Coaches & Directors

Head coaches in the Bluegrass Mountain Conference

Conference Coaches

Jeff Dugdale

Queens Head Coach


USA National Team Coach / Four-Time NCAA Coach of the Year /Six-Time Bluegrass Mountain Conference Coach of the Year
Jeff Dugdale begins his eighth year in charge of the Queens University of Charlotte men's and women's swimming programs in 2017-18.

For the fourth consecutive season, the Queens University of Charlotte men's and women's swimming teams were crown NCAA Division II Champions. 

After the conclusion of the NCAA Championships, Dugdale was honored with his fourth Coach of the Year award as the NCAA selected him as the recipient of the Women's Swimming Coach of the Year. The award is the fourth national coaching award for Dugdale who was named both the men's and women's coach of the year in 2014-15 and the men's coach of the year following the 2016-17 season.
Junior Marius Kusch also earned national accolades as he was selected as the NCAA Male Swimmer of the Year for the second straight season. The Kassel, Germany native won a total of seven event championships, including four individual events and three relay races. Kusch was also a part of two NCAA record swims, setting the mark in the 200-Yard I.M. (1:41.61) and swimming the third leg of the 200-Yard Medley Relay (1:24.83)
In total, the Royals collected 17 event crowns and set seven NCAA Division II records during the four-day meet. The women's team now holds a total of 10 NCAA Division II records, while the men hold 13 of the 19 NCAA Division II top marks.
Of the 10 total records for the women, three marks were reached during the NCAAs and a total of four top times were set during the 2017-18 season as senior McKenzie Stevens set a record with her swim in the 200-Yard Butterfly at the Bluegrass Mountain Conference Championships, only to break her own record in the NCAA Championships. For the men, Queens registered four NCAA record swims during the meet.
Queens also tallied 73 All-American swims, including 51 All-Americans and 22 Honorable Mention All-Americans to set a new program benchmark.

The Royals were also crowned Bluegrass Mountain Conference Champions for the fourth year in a row, where Dugdale was named as both the men's and women's BMC Coach of the Year after the meet, his third such award from the conference.

