Coaches & Directors

The WOW Coaching Staff is a seasoned, competent, professional, and supportive group who are approachable and strive to work with you and your swimmer to reach their goals.

Please feel welcome to contact your swimmer’s coach; however, do not interrupt them during a practice session, as they cannot provide attention to your question while they are conducting a practice.  Coaches can be contacted outside of practice via their e-mail addresses listed below.

Coaching Staff

David Alexander Sokolofsky

Head Coach | Lead Development 1


Coach David Sokolofsky has grown up in the Wilmington swimming community. As an age group swimmer for the Waves of Wilmington, David was a State Champion and YMCA All-American. After graduating from E.A. Laney High School, David attended UNC-Wilmington where he studied Business Administration and swam for the Seahawks. During his tenure at UNCW, David helped lead the Seahawk Men to their first ever conference championship, was co-captain of the team his senior year, and held pool, school, and conference records.

Prior to becoming Head Coach of the Waves of Wilmington in April 2012, David's coaching experience included Master Swim Instructor for the UNCW Swim School, Head Age Group Coach for the Wilmington Y Navigators, and six years as the Head Coach and Director of Competitive Swimming for the Cape Fear Aquatic Club.

David completed his graduate studies through the California University of Pennsylvania, earning a Master of Science in Exercise Science and Health Promotion. He is also certified through the National Academy of Sports Medicine as a Performance Enhancement Specialist and Corrective Exercise Specialist.

JP Merchant

Head Age Group Coach | Lead Foundations


JP grew up swimming in Southeast Michigan, where he swam for Orchard Valley Swim & Racquet Club; Birmingham-Bloomfield Atlantis; and Detroit Catholic Central.  After high school he attended John Carroll University in Cleveland, Ohio, where he studied Economics and Philosophy as well as continuing his swimming career.  While at JCU, JP was part of three Conference Championships Teams and co-captain sophomore, junior, and senior year. 

His coaching experience includes Jenrow Swim America (1995 – 1998), Head Coach for Cleveland Skating Club (1999), Assistant Swim & Dive Coach for Bethany College (2001 – 2003), Head Age Group Coach and Lead Swim Instructor for Sports Club Swimming (2003), Head Coach and Swim School Director for Sports Club Swimming (2004 – 20012), and Camp Counselor for Wolverine Swim Camp at the University of Michigan (2002 – 2012).

Rachel Elaine Williams

Lead Coach | Senior 2


Rachel grew up swimming for Swim Atlanta in Johns Creek, GA where she also previously worked as a lesson instructor for all ages and levels (2011-2015). She was an active swimmer for the Sugar Mills and Foxdale Swim Teams in Johns Creek, GA (2013).  As a member of a regional team, Johns Creek Aquatics, Rachel was a two-time state champion on the women’s’ 200 x Freestyle and 200 x Medley Relay teams, and placed 2nd and 3rd in the state in the 50 butterfly (2011-2012). A natural leader, Rachel lettered all four years, and captained the Northview High School swim team her junior and senior years. In high school she qualified for the GHSA State Swim Meet three years in a row, in multiple events. She swam for the UNCW swim team her freshman and sophomore years. Rachel is currently a Dean’s List kinesiology major at UNCW, and this past summer she was selected for and completed an internship at the prestigious Cooper Fitness Center in the Dallas, Texas area.

Rhonda Faller

Lead Coach | Age Group 3


Rhonda was an age group swimmer in Columbus, Ohio.  She joined The Greater Columbus Swim Team of Ohio in 2006 as an assistant coach and became a head level age group coach in 2007.  She has assisted in coaching nationally ranked swimmers, led start, finish and turn camps and all stroke camps for Central Ohio swimmers.  She remained with GCSTO until her move to Wilmington in March, 2016 and joined Waves of Wilmington in June.

Rhonda has two grown children, Dustin and Courtney. They both were age group swimmers for GCSTO and her son swam for The University of Cincinnati in Ohio. Dustin is in Grad school pursuing a PsyD in psychology and her daughter is in school pursuing a degree in Dentistry.

In Rhonda's spare time you will either find her at her niece or nephew's sporting events or on the BEACH.

Kyle Root

Lead Coach | Senior 1


Kyle grew up swimming in Columbus, OH, where he swam for Columbus Hilltop YMCA, Grove City HS and Buckeye Swim Club. After graduating high school, Kyle studied Advertising at Kent State University. While attending Kent, he coached for the Western Reserve Seariders and a swim club in the summer, Maplewood.  After graduating from college he moved back to Columbus and became the Head Coach for the Grove City YMCA then later coached for Greater Columbus Swim Team of Ohio.

He and his wife, Robin, moved to Wilmington a little more than a year ago and love every minute of it. Kyle is also an avid Ultimate Frisbee player.

Ben Watts

Lead Coach | Age Group 1 & Development 2


Ben grew up in Fuquay-Varina NC where he began swimming on his neighborhood team. He then proceeded to swim with Marlins of Raleigh and then Raleigh Swimming Association until he graduated highschool. He began assistant coaching on RSA his freshman year of highschool and eventually took a lead coach position. Ben began coaching with Waves of Wilmington in September of 2015 and goes to school at UNCW for Environmental Science.

Board of Directors

John Jewell

Interim President & Officials Chair


TJ Black

Vice-President & Support Coordinator


Becky Fairchild



Debbie Langtry



Elizabeth Claus

Fundraising Chair


Jennifer Hughes

Communications Liason