Edgar R Perez
Head Coach / Senior Coach
Edgar is the owner/head coach of the New York Sharks. He develops, implements, and oversees the training programs for all of the team’s groups. He and his coaching staff formulate an individualized success strategy for each swimmer, so that his or her team experience is safe, rewarding, and highly enjoyable; hence, there will be no “Garbage Yardage” at any Sharks work-out.
Edgar has 16 years of coaching experience, including head coaching positions with high school teams and U.S.A. Swimming clubs. He has trained over 40 swimmers who have qualified for the Eastern Zone team, many of whom finished in the top eight at the Eastern Zone championship meet. He has coached swimmers to national top 10 finishes in nearly 20 events.
Coach Edgar is fully committed to the sport of swimming: he serves as the Age Group Chair for Metropolitan Swimming, he has earned multi-year designations as a zone team coach, and he is currently the co-head coach of the zone team. Edgar has also won the American Swimming Association awards for Age Group Coach of the Year 2012 and Section One Division One Coach of the Year 2012.
Edgar’s lifelong belief has been that hard work, when combined with inspired coaching and first class training, is the source of success. Edgar’s commitment is to make these principals the core Shark’s philosophy.
Orange County Senior Assistant Coach
Melissa Freehill’s love of swimming began as a young child spending countless hours poolside. Coach Mel started swimming competitively in 1992 in Middletown, NY. As a swimmer she excelled in sprint freestyle and breaststroke events eventually becoming Team Captain and was also a Scholar Athlete. At the age of 16, she began teaching swimming lessons and continues to do so today as a Red Cross WSI. She believes her positive experiences within the swimming community throughout her life have kept her involved in the sport and kept her passion for it alive.
In 1999 after returning from a semester interning in Walt Disney World, Coach Mel started her coaching career. Initially an assistant with the MRST Barracudas coaching 8 and under novice swimmers, she rose to the position of Head Coach in 2001. It was during this time she realized how much she loved working with children. Coach Mel especially enjoyed teaching and helping them reach their goals and dreams. She thinks there is no better feeling than the moment after a swimmer gets that cut time for the first time! After over 10 years with MRST Coach Mel moved to become Head Coach of Minisink Valley Aquatics, where she developed and trained some of the area’s top swimmers within their age groups.
As a coach, she feels the most important thing is to create an environment which engages each swimmer to reach the full extent of their potential. Individual training and technique work is crucial to the development of each swimmer. Not all swimmers are built the same and each has its own set of needs and goals. Coach Mel believes in developing and spotlighting each of the athletes' unique talents. Making sure the athletes understand daily training sets and energy systems is a big part of getting them to take ownership of their swimming careers. She wants to inspire the athletes to think for themselves and to use the knowledge I have given them to maximize their possibilities.
Coach Mel’s resume includes a Metropolitan Record Holder, several Metro Top Ten Swimmers, Zone and Sectional Qualifiers, as well as High School State Meet Qualifiers.Coach Mel was also chosen to represent the Metropolitan LSC as a Zone Coach from 2008 to 2011. In her career of almost 15 years she has had success coaching all levels of swimmers in all strokes and distances. Coach Mel is a Level 3 ASCA coach and has taken many other courses for certification including dry-land training and nutrition for swimmers. When not with the Sea Dragons, she enjoys hiking with her son Joey and working for Rosmarin’s Day Camp as the Aquatics Director.
Rockland County Senior 1 Coach
John Alaimo, a
native of Blauvelt, NY, is a 2009 graduate of Vassar College with a
B.A. in History. John was an assistant coach for the New York
Sharks from 2009-2011. In 2011, he took over as the Head Coach of
NYSA, leading the Senior 1 Group. During his time with the
Senior 1 Group, he trained 5 athletes who qualified for USA
Swimming Junior Nationals and 2 athletes who qualified for Senior
In September of
2013, John took the role of Head Age Group Coach at Phoenix Aquatic
Club. During the 2013-2014 season, he led over 20 age
groupers to Metropolitan top-10 rankings, several of which were #1
rankings. John also had multiple National Age Group top 10
ranking athletes in the United States as well as Metropolitan LSC
Records over the past several seasons.
represented the Metropolitan LSC as a Zone Coach on eight separate
occasions and he was voted Metropolitan Swimming Age
Group Coach of the Year by a panel of his peers in May 2015 and was
voted Metropolitan Swimming Must Watch Senior Coach of the year in
May 2017. He currently serves on the Metropolitan Board of
Directors at the Senior Vice Co-Chair.
