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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

T J Day

Head Coach / CEO / Senior 1

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Day has been coaching at all levels for over 15 years, and most recently spent 4 years as the assistant swim coach at Carmel Swim Club in Carmel, Indiana. There, he coached for the High Performance and 11-12 squad as well as the boys Senior High School Team.

Before his time in Carmel, Coach Day spent 10 years as the Head Coach of Boilermaker Aquatics in West Lafayette, Indiana. From 2003-2007, he served as a volunteer Assistant Coach at Purdue University. In 2006, Day voted by his peers the Indiana Swimming Senior Coach of the Year.

He has  also served on the staff of many Indiana Swimming camps, and been on multiple trips to the United States Olympic Training Center in Colorado. In addition, Day was on the staff of numerous Team Indiana Zone and Mid-States Quad Teams.

TJ and his wife Catie are proud parents of two children, Rory and Nora.

Mark VanRemmen

Senior 2 Coach

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Phil J Aronica

Dreaming 1 Coach / Meet Director

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Coach Phil is entering his fourth season with STAR Swimming.  He works primarily with the Senior team where he has helped produce many swimmers to national and speedo qualifying times. 

Phil had an outsanding swimming career. He was a 2012 Olympic Trial swimmer in the 100 backstroke. He was also a member of the USA team that competed in Ireland in 2010 and captured the GOLD medal in two events. He was also a Junior National finalist in the backstroke events in 2009 and 2010.

In college, Phil was a conference record holder for the University of Buffalo. He broke the 100 back Mid-American record going a 48.08 helping his team win their only conference title in history. He was also a first team ALL-MAC swimmer.

In high school, Phil was a two time NYS Champion in the 50 free and the 100 back. He broke seven school records at Orchard Park High school over his career and still holds all of them today.

Phil is also currently the Head Swim Coach for the Frontier Girls High School team and the Orchard Park Boys High School team.  He lives in Hamburg with his two dogs named Dolce and Charlie.

William Caffee

Dreaming 2 Coach

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Coach Bill has recently joined the STAR coaching staff, beginning in May of 2018. Bill will be coaching the Dreaming 2 team throughout the upcoming season(s).
 
Bill began his swimming career in West Lafayette, IN with the Boilermaker Aquatics in 2007. Once entering high school in 2008, he continued to train with his high school team and club team. Once in high school, Bill began being coached by TJ Day, who was the head coach of Boiler Aquatics at the time. Bill progressed throughout high school, eventually leading him to his senior year when he made his very first high school state cuts in the 200IM (1:55.55) and 500 Fr (4:41.44). 
 
During and after his senior year in high school, Bill was being recruited by multiple schools, including the University at Buffalo, where he began attending in the Fall of 2012. After completing his first year, he went back home to swim with Boilermaker Aquatics for the summer. During this summer he achieved his first-ever Junior National cuts; 100 Br, 200 Br, and 1500 Fr. Bill competed on the varsity team at the University at Buffalo for his undergraduate career from 2012-1016, able to be on the scoring team at the MAC championships every year. 
 
Bill attended the University at Buffalo from 2012-2016, where he earned his Bachelor's of Science in Geology. As well, Bill has just completed his Masters degree, from the University at Buffalo, in Geology (2016-2018). 
 
Bill is looking forward to being the Dreaming 2 coach, and cannot wait to see what this upcoming season holds for the team! 

Nate Steger

Learning 1 Coach ECC and Frontier

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Coach Steger is in his 8th year with STAR Swimming as a coach after having been with STAR swimming for 14 years as an athlete.  Nate was instrumental in helping this program reach great heights in the past decade.  While at STAR, Nate placed in the TOP 15 all time in many events and was a part of the USA Speedo Championship team in his last two years.  Nate was the receipient of the STAR Swimmer of the year for 2005-2006. 

Nate has been the Head Coach at Buffalo State as well as an assistant coach there for three years. 

Nate went on to attend UNC Wilmington for two years..  While at UNCW, Nate was a apart of the 2007 and 2008 Championships team.  He was also a 2 time CAA conference qualifier and placed in the top 16 in three events each year.   

While at Frontier High school, Nate won the leadership award during his sophomore year.  Nate also dominated the Section 6 scene throughout his career helping the Frontier Falcons to many great wins.  Nate also captured the team's MVP award in his Sophomore and Junior seasons.

Phil Schneider

Learning 2 Coach at ECC

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Coach Phil is in his 6th year coaching as he returns to STAR Swimming. He has a Bachelors of science in Physical Education, as well as a Masters of science in Education from SUNY Brockport.

