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Coaches & Directors

The MOR coaching staff has more than 120 years of combined coaching experience and is top-notch in enthusiasm.  Additionally, all MOR practice sites have multiple coaches who team-up to work with atheletes and to ensure the athletes' needs are being met.  At MOR, the staff assistants have all been successful in swimming and/or coaching at one level or another.  Several coaches are active in the various summer league programs and are highly sought for their swimming knowledge and teaching skills.

Coaching Staff

Paul Silver

Head Coach

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Coach Silver formed the Marlins of Raleigh in the summer of 2001. He has been coaching swimming since 1979 and has 35 years of national level coaching experience including 2 years as an assistant with the Bolles School Sharks and 17 years as head coach of the Raleigh Swimming Association. The 5 years spent coaching age group swimmers before becoming a head coach gives him a unique understanding of what it takes to help young swimmers get from novice to national level swimming. Voted NC Swimming Coach of the Year 5 times, Coach Silver is certified at the highest level (Level 5) by the ASCA. He lead MOR to be  NC’s only Gold Medal Club in 2017 and served on the staff for Team USA at the 2017 FINA World Jr. Championships. Coach Silver is married to Caroline, a Cary Optometrist, and has 3 boys, Tyler, Christopher and Ryan.

Jonathan Watson

AG3 & Seniors Head Coach (Raleigh)

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Cara Cameron

Head Site Coach (North Raleigh)

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Coach Cara Cameron is the Head Site Coach for the North Raleigh Site.  Cara has been coaching USA Swimming since 1997. Cara served on two zone teams, and has coached all level of swimmers from novice to age group and sectional swimmers to an Olympic Trial qualifier.  Coach Cara is a Level 4 ASCA Swim Coach and grew up swimming in Raleigh on TAR.  Cara is married to Andrew and has a son, Ben.  

John Fischetti

Head Coach (Riverwood)

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Coach John Fischetti is the Head site Coach for MOR at the Riverwood site in Clayton. He joined the MOR staff in October, 2005. John grew up swimming in Raleigh and was the ACC champion and record holder in the 200yd Breaststroke during his collegiate days at UNC-Chapel Hill. After graduating with a BA in History, Coach Fischetti spent 15 years in the business world while keeping his hand in swimming as a masters competitor.  Coach Fischetti produced Clayton's first ever collegiate scholarship swimmer in 2007 and six more since.  

William Thorne

AG3 Coach (North Raleigh)

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Coach Billy Thorne comes to MOR after being the Age Group coach and Head Coach for local teams TAR, RACR, and RSA North. Billy has been a coach in Raleigh for the past 30 years and is a recipient of the NC Swimming Coach of the Year Award. He worked as the Aquatics Director for Ravenscroft School for over 20 years. Billy leads the AG 2 and 3 groups at the North Raleigh site. He has developed swimmers of all ages and abilities including state, sectional, and nationally ranked swimmers.

Brett Buzek

Raleigh Coach

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Coach Brett Buzek started swimming at the age of 5 for his summer league swim team, The Southall Sea Horses”.  The following summer he signed up to swim year round with “New Wave” under Coach Jonathan Watson where he spent the next 18 years of his swimming career.  During that time, Brett achieved 2 independent North Carolina Swimming State Championship titles back to back for the 200 Breast stroke. From 1999-2003 he swam and lettered all four years at W.G. Enloe High School where he and his team mates had 4 consecutive years of undefeated seasons followed by All Region, All Conference, All State Championship titles.

2003-2007 Brett attended UNCW on a swimming scholarship where he studied Communications and Computer Science. He and his teammates again had 4 consecutive undefeated seasons accompanied by Conference Championship titles.  In early 2007 Brett suffered a carrier ending injury to his shoulder while training for Olympic Trials. Brett started coaching part time with MOR in September 2014 in his off time and has become a valued member of the MOR staff. Brett believes in teaching kids the fundamentals of swimming while nurturing a love for the sport, respect, personal growth, and a healthy development of competition.

Coach Brett and his wife, Blair were gifted with their first baby at 12:01AM Christmas morning 2015, her name is Blakely.

Lizzy Ring

Raleigh Coach

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Coach Lizzy is a native of Cary, NC. She swam competitively on both RSA and MOR under Coach Silver’s leadership for 8 years.  She graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 2007 with a Bachelor of Science degree.  While at USNA, she was a member of the varsity swim team and crew team.

Coach Lizzy has been coaching swimming in the Raleigh/Cary area since 2007.  She worked at Triangle Swim School for 5 years, giving her a strong foundation for teaching the fundamentals of swimming and correct stroke technique to young children.  She was an assistant age group coach at RSA for 3 years and a lead age group coach at WAVE for 2 years.  She also coached the Lochmere Monsters (a local TSA team) for 4 summers, working primarily with the 6&Under and 7/8 age groups.

Coach Lizzy joined the MOR staff in August 2016 and coaches the AG1 and AG2 groups at St. Mary’s.

Michael Laubacher

Senior Elite Coach (N. Raleigh)

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Coach Mike is in his 2nd year at MOR coming to us from Arizona where he was the head coach of Rio Salado Swim Team from 2009-2015. As the head coach of Rio the team grew from 65 swimmers to 175 swimmers and oversaw numerous club and high school state champions, 11 NCSA Qualifiers, 2 Winter Junior and 1 Senior National qualifier. Under his guidance Rio re-established it’s presence on the senior level in the LSC with multiple top 4 finishes.