Since John began
working with the Seniors at RCC in 2015, s
everal athletes havebeen selected for
Zone and National Camps:
Eastern Zone Diveristy
Eastern Zone Select
Rockland County Head Age Group Coach
Peter O’Donnell is a native of Blauvelt, NY and a graduate of SUNY Purchase. Peter coached for the New York Sharks from 2011-2013 with the Silver Group. During his time at New York Sharks, he represented the Metropolitan LSC as a Zone Coach in August of 2012 and led many age groupers to top 3 finishes at the Metro Junior Olympics. He also developed two 10 & Under athletes to qualify for and place in finals at the 2013 Eastern Zone Short Course Championships.
Pete began coaching with Phoenix Aquatic Club in September of 2013 and led the Silver Group (primarily 8, 9 and 10-year olds) throughout the year. His group’s very successful season culminated with multiple 10 and Unders qualifying for the Eastern Zone Championships in Richmond, Virginia in early August.
Peter joins the New York Sharks staff in September 2015 as the Head Age Group Coach for Rockland County and the lead coach for the Gold Group.
Rockland County Age Group Coach
Coach Lee started his competitive swimming career at the age
of 11 in Minnesota where he achieved Top Ten USA age group, as well
as, High School Swimming.
Lee's passion for swimming continued while attending the Art
Institute of Ft. Lauderdale and trained at the International
Swimming Hall of Fame.
After receiving his degree from the Art Institute Lee landed a
staff Illustrator position in New York City and later took up
Masters Swimming where he achieved Top 10 National Best Times in 6
events and to this date competes in Open Water and Masters
Coach Lee has assisted in coaching with the New York Sharks
Silver and Gold groups and has brought several 9-10 age group
swimmers to Junior Olympics Championships.
Lee resides in Rockland County with his wife Helene and 2
children, both former Division 1 athletes. Lee also helped coach
his son Alexi Corey to All American, State Champion status with
Tappan Zee and to a successful swimming career at Division 1
Binghamton University. Lee's daughter, Nicole Corey was a Division
1 Polevaulter at Cornell University.
When out of the pool Lee works as a freelance illustrator and
Rockalnd County Bronze Coach
Fran Kaufman's main focus has always been swimming education. She has a degree in Physical Education from Queens College and started teaching swimming during college, teaching and coaching at camp waterfronts and local Y's for a number of years. She has been trained to teach all age levels from infants to adults, including special needs students.
Her recent coaching experience includes 15 years with the Condors where she worked taught lessons and with the pre-team, 15 years with East Ramapo as assistant coach of the boy's High School varsity team and 4 years as Head Coach for the girl's varsity.
For the last 2 years Fran has coached Guppies, Bronze and Silver swimmers for the NY Sharks.
Fran has a unique view of the swimming / schoo / "life" balance as a mom herself, having raised three competitive swimmers.
Rockland Senior Black Assistant Coach
Ed’s 52 years of coaching experience covers the spectrum
of Club, YMCA, High School, College and recreational programs.
Beginning his career as an athlete, his first competitive
experience was on the Seton Hall Prep High School team. He
continued on to compete with and eventually captain the team at
Seton Hall University. Early on, Ed earned 4 league
championships for St. Joseph’s of Palisades High School, as
well as 2 years as #1 East Coast ranking and 7th and
4th National ranking for Fanwood Scotch Plains YMCA.
He was inducted into St. Joseph’s Hall of Fame for his
contribution to the schools athletic program. For 26 years,
Ed co-owned and was Co-Head Coach at Jersey Gators Swim Team before
(semi) retiring in 2016. An ASCA level 5 coach, his career
highlights include coaching and mentoring numerous HS champions
& record breakers; senior & junior national level swimmers;
the #2 fastest woman in NJ swimming history; and 2 US Olympians to
3 Olympics (2 swimmers in 1992; 1 in 2008 & 2012). His
passion extends to advocating for swimming safety for all, driving
him to begin a SwimAmerica swim lesson program alongside Jersey
Gators operations and eventually open Swim Fitness Center, both
offering lessons for children aged 1 to 12, adults and special
needs individuals. Ed has also held many governance
positions, including 5 years as a Representative for St.
