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Coaching Staff

Shad Wojtala

Head Coach/Senior Group Coach

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Swim Coach

Working at The Hills, Shad took over as PM Masters coach in 2001 and begin coaching the youth swim team in 2002.  The PM Masters program phased out in 2004 with the growth of the swim team from eleven in 2002 to over one hundred by 2013.  The goal oriented program received a boost in 2003 with its inclusion to the Oakland Barracuda Aquatics and its recognition in the community. In 2004 the swim team increased its daily pool usage from three to five days a week, which brought a stronger commitment for the swimmers and their families.  In 2010 The Hills dissolved from the Oakland Barracuda Organization and become a single entity, Hills Hurricane Swimming.  With the consistency of swim practices and coaching over the years, the swimmers have developed a strong love for the sport. Year round workouts have swimmers ranging from 6yo to High School Seniors. 

Shad grew up swimming on the Vacaville Swim Club and has been working at a pool since 1994.  He has been poolside almost every day since 1987. He swam competitively through high school and college both at Div I and Div II levels.  He says his highest accomplishment was a 7th place finish in the 1,650 Freestyle his freshman year at Big West Championships for New Mexico State University.  “That season was the hardest I had ever trained”.   Shad graduated from San Francisco State University with a Degree in Broadcasting and Electronic Communication and briefly worked at KTVU for a few years.

Shad taught swim lessons beginning at age 15.  Coach Shad feels that everyone is unique and swimming technique has many variables of efficiency.  “I feel that each swimmer needs to have a unique approach at efficiency in the water.  Once they have the basic technique down, making the stroke individualized for their body is going to make them a more efficient swimmer.  There is no ‘perfect’ stroke”.

Aquatics Director

Shad has been the Aquatics Director at The Hills for as long as the position has been in place beginning in 2006.  Shad began employment at The Hills in 2001 as a lifeguard and quickly stepped into the role as PM Masters coach and within one year the youth swim coach. In 2004, Shad took a full time position at The Hills and spent the next three years learning the clubs operations.  The Aquatics Director position has strengthened the level of safety at the club, both in all around employment safety with the consistency of CPR training but also the safety of summertime swimmers under the direction of an on-site Lifeguard Safety program specific to our site.  Shad is also an American Red Cross Lifeguard Instructor.

Under direction of a strong leader, the swim lessons program has doubled in size with consistency of instructors and availability.  The swim lesson program is the backbone to the strength of the swim team.

Mat Lacounte

Junior Coach

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Raised in Orinda, Mat began his swimming career at age 8 and quickly developed into a fierce competitor. Setting records in all his age groups, Mat left a mark on OMPA and US Swimming. He still holds a 13-14 50 Free record, almost 30 years later. In High school Mat won multiple NCS events and placed top 10 at Junior Nationals. Through all this competition, Mat has worked with numerous Olympians on stroke technique and racing psychology. His passion for swimming and educating youth has led him to The Hills Hurricanes.

Eden Golshani

Swim Coach

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Growing up in Maryland, Eden spent his summers practically living at his local pool. He joined the summer swim team at 6 and earned his "youngest swimmer" trophy through hard work, dedication, and a pair of Winnie the Pooh swim trunks. At 13 he started working at the pool front desk and worked his way up to lifeguard and eventually pool manager. Throughout, he also gave swim lessons from pre-k to adults and especially enjoyed teaching adults who never learned to swim or were afraid of the water. Eden also swam on a USS team and his high school team, where he was four-year varsity and team captain his senior year, and excelled at breaststroke and IM. Once in college, Eden couldn't stay away from the pool and worked as a pool operator at the University of Maryland. After moving with his wife and two daughters to Oakland in 2014 for work in the tech industry, Eden has taken advantage of year-round outdoor swimming and is looking to share his passion for swimming with others.