Mike coached at Irish Aquatics from 2005-2009 as the Head Coach of the satellite location. During his tenure, Irish Aquatics swimming achieved multiple Age Group state champions, Junior National qualifiers, two US Open, and one Senior National qualifier. He was also the volunteer assistant for the Notre Dame Women's Swim Team from 2006-2008 where the Irish won two Big East Championships and qualified 11 athletes for the 2008 Olympic Trials. He completed his Master’s Degree in Communication from The Ohio State University in September of 2005 and is a 2003 graduate of Ohio University where he competed on the Men’s team.

Mike was also active in the University of Texas and University of Notre Dame swimming programs, working the program's summer camps in 2004-2005, and 2006-2008, respectively. 

Kevin Donnelly

AG3 Black- Raleigh

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Coach Kevin grew up in Raleigh and swam for the Marlins of Raleigh for eight years.  Through MOR, he has been able to not only enjoy the competition side of the sport, but also the coaching side.  He started coaching his summer league team, the Coachman's Trail Sharks, in 2011 at age 14, and has continued to coach for them every summer, including as head coach in 2016 and 2017.  While in high school, Kevin also coached for MOR as an AG1 assistant.  Kevin competed for the Marlins through his senior year as a member of the Senior Elite group.  After graduating from high school in 2015, Kevin began attending NC State, where he continued coaching for MOR as an AG3 Black assistant.  He has worked as an assistant for AG1, AG3 Black, Senior, and Senior Elite in his time as a MOR coach, across both the Raleigh and North Raleigh sites.

Thomas John Gerek

AG3 Black/ Pre Senior (North Raleigh)

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Coach Thomas grew up in Onaga, Kansas and started swimming at the age of 8 for the Topeka Swim Association. After 10 years of fun filled practice with TSA, he went on to Henderson State University and competed as a scholarship swimmer in the 100 and 200 free and back events. After several years away from the sport, Coach Thomas took on the challenge of coaching with the Spring Swim Team out of Houston, Tx as well as helping coach the Windrose summer league team. Two years later  Thomas moved on to Conway, Arkansas and started coaching for the Aquakids. After a brief stay and many heartfelt goodbyes, Thomas moved on to Raleigh, North Carolina where he will tackle the exciting challenge of coaching with the Marlins! Coaching swimmers of all ages and different levels has helped Coach Thomas gain the experience needed and has created an excitement and a passion for developing swimmers to achieve their goals and beyond.

Lindsay Takkunen

Silverton Coach

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Coach Lindsay is originally from South Jersey but relocated to Raleigh, NC in August 2017 after spending 14 years overseas. Most recently, she has worked as the Swimming Manager/Head Coach for 9 schools in Nairobi, Kenya. Her time spent internationally provided her the experience to work and travel with several National swim teams including Zambia, Kenya, and Uganda.  Lindsay enjoyed a successful four year D1 swimming experience at ECU before hanging up her cap and goggles and putting on her full time coaching cap.  She is excited to be joining the MOR Silverton team. 

Austin Robert Goldstein

Silverton Head Site Coach

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Coach Austin is a Florida native, born and raised in Naples. He first got his start coaching in his hometown with T2 aquatics and worked closely with Paul Yetter (2008 Olimpic Coach). During his first year of coaching he had the oportinity to assist paul with coaching the Senior Group, and Senior Preformance Group. Then in the summer of 2016 he left T2 aquatics to go work underneath Robert Pinter at Gator Swim Club (2016 and 2017 Gold Medal Club). There Austin spent the next year and a half coaching every level of age group swimming the club had to offer eventualy becoming one of the Sectional/National level assistant coaches and the Gold group coach (Exclusive to Florida Age Group Champions).  During the time he spent in Gainesville he also had the oportunity to be one of Floridas 2016 Southern Zones Championship coaches.  He also had the experience of being hired on to be the head coach of PK Younge High School; where he led the team to not only the First Place D istrict Title but also the schools first ever Second  Place  Regional C hampionship on the Womans s ide After his time with Gator Swim Club he was humbled to accept the position as the Head Silverton Site Coach for MOR. Austin is extremely grateul for the oportunity to work under Head Coach Silver and be apart of one of the best swim clubs in the entire country. 

Hannah Close

Raleigh Coach

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Hannah Lincoln Close has been on staff with the Marlins of Raleigh serving as Raleigh Site’s AG3 Black Lead Coach since April 2017. Hannah began swimming competitively at MOR her sophomore year of high school while also competing for Leesville Road High School. While training under Coach Silver her senior year, she broke two NCHSAA records at the NC State Championships and was named MVP of the meet. The summer after her senior year, she qualified for the Olympic Trials in the 100 meter butterfly under Coach Silver. She later went on to compete for the UNC Tarheels; it was there she became a three-time All-American, ACC record breaker, two-time ACC Champion, and UNC record holder in several events. Immediately after her swimming career, Hannah began coaching in 2015. In June 2016, she married her high school sweetheart and fellow Marlin/Tarheel, Will Close. In September 2017, they welcomed their newest swimmer, Avery Close, into their family. 
 
Hannah’s attitude toward coaching is informed by her firm belief in the ability to develop model young peoples through the pursuit of excellence in the sport of swimming.