Kirk Sanocki

Wingate Head Coach


Wingate University head men’s and women’s swimming coach Kirk Sanocki has coached the Bulldog women’s team for 17 seasons and the men’s team for 13 seasons. Last season, the Wingate women finished third at the 2017 NCAA national meet. The 2017 meet marked the third consecutive year the Bulldogs have brought home team hardware (WU was third in 2015 and second in 2016). On the men’s side, the Bulldogs jumped 10 places on the team leader board from their 2016 appearance, scoring 198 points to finish sixth at NCAAs.
Wingate won the national championship in the women’s 800 Freestyle Relay at the 2017 NCAA meet. The quartet returns intact for the 2017-18 season with graduate student Alex Divelbiss, senior Maria Madsen, junior Hanna Van Horen and sophomore Abby Kosic hoping to have a chance to defend their crown. Divelbiss was the Bluegrass Mountain Conference Swimmer of the Year and Swimmer of the Meet as the Bulldogs took second place in the league meet. The Wingate men were also second in the 2017 BMC event.
In June, Wingate was the only NCAA Division II school with three swimming student-athletes on the 2017 Academic All-America® at-large teams (as selected by CoSIDA): Vika Arkhipova, Lucas Cuadros and Leif-Henning Kluver. With these selections, Wingate Swimming has 25 student-athletes who have earned Academic All-America® at-large team distinctions from CoSIDA.
On the College Swimming Coaches Association of America (CSCAA) team charts, the Wingate women posted a 3.49 GPA. The Bulldog men had a 3.36 GPA. Both WU swimming teams were recognized as Scholar All-America teams by the CSCAA in 2017.
The Wingate women’s swimming team finished a school-record second in the 2016 NCAA Division II national championship meet. Sanocki was named the NCAA Division II women’s swimming Coach of the Year by his peers. The Bulldog men finished 16th at the season-concluding meet, only 4.5 points behind number 15 Indianapolis.
The Bulldog women won six 2016 national titles (three relays, three individuals). Armony Dumur (’16) led the way with four gold medals (one individual, three relay). Senior Vika Arkhipova won a relay gold medal (400 Medley Relay) and an individual gold medal (200 Backstroke).
Senior Jessika Weiss won two relay gold medals, joining Arkhipova on the 400 Medley Relay and starting Wingate’s championship haul by swimming a leg on the 200 Medley Relay. Senior Caitlin Coughlin earned a national title by playing a role on Wingate’s 200 Freestyle Relay quartet. The Wingate University swimming program has 40 national championships entering the 2017-18 season.
Wingate set NCAA Division II records on the way to victories in the 200 Medley Relay (1:39.90), the 400 Medley Relay (3:40.28) and the 200 Butterfly (52.52). Prior to the 2016 NCAA meet, both Wingate squads finished second at the 18th annual Bluegrass Mountain Conference championship meet.
Sanocki’s teams receive significant academic awards every year, both from the College Swimming Coaches Association of America (CSCAA) and the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA). Eighteen members of the WU swimming program were 2016 Scholar All-Americans, as named by the CSCAA. Both WU squads were named 2016 Scholar All-America teams by the CSCAA. The Wingate men qualified with a 3.45 cumulative team GPA, while the Bulldog women made the list with a 3.37 cumulative team GPA.
The Bulldog women’s swimming team finished third at the 2015 NCAA Division II swimming and diving championships. The Bulldog men finished 12th, one point behind 11th-place Delta State (Miss.). Wingate’s men finished 12th (or better) at the NCAA meet for 10 consecutive years. Both Bulldog teams finished second at the 17th annual Bluegrass Mountain Conference championship meet.
Armony Dumur helped the Bulldogs claim two national titles at the 2015 NCAA Division II swimming and diving championships. Individually, Dumur won the women’s 100 Butterfly with a new national record time of 52.42. Dumur and three teammates touched first in the women’s 400 Medley Relay with a new school record time of 3:40.28. Dumur set her third 100 Fly national record of the day with her relay time of 51.99.
In the 2015 NCAA 400 Medley Relay, Dumur’s teammates were Rita Koryukova, Olga Kosheleva and Sofia Petrenko. In addition to Dumur’s new 100 Butterfly national and school record (in the relay), both Kosheleva and Petrenko set new school records in the 100 Breaststroke (1:02.12) and 100 Freestyle (50.19), respectively. 

Dumur became the third WU female to win an individual national title in 2015, joining diver Lindsey Taylor (2012) and swimmer Maria Vlashchenko (2008). The Bulldog 400 Medley Relay quartet was the first WU women’s relay team to earn a national crown. The Wingate men’s swimming program has 14 national championship swims, including three by 2012 Olympian Marko Blazevski.
Three Bulldogs received 2015 Academic All-America® at-large honors from CoSIDA: senior Issam Zeraidi was a men’s at-large first team selection, while teammate Lucas Cuadros was a second team choice. On the women’s side, Jasmine Arzadon was a women’s at-large third team pick.
In 2014, the Bulldog teams swept the Bluegrass Mountain Conference (BMC) titles for the second year in a row. The 2014 crown gave the Wingate men seven consecutive BMC titles, while the Bulldog women earned four BMC trophies (2011-14). Sanocki has received the Bob Busby Award for BMC Coach of the Year 10 times (six men, four women).
In the 2014 NCAA Division II swimming and diving championships, the Wingate women finished sixth with 230.5 points. Drury (Mo.) won for the fifth time in six years, compiling 486 points. The Bulldog men claimed eighth place with 221 points. Drury won for the 10th consecutive season, posting 569.5 points. Wingate senior Marko Blazevski won his third NCAA Division II national title in the 400 Individual Medley at the 2014 NCAA event. In 2014, seniors Blazevski, Reed Miller and Valerie Dembny were named to the Academic All-America® at-large teams for swimming. 

