Background-image
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

Dan Olsen

Head Coach

Email

Coach Dan has twenty years of coaching experience beginning right here at Aqua Gems. He was the Head Coach for Sussex Wantage in 1999 and 2000. In addition, he was the Head Coach for Lake Wallkill during the summer of 2012, where he began his swim journey in 1988.  Dan’s mentor was his father, former Head Coach, Ron Olsen, who helped create Dan’s vision and mold his character. He’s excited to follow in his father's footsteps and take Aqua Gems to the next level in swimming. Coach Dan's passion and knowledge for the sport and over thirty years experience, are a great asset to this team.  

 

Melissa Olsen

Assistant Head Coach

Email

Coach Melissa began her swimming career swimming for Lake Wallkill Swim Team in the Wallkill Valley Swim Conference, which then later joined the Northern NJ Small Lakes league, from 1987-2001. She also swam for Aqua Gems Swimming from 1990-  2001. From 1994 to 1998 Melissa also did synchronized swimming for Lake Wallkill Aquacade in the summers. In high school she swam Varsity for the Vernon Vikings from 1997-2001. Melissa’s coaching career began in 1998 where she took over coaching her synchronized swim team and continued from 1998 to 2007. 

 Her competitive coaching experience began in 2004, when she started working from Aqua Gems swimming, working with ages 5-8 and finished in 2009. Summers, 2006 – 2008 Melissa was the Assistant coach for the Lake Wallkill warrior swim team. Summers 2009-2018 she was the Head Coach for SCY Summer Swordfish. In 2009 she became Head Coach of the Sussex County YMCA Swordfish until 2011, when she decided to go back to school and get her nursing degree. She was then an Age Group coach at SCY from 2011-2018. She is a USA Swimming coach, and an ASCA level 2 Coach. She is a Red Cross LGI and a Registered Nurse. She is the sister of Dan Olsen and Ashley Olsen.

Ashley Olsen

Group 1 Coach

Email

Ashley is another alumni of our program having swam and coached with us all through her entire career as an athlete. Ashley began coaching the Feeders programs while still in high school and has continued ever since. She primarily works with our 12 and under groups. Ashley graduated from Ramapo in 2016 with an Environmental Science degree. 

Erik Pfohl

Age Group Coach

Email

Rachel Bohmann

Group 2 Coach

Email

Sarah Schwarz

Age Group Coach

Email

-Swam for Aqua Gems
-Vernon High School (graduated in 2000)
-Ithaca College (graduated in 2004), majored in Physical Education, D3 All-American in Swimming, School record holder 800 Free Relay
-Grad school at Montclair State, Masters in Physical Education with a concentration in Coaching, Was the assistant swim coach there from 2004-2007
-Taught Physical Education in Paterson, NJ for 8 years
-Currently married and I’m a stay at home mom to my 3 kiddos (Madden, Anabelle, and Juliet) 

Kerry Danaher

Feeders Coach

Email

Brandon Robbins

Group 1/ Feeder Coach

Email

Graduated from Newton High School in 2016. Was a varsity cross country runner and a varsity swimmer as well as the team captain. He now attends Sussex County Community College and is studying Criminal Justice. He has been coaching for Aqua Gems since December of 2017. He coaches Feeder and Group 1

Jean Murphy

Age Group Coach

Email

Jean is an Aqua Gems alumni and Warwick High School graduate where she specialized in the breastroke events. During her time with Aqua Gems Jean broke all breaststroke records and was part of many record breaking relay squads. During her time with Aqua Gems, Jean qualified for Senior Mets and US Sectionals in multiple events. Jean was a Section 9 Champion, holding the section record for a few years, and NY State Championship qualifier. Jean holds the unique honor of being the first female in Aqua Gems history to qualify for Junior Nationals. After high school Jean went on to swim three years at Loyola University (Maryland). Jean lives in Sugar Loaf, NY and is a Para Professional at a private Special Needs School in Ho Ho Kus, NJ. 

Dara Bordman

Age Group Coach

Email

Dara is and Aqua Gems Alum. She is certified in WSI and Lifeguarding. She graduated from Warwick Valley High School in 2015 then gradated from the University at Albany in December 2018. She is now attending SUNY orange to become a Physical Therapist Assistant. She started coaching for Aqua Gems in January 2019