner city swim team.


Jermaine currently works as an Engineer with the United States Department of Agriculture in Beltsville, MD.  He has been there for 8 years and enjoys his career with the Federal Government.  Jermaine started working as a lifeguard/ swim instructor at the Y of Randallstown in November 2012.  In the spring of 2013 he ran the stroke and turn clinic. Later in 2013, he joined YRAC sharks swim team as an assistant coach.  At the turn of the season January 1, 2016 Jermaine became the head coach of the YRAC Sharks Swim Team.   During his tenure as head coach he helped the Sharks become a Level II USA Swim Club.  This will be Jermaine’s first season with the Eagles Swim Team.  He welcomes all new and seasoned swimmers to enjoy the sport that has been in his life since he was in diapers.  GO EAGLES!!!

Kristen Vargas

Silver 2 Assist.


A Proud Eagle Alumnus, Coach Kristen Vargas joined EST as in 2009, staying until high school graduation in 2014.  She attended Mount De Sales Academy, in Catonsville, and swam for MDSA HS team as well.  She then continued her swimming career at the University of Akron as a 400IMer/Breaststroker, was Varsity Captain her senior year (2017-18 season), won 4 conference championship titles, and was on scoring team all 4 years.  Coach Kristen's first coaching gig was for Mariner Swim Club in the summer of 2015.  During the 2017-2018 season at Akron, she coached the Copley Water Warriors.  She just finished her first high school season as an Assistant Coach for McDonogh Women’s Varsity High School Swim Team this past season (2018-2019).  Coach Kristen has a Bachelors in Exercise Science from the University of Akron, and will be attending Loyola University in Maryland for my Masters in Business Administration this upcoming Fall.  She is Super Excited to come back to the nest!

Kathleen Olszewski

Eagle Swim School Lesson Director


Kathleen Olszewski, or "Coach O", is an ASCA level 3 Certified Coach and Registered Dental Hygienst.

She is proud to be part of the Eagle Swim Team Family, as a member with a very long-standing history, dating back fourteen years to 2003.  She has shared in many aspects of the team growth with her various roles, including serving the team as a Parent Volunteer, Chaperone, and Travel Trip Coordinator.  Currently, her responsibilities include Concession/Hospitality Director, Parent Board Member, and Eagle Swim School Director.

Coach O started swimming competitively at age seven and continued into her teen years.  Today, she loves swimming recreationally, teaching children swimming and stressing the importance of water safety.  When she is not at the pool, Coach O embraces spending time with her family and being outside in nature.

Rommie Wheeler

Strength and Conditioning Coach


Rommie Wheeler became a personal trainer in 2004 and started working with Eagle Swim Team athletes in spring 2014. With experience as an athletic trainer in which he worked with Division I-A sports programs, Rommie expanded his techniques of exercise and sports nutrition. He has worked at local high school programs such as Boys Latin, McDonogh and collegiate programs including Towson University, Coppin State University, University of Maryland Eastern Shore and the University of Maryland College Park.

After being employed at Brick Bodies as a personal trainer for 2 years, Rommie became the personal trainer team leader. Today he is the educator for the entire company of Brick Bodies and is the Owner of Reviving Health Personal Training. Rommie continues to strive to provide the best quality of care and education for his clients and people that he comes in contact with.

Rommie continues his education endeavors learning two advanced health and fitness techniques: 1) Resistance Training Specialist which is an in-depth look into understanding the body and its ability to do work more efficiently and 2) Muscle Activation Techniques which is an evaluative tool to uncover hidden muscular issues. Rommie has completed both innovated training programs and is a Certified MAT Specialist and a Certified RTS Specialist.

He completed bachelor’s degrees in Pre-Med Biology, Athletic Training and Exercise Science at Towson University in 2005. During his studies he discovered another area of interest injury analysis/prevention, which led him to seek medical internships with two orthopedic physicians at Johns Hopkins and the University of Maryland Medical Center. He also was an Orthopedic Intern at Kernan Orthopedic Institute.