Wingate sent a school-record 22 student-athletes to the 2013 NCAA national championship meet. The Bulldog women established a school record with 242.5 points at the 2013 NCAA meet. The Wingate men missed a third straight fifth-place finish by three points, as Wingate recorded 262 points. From 2009-13, only two teams finished in the NCAA men’s swimming top six each year…Wingate and perennial national champion Drury.
Sanocki was the 2012 NCAA Division II men’s swimming Coach of the Year, as selected by his peers in the College Swimming Coaches Association of America (CSCAA). Sanocki helped the WU men tie for fifth place in the NCAA Division II national championship meet. Wingate had five national champions at the 2012 national championships.
On the national scene, Sanocki served the second year of his two-year term as president of the College Swimming Coaches Association of America (CSCAA) in 2014. In 2010, the CSCAA elected Sanocki to this role. He has served the organization in three two-year segments. The first two-year term was president-elect, while the final two years (2014-15, 2015-16) were past president.
Outside the pool, Sanocki and his teams host a national-recognized Special Olympics swimming venue every April. The Bulldogs received the NCAA Division II Community Engagement Award of Excellence in 2011, recognizing the long-running volunteer service project.
Sanocki has guided the Wingate University Bulldogs to 11 Bluegrass Mountain Conference championship titles (seven men’s titles, four women’s championships). He has earned the Bob Busby Award for BMC Coach of the Year 10 times (six men, four women). Sanocki resides in Charlotte with his wife Suzie and their four children: Carson, Cole, Kendall and Lilly.

Wingate University's Kirk Sanocki by the numbers:
-Sanocki has coached Wingate student-athletes to 339 All-American swims
-Wingate has 40 national championship swims during his tenure (26 women, 14 men)
-At NCAAs, the Wingate women have earned second place once (2016) and third twice
-At NCAAs, the Bulldog men have earned fifth place once and sixth place five times
-Sanocki has guided Wingate to 11 Bluegrass Mountain Conference titles
-Sanocki has earned the Busby Award BMC Coach of the Year 10 times
-Sanocki was named NCAA Division II national Coach of the Year twice (women 2016, men 2012)
-Twenty-five (25) WUSWIM student-athletes have earned Academic All-America® at-large team honors from CoSIDA

Michael Server

Catawba Head Coach


 Michael Sever has been named the men’s and women’s swim coach.  Sever comes to Catawba from the University of Maine, where he has served as an assistant coach since 2012.

“I am pleased to bring someone with Michael’s experience to Catawba College,” stated Catawba AD Larry Leckonby.  “He has experience at the top NCAA level and has also built outstanding USA Swimming youth programs and Masters programs.”

While at Maine, Sever was involved with all aspects of the NCAA I program.  During his three seasons, the Black Bears set 36 new team records and had one NCAA B qualifier.  The swim team produced 33 Maine Honor Scholar-Athletes in 2015. 

"I would like to express my gratitude to President Brien Lewis, Athletic Director Larry Leckonby, and Associate Athletic Director Craig Turnbull for this opportunity,” said Sever.  “My swimming career began in North Carolina and I am thrilled to be back with my family.  There's an undeniable sense of community at Catawba and a very talented team of student-athletes.  I am eager to bring new vision and leadership to the swimming program and excited about the opportunities ahead."

Sever was the Head Men’s Swimming and Diving Coach at Rhode Island for one year before taking his post at Maine.  During that year, he led the team to a fourth place finish at the ECC National Championships out of 51 teams.

A graduate of East Carolina, Sever earned a Bachelor’s of Fine Arts in communications from the ECU School of Design.  He did post-graduate work in graphic design at the American College of London in England.

Sever was a freestyle sprinter at East Carolina for three years.  Now an avid open water marathon swimmer, he is currently training for a 40-mile marathon swim.  Sever is an active member and competitor of U.S. Masters Swimming.

“Michael is an outstanding coach who has the knowledge and work ethic to take Catawba to the next level (nationally),” said East Carolina Coach Rick Kobe.  “I anticipate seeing great results immediately.”

