Coach Chad joined Splash Club in 2014 and under his leadership has brought renewed vision and revitalization to Splash Club. Prior to joining Splash Club he was the head coach of a nationally-ranked club and perennial state and national high school powerhouse for 20 years. Throughout his career, he has coached numerous state champions and nationally-ranked swimmers and has led his swimmers to the national championships, US Olympic Trials in 2000, 2004, 2008, 2012 and 2016, and World Championship Trials.
In 2015 & 2016 Coach Chad led the Bartlesville High School girls and boys swim teams to consecutive state championship and runner-up team titles, respectively. He was also honored as girls swim coach of the year for 2015 by the Tulsa World and the NFHS honored him as the 2016 Girls Swim Coach of the Year for the southern region. He currently serves as the Senior Chair of Oklahoma Swimming.
Head Age Group Coach
Coach Ben has been coaching for over 2 decades and has been with Splash Club since 2001. He is a 5-time Oklahoma Age Group Coach of the Year, along with various other awards, and has coached swimmers up to the Junior National Championships. He also coaches the Bartlesville High School swim teams since 2001 where he has earned numerous All-state coaching honors. He has been on the Oklahoma Board since 2004 and currently serves as the General Chair of Oklahoma Swimming.
Splash Club alum Kara (Plunk) Howze enjoys using her swimming knowledge and love of teaching to help young kids develop their swimming skills. As a swimmer she represented Splash Club at the junior national championships. She was a longtime Bartlesville High School record-holder where she led the Lady Bruins to 2 state championship team titles. Coach Kara graduated from Oklahoma State University with a bachelor’s degree in Individual, Family and Community Services and a master’s in Child Development.
Gary L Downey
Coach Gary grew up in Grinnell Iowa where he swam for the local age-group swim team and in high school. His coaching stint began as an age-group summer swim coach for the Grinnell Tiger Sharks and continued in college as an assistant coach for the Iowa State University Women’s Swim Team. Gary has experience coaching at the Big 8 Championships (yes, he’s that old) and the NCAA Championships and is ASCA Level 2 certified. He served as an assistant coach with COOL swim team in Olathe, KS, a suburb of Kansas City and most recently served as the lead assistant coach for the Bartlesville Bruins as they dominated the Oklahoma 6A State Championships.
Gary is currently a Senior Ergonomist with The Ergonomics Center of North Carolina at NC State University. He has a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from Iowa State University, a Master’s degree in Biomedical Engineering from The University of Tennessee with emphasis in biomechanics and ergonomics, and is one of three Board Certified Professional Ergonomists in Oklahoma.
Gary and his wife, Jenny—a former Splash Club swimmer, have three children, Thomas, Haley, and Erin. Haley and Thomas are both Collegiate Swimmers, while Erin is a standout member of Splash Club and Bartlesville high school.