SMAC Adds New Pools and Coaches
March 26, 2018
Hello SMAC Families,
Today, Coach Ken and I are excited to announce a significant expansion to our club. SMAC has acquired pool space and will be opening SMAC programs at the following pools: Evergreen Pool, Kent-Meridian Pool, Woodridge Swim Club, Newport Hills Swim Club, and expanding our hours at Seattle University and Mercerwood Shore Club. As part of this expansion we are bringing on a number of proven coaches who will nurture these programs and swimmers. Below are the coaches we have already hired. We expect to hire additional coaches at our new sites to ensure that the programs are appropriately staffed.
Our new coaches are:
Thomas "Tommy" Cunningham
Tommy Cunningham has been involved in Pacific Northwest Swimming since he was 10 years old. As an athlete he was a National Championship qualifier that went on to swim for the University of Washington.
In 2010, he began coaching for King Aquatic Club as an assistant coach. Since then he’s been able to coach every group on the club leading him to being the National/Senior coach at the North site. The athletes have quickly excelled under his tutelage as evidenced by his swimmers having broken more than 100 team records, over 70 PNS records, and have set 10 National Age Group records. His athletes have set over 80 national top-ten rankings and have posted more than 50 national all-time top 100 times. In the 2017-2018 short course season all 50 of the athletes in his group qualified for either Senior Sectionals or Age Group Regionals.
Tommy’s coaching style puts a large emphasis on teaching elite technique in addition to providing every athlete with the opportunity to be great.
• 2017 American Swim Coaches Association National Age Group Coach of the Year Finalist
• 2017 Pacific Northwest Swimming Age Group Coach of the Year
• 2014, 2016 Head Coach, PNS Zones Team
• 2016 Head Coach, PNS All Star Team
Keith Ure has over 30 years of coaching experience beginning in 1987 with the Kent Area Dolphins. Keith was heavily involved with the formation of King Aquatic Club, bringing Kent area Dolphins and Highline Swim Club together in 1996. In addition to over 30 years of Club Coaching experience, Keith also has 6 years Head Coach/Assistant Coach experience with Summer League Clubs (KSTC/Arbor Heights), and 9 Years as a Head High School Coach (Evergreen/Hazen).
Keith has been involved at the Pacific Northwest Swimming level serving as Head Coach of All-Star Teams and Assistant Coach of All-Star Teams on a number of occasions. Keith has also served on a number of Zone Team staffs as well.
Keith has been recognized with a number of honors including:
• American Swimming Coaches Association Coach of the Year (PNS) – 1998, 2002, 2003, 2007, 2012, 2015
• American Swimming Coaches Association National Age Group Coach of the Year Top Ten Finalist – 2015
Keith has a track record of producing results with athletes credited for:
• 14 National Age Group Records
• Multiple Swimmers on the USA Swimming All-Time Top 100 List
• Over 200 National Top 16/National Top 10 Rankings
Keith currently works at Boeing as an Engineering Manager on a Defense Program.
Tomas Mendez joins SMAC after spending a season as an assistant coach with Seattle University. During his time there he was lead coach for the sprint group, helping swimmers to multiple school records and program top 10 times. Prior to his experience at Seattle U, Tomas had spent 3 seasons with Pacific Lutheran University as an assistant coach. During his 3 years, he helped the women’s program win 2 conference championships, as well as multiple individual champions on both men’s and women’s sides.
As Tomas gained experience at the collegiate level, he was able to balance coaching at the club level with KING Aquatic Club. He spent 4 years with KING, first starting with Coach Tommy at the North site then moving to be lead coach for Age Group and Regional groups in the South. During his 3 years at coaching at KCAC, Tomas helped lead swimmers to team and PNS records, even coaching members of National Age Group Record setting relays. Swimmers in his Regional group were able to reach Top 10 in USA Swimming, as well as set numerous PNS Top 16 All Time times and multiple USA Swimming All Time Top 100 times.
As a swimmer, Tomas swam for Hillsboro HEAT Swim Team in Oregon for 10 years. He then moved on to swim at Seattle University for 4 years, setting school records in the 200 fly and 800 freestyle relay. Tomas graduated in 2014 with a Bachelors in Sport and Exercise Science.
Away from the pool, Tomas likes to stay healthy by eating well and staying fit. He also likes to spend time with girlfriend, Marley.
Coach Billy has a wealth of experience in the sport of swimming. Before moving to Washington, he spent fifteen years coaching on the Big Island of Hawaii where he has a great reputation in the swimming community. He has a proven track record of success working with a wide range of ages and ability levels, as both a club and high school coach. Since becoming a part of Pacific Northwest Swimming he has had multiple swimmers selected to both the PNS All-Star and Zones teams. He was also a part of the coaching staff for Age Group Zones in 2016 & 2017 as well as the PNS All-Stars in 2016 & 2018.
Billy spent ten years swimming competitively in Southern California before shoulder injuries ended his career prematurely. Despite that experience, he never lost his love for the sport nor his appreciation for all the lessons that swimming taught him. That experience had a profound impact on developing his passion for coaching as well as helping to shape his coaching philosophy.(
(Billy and his wife, Alyse, have three children. He is a fitness enthusiast who’s favorite hobbies include surfing, paddle boarding and CrossFit.