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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 aquatic directors.

Coaching Staff

Aljahai John Henley

Head Coach

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This is Coach John's 4th season with the Piranhas and first year as head coach. Prior to joining the YMCA, he coached several summers with the DC Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR). A swimmer his whole life, John swam unattached for 10 years while living in Miami, Florida, 4 years with the DC Wave Team under DPR and 2 years in the Prince-Mont Summer League with Takoma Park DC.   In addition to his coaching experience, John has been a certified Water Safety Instructor for the past decade, teaching all levels of stroke development. Outside of coaching, John loves to travel and is an accomplished scuba diver with dives logged in Florida, Hawaii, and several parts of the Caribbean.

Sami Holtz

Assistant Coach

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Coach Sami coaches the Red and Bronze Squads

Sami grew up in the Rockville/Bethesda area and swam competitively for the Tilden Woods and Walter Johnson High School teams. She has been coaching swimming for the past 10 years and teaching swimming for over 15 years. She started coaching US Swimming in New England and has coached in MCSL since 2007; is currently the head coach for the Forest Knolls Seahawks. Sami graduated from Johnson and Wales University with a BS in Sports/Entertainment/Event Management and Springfield College with a Masters in Education. She is currently a Physical Education teacher at Thomas S. Stone Elementary in PG county. She is very excited to be back with the Piranhas this season!

Susannah Ripley

Assistant Coach

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Zeke Gonzales

Assistant Coach

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Coach Zeke works with the Mini and MW White Squads

Zeke Gonzalez grew up in Silver Spring and has swum competitively for more than fifteen years. As a child, he swam with the Piranhas at the YMCA in the winter & the Northwest Branch Dolphins during the summer. In middle school and high school he swam for RMSC at the MLK Pool and for Albert Einstein High School in Montgomery County, and began coaching at Northwest Branch. In college, he was a member, coach, and officer for the UMD Club Swim team, and all told has been coaching, giving swim lessons, and teaching children of all ages how to swim for seven years! He recently graduated from the University of Maryland with a dual degree in Biology and Psychology, and works at the Jug Bay Wetlands Sanctuary. He is really excited to coach at the YMCA this year! Go Piranhas!