He began coaching as a student assistant with the Pirates in 1992-93 then stepped away from coaching as he founded a communications design and marketing company.  He returned to coaching in 2009 when he founded Triton Swimming in East Providence, Rhode Island.

Triton is a premier New England US Masters Swimming (USMS) team affiliated with SwimRI. Sever built the team and SwimRI finished third place at the 2012 SCY Championships.  He started another Masters team, Black Bear Aquatics in 2013 and expanded with USA Swimming in 2014.

Both Sever and his wife, Victoria, have roots in North Carolina.  He is from Shelby, while Victoria is from Jamestown.  They have two children, Taylor and Cooper.

Paul Schiffel

Lenoir Rhyne Head Coach


Hired on April 1, 2007, Paul Schiffel became Lenoir-Rhyne's first-ever Women's Swimming Coach and took over the men's program when it came on board three years ago.

Schiffel has coached four All-Bluegrass Mountain Conference honorees over the past two years and the program's first-ever NCAA Division II All-American in Chelsea Kyle in 2012 (women's 200-yard butterfly).

After nine seasons, the Bears have showed marked improvement and should be a contender for the Bluegrass Mountain Conference Championship in the near future.

Schiffel currently serves as the Owner and Coach of the Catawba Valley Aquatics Club and had been the Head Coach of the Men’s and Women’s Swimming Teams at St. Stephens High School from its inception in 1992 and lasting 15 years.

Schiffel also served as the Head Coach of the Hickory Seahorse Swim Team (1978-84 and 1986-89) and coached a swimmer who later became a two-time NCAA Division II All-American (2000 and 2002).

In the 1980s, Schiffel coached several swimmers who qualified for the Olympic Trials and United States Senior Nationals.

Several team accomplishments for Schiffel were the 1985 NCS Short Course Age Group Championship and St. Stephens’ second-place finish in the NCHSAA Championship in 2006.

Schiffel graduated from East Carolina University in 1975 with a bachelor’s degree in health and physical education and earned his master’s degree in education from ECU in 1981 as well.

Schiffel, a member of the East Carolina Men’s Swimming Team, earned Team MVP honors as a junior and served as an assistant coach for the Pirates from 1975 to 1978.

Schiffel recently retired as a Physical Education Teacher at St. Stephens Elementary School in Hickory, N.C.

Bill Pilczuk

SCAD Head Coach


Bill Pilczuk is entering his fourth year as the head coach for the men's and women's swimming after being hired in August 2015. In his first year at the helm Pilczuk led the women's swim team to its third NAIA National Championship in program history while finishing as runner up with the men's program.  In 2017, both the men and women finished the season as runner's up.  In 2018, the women again, regained their national title, while the men finished as runner up. 

Prior to being named head coach, Pilczuk served as an assisant coach at SCAD for two season. Pilczuk has helped lead both the men's and women's team to top five finishes at the NAIA National Championships in 2014 and 2015. The men's team finished third in both seasons, while the women's team earned back-to-back NAIA National Runner-Up Awards.

Pilczuk graduated magna cum laude from Auburn University in 1994 and received a master’s degree in Exercise Physiology in 1998. He was the 1998 World Champion in the 50m freestyle, and gold medalist in the Pan Pacific Games. Pilczuk held the American Record in the 50m freestyle in 1999, as well as a member of the 4x50m medley relay world record team in 1996.  He was a 5-time USA National Champion in the 50m free, and as an undergrad, Pilczuk was a 3-time NCAA division 1 All-American, under coach David Marsh.

Pilczuk is originally from Cape May, NJ, and attended Lower Cape May Regional High School, swimming for the Wildwood Crest Dolphins swim team under coach Dave Hart.