Coach Phil started swimming at a young age, just like most swimmers. He swam under Coach Aronberg and then SUNY Brockport to finish his collegiate career. He qualified for the National Championships in 2008 in the 100 yard butterfly and placed 9th. 
While swimming at Frontier high school, Phil also swam with fellow STAR coach, Nate Steger. Together, they were part of a unique dominant force. Phil captured the MVP award his senior season. 

Coach Phil is also the Head Coach of the Erie Community College swim team. Seeing his swimmers excel in the water, from hard work and dedication is what drives him to success. Coach Phil resides in Cheektowaga, N.Y. with his fiance and with his pets Vinnie, Reggie, and Charlie.

Brittney Walters

Exploring Coach at ECC

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Coach Brittney started coaching for STAR in the spring of 2017.

She Brittney is from Goshen, Indiana where she swam with Northridge Area Swimming Association (NASA) for 11 years. With Northridge High School, she was a part of 3 high school relay records and 3 individual records in the 200 free, 200IM, and 500 free. Her senior year of high school she won the IHSAA State title in the 500 freestyle. After a successful high school career, Coach Brittney came to Buffalo to swim for the UB Bulls. With the Bulls she qualified for 7 top 8 swims at the Mid-American Conference and in 2017 was runner up in the 400 IM. She was a captain for the UB team her junior and senior seasons and was also voted Most Improved her sophomore season.

Coach Brittney graduated from UB with a Bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science, and is now pursuing her Doctor of Chiropractic degree at D’Youville College.

Brittney is so excited to be working with the Explorer groups to show them great technique skills while having fun and building relationships with their peers.

Steve Tothero

Exploring/Learning 2 Coach at Frontier

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Steve Tothero previously coached for STAR from 1997 – 2005 and worked with all groups including coaching the Junior Team (age 13 – 14) from 1999-2004.

Prior to STAR Swimming, Steve spent three summers coaching at the University of Texas Longhorn Swimming Camp under the direction of Eddie Reese and Mark Shubert who were the 1992 head Olympic Men’s and Women’s swimming coaches.  While at the University of Texas Steve also taught college-level conditioning swimming courses.

As a competitor, Steve swam for the Decatur Swim Club in Decatur IL where he qualified for Junior Nationals four times in 1987 and 1988.  Steve was a 4-year letter winner at the University of Illinois.  He also still swims with the Nickel City Splash masters team and competes in Masters meets on occasion.

Steve works with the Hamburg Red and Blue Teams and really enjoys sharing his love of swimming with our newest team members!

Ali Polhill

Coach at ECC

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Ali is in her first year of coaching at STAR where she will primarily work with the Blue team.

Ali started her swimming career at the age of 5 for the BGNW Marlins in Mt. Kisco, NY. Throughout her swimming career she progressed through the ranks eventually becoming a national team member at the age of 14. In the next couple of years she went on to qualify for Senior Nationals in the 100 fly, 200 fly and 100 backstroke as well as Junior Nationals in 8 events, swimming the 100 in all four strokes at the meet. Her best finish at Junior Nationals was in the 100-meter butterfly where she placed 5th with a time of 1:02.68.

Her senior year of high school she became a three-time NYS champion in the 100 fly, 100 back and 200-medley relay. Her 400-freestyle relay also placed second where she anchored in a 50.68, the fastest freestyle split in the NYS history at that time.

Highly recruited out of high school Ali took her talents to Clemson University in South Carolina. There she was a member of the Academic All-ACC Second Team in 2011. At conference championships her performances boosted her to 4th on the Clemson All-Time List in the 100 fly- 54.83 and 6thin the 100 back- 55.80.  Once Clemson phased out their program she was recruited to TCU in Fort Worth, TX where she competed in the Big 12 her final two years of eligibility. She was a school record holder in both the 200-medley and 400-medley relays and was member of the All-Big 12 First Team her junior and senior years.

Ali is currently perusing her doctorate in Physical Therapy at D’Youville and will bring her understanding of human anatomy and injury prevention in addition to her extensive knowledge of swimming to STAR.

Board of Directors

Jen Eisenmann

President (Sep 2014 - Aug 2020)

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Mark Reimann

Vice President (Sep 2015 - Aug 2019)

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Meghan Leighton

Secretary (Sept 2017 - Aug 2019)

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Karen Coen

Treasurer (Sep 2018 - Aug 2020)

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Bob McDonnell

At Large (Sept 2017 - Aug 2019)

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Paul Tesluk

At large (Sep 2015 - Aug 2019)

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Nicole Domster

At Large (Sep 2015 - Sep 2019)

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Kevin Blake

At Large (Sept 2018 - Aug 2020)

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Colleen Kashino

At Large (Sept 2018 - Aug 2020)

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Bryan Pirigyi

At Large (Sept 2018 - Aug 2020)

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