September 7, 2016
The Lightning is very excited to announce that Mike Merrell has joined us as our new LVST Head Coach. Mike brings to us a history of international championship swimming, real-world experience, and a terrific coaching attitude.
Mike originally hails from Charlotte, NC. He was a 7-time All-American at the University of Southern California, where he holds top ten times in both the 100 and 200 Fly. In fact, his USC record in the 200 Fly stood for 20 years, falling only this past year. Mike competed twice in the Olympic Trials, in 1992 and 1996. He placed 3rd in 1992, missing an Olympic berth by just 0.02 seconds! Mike also competed--and medaled--at the Pan Am Games, the Pan Pacific Games, and the Summer Universiade Games. You can read more about Mike’s stellar swimming history at his Wikipedia page: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mike_Merrell
After a successful tenure in commercial real estate, Mike left the corporate world to follow his passion for swimming. He was most recently the Assistant Coach with the Sleepy Hollow Sea Lions.
Mike sums up his approach this way: "I believe that having fun and keeping a good mindset will help kids swim fast. Starting with the youngest swimmers, I want to instill great technique and the joy of swimming so they can grow to be confident and strong swimmers. I believe that the team is a big family, and will strive to instill that in every swimmer so it becomes a permanent staple for the community. Practices will be challenging, but will still be fun!"
Mike is married to Erika, and they have three boys--Chase (11), Cooper (8), and Brody (5). When he is not coaching, he enjoys spending time with the family and attending Warrior games.
Come by to say hello and introduce yourself (before or after practice, please) and help Mike get to know you and your swimmers. Most importantly, please extend some Lucas Valley hospitality and welcome Coach Mike Merrell to the Lightning family.