Jordan Taylor

Carson Newman Head Coach


Coach Jordan Taylor helped the Carson-Newman Men’s & Women’s Swimming earn an invitation to the NCAA Swimming and Diving Championships in Indianapolis for the first time in 2014-2015; where five of the nine swimmers left the Championships with All-American honors and all nine were named Honorable Mention All-Americans. The Eagles finished the dual meets undefeated with a record of 5-0. Through the duration of the season, school records in 33 events were set at least once. The women’s team finished 15th in the nation, while the men finished the year in 18th according to the CSCAA pool. In total, the Eagles accumulated 33 All-Conference titles by 11 athletes, five All-Americans and four Honorable Mention All-Americans.

Taylor specializes in the middle distance and stroke specific athletes for Carson-Newman Swimming, training various groups of athletes 10 times per week in the of areas of aerobic/anaerobic capacity and power. 

Taylor comes to Carson-Newman from Edinburgh, Scotland where he was the lead coach of the Warrender Baths Club, Scotland's most successful and largest swimming club. He coached a squad consisting of 19 domestic and international swimmers.

Competitively, Taylor garnered multiple Great Britain national titles in multiple events. He also swam for the Great Britain national team during his career. He was ranked the third-best swimmer in his age group. During his time at University of Edinburgh, the school's swimming program won the national title in 2010. 

He earned his college degree at the University of Edinburgh, graduating with honors and with a Bachelor's of Science degree in Applied Sports Science. 

Rick Johnson

Salem University Head Coach


The Salem University Department of Athletics announced Monday several changes within the aquatics department. Rick Johnson joins the Tigers' staff as the new men's and women's swimming coach and assistant aquatics director.

Johnson takes over both swim teams as they head into their second-year of competition. He will be assisted on the men's side by Aquatics Director and Head Men's Water Polo Coach Robert Bullion, who guided the SIU swimming programs last season. Kassab, who is in his second-year with the Tigers, will assist with the women's swimming program in conjunction with his head coaching responsibilities.


Teddy Guyer

Mars Hill


Teddy Guyer has been the coach of the Mars Hill Lions swim program since its inception in 2005. Guyer brings over 30 years of experience in coaching and aquatics to the Lions. As a college coach, Guyer has compiled a record of 315 wins to only 71 losses in dual meets and as the Coach of Mars Hill University his record is 169 wins to only 35 losses. He has also been named Coach of the Year seven times, five of them coming as coach of the Lions (06-07, 08-09, 12-13, 15-16, 16-17). Guyer received the Certificate of Coaching Excellence by the American Swimming Coaches Association (ASCA) in 2013.

Last year's Lions swim team had a great year and saw 10 school records broken and 10 swimmers earn All-Conference recognition. During his twelve years at Mars Hill, Guyer has coached 73 All Conference Swimmers, has had 16 swimmers make NCAA National Cuts, and has coached a swimmer to All-American status in 2013 and All-American honorable mention status in 2011 and 2012. The Mars Hill men’s team finished the 2011-12 and 2012-13 seasons ranked in the top 25 in the Final National standings.

Guyer and his wife Haven have been married for 27 years and have four sons: TC age 25, Colby age 22, Trace age 15 and Lance age 12. The family resides in Bethel, N.C.

Alex de la Pena

Pfeiffer University


Alex de la Pena enters his first season at Pfeiffer.

Most recently, de la Pena was the Assistant Director, Swimming and Strength and Conditioning Coach at Cleveland Sports Institute and has held Division I coaching positions at North Carolina at Wilmington, Brown University and Monmouth University.

“I am looking forward to the opportunity of coaching the swim team at Pfeiffer,” commented de la Pena. “It is an honor and privilege to coach and work with student-athletes at the collegiate level. The University itself has a lot of positive momentum and I am glad swimming will be a part of that. I would like to thank Coach Reasso and the administration for selecting me for this position.”

As an Assistant Coach at UNC Wilmington, de la Pena coached several record holders and top-eight performers. In addition to his duties in coaching, de la Pena assisted with recruiting, workout plans, organizing team travel, planning summer camps and clinics as well as teaching in the exercise science program.

After a two year hiatus, the swimming program was reinstated in January and will renew competition this fall.