Joseph’s HS to the HCIAA; NJ Swimming Coach Representative,
Senior Chair, Administrative Chair and General Chair; and USA
Swimming Committee Chair (2 terms), Eastern Zone Coach Director
2004-2008 and 2012-2016, and a member of the USA Swimming Board of
Directors 2004-2008 and 2012-2016. When Ed isn’t
keeping abreast of training and stroke innovations, his wife of 50
years is trying to get him to enjoy retirement.
Cornwall Silver Coach
Meghan grew up just north of Baltimore in Cockeysville,
Maryland. She started her swimming career in the Central Maryland
Swim League for the Springdale Stars. She quickly moved to year
round swimming for the North Baltimore Aquatic Club. A very
rigorous team that produced many Olympians such as Michael Phelps
and Chase Kalisz. They placed a high emphasis on stroke technique
and attending stroke clinics, led Meghan to have a desire to teach
that same strong technique to children. She began teaching lessons
in her parents' pool at age 14.
Meghan found success in swimming, especially in the butterfly
and IM events. With no high school swim team, she joined the cross
country and track teams and quickly became one of the best in the
state in the 800m through 3200m events. She parlayed her swimming
and running ability into triathlons and was picked to be part of
the National Junior Triathlon team, where she spent the summer of
1996 training at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs.
She eventually decided to concentrate on running, and received a
full scholarship to UNC Chapel Hill. After her sophomore year, she
transferred and finished her career at the University of Maryland,
where she earned her B.S. in Kinesiology.
Even though she shifted her competitive attention to running,
swimming has been the one constant throughout her life. It was her
first sport and her first job back when she taught lessons at her
parents' pool. During her summer breaks in college, she was a swim
instructor at ESF camps in Baltimore. Soon after graduating, she
married an Army officer and they moved all over the country and
world. She worked with the Swim America program in Manhattan,
Kansas. Moving to California, she concentrated on obtaining her
masters degree in Kinesiology from San Jose State. This degree
along with her strong swimming background, gave her the opportunity
to work in the Department of Physical Education (DPE) at the United
States Military Academy. As a swimming instructor in DPE, she
taught cadets stroke mechanics as well as survival swimming skills.
Next moving to Northern Virginia, her daughter began swimming in
the Northern Virginia Swim League (summer swim team) team and later
for the year round team Mason Makos. There she met one of her
swimming mentors, Beth Bedell, who ran a swim clinic that her
children attended. Subsequently she became one of the instructors
at the clinic which eventually led to a coaching position at Mason
Makos. Meghan worked with their age group program before moving to
This is her second year coaching the Silver group for the New York
Sharks Cornwall branch. Meghan believes that strong stoke mechanics
and hard work are the foundation of a successful swimming career.
She is looking forward to helping each of her swimmers reach their
own personal potential.
Meghan resides with her husband, David, a West Point professor, and
their three children in New Windsor, NY. She still enjoys competing
in running and swimming and is working on getting back into
Goshen Assistant Coach
Bio. Hi my name is Travis Decker. Very excited to be joining the
New York Sharks. I swam for 8 years in Orange County. Swimming was
a huge part of my childhood. I made some of my closet friends and
my best memories through swimming and excited to continue that
journey as a coach.
Rockland Senior Coach
Coach Jeff comes to New York Sharks from LaGuardia Aquatic Club
Twisters (LGAC) where he coached from 2007-2019. His diverse
experience helped him serve his athletes fundamental development at
the age-group level. During his time at LGAC, his contributions led
the team to multiple Junior Olympic team titles as well as many
years placing in the top three. While working with age groupers at
LGAC, athletes under Coach Jeff’s guidance achieved Top 16
USA National Age Group times, Metropolitan LSC records, National
Age Group records, as well as Sectional and Junior National
standards. Coach Jeff will primarily be working at RCC with the
Senior Group. Jeff will be instrumental in providing another
layer of coaching strength on deck as well as with our dryland
Goshen Silver Coach
Sammuel Melendez graduated from William Paterson
University with a bachelor's in Exercise Science and Athletic
Training. Sammuel also coached the 2018-2019 William Paterson
University college swim team. His mission is to improve the
performance and technique of his swimmers. Sammuel always lived by
the saying "no garbage yardage". Quality over Quantity. Sammuel was
previously a New York Shark swimmer and is excited to return the
team, this time as coach and back to what he considers his 2nd