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Coaches

The following Coaches are part of the Pitchfork Aquatics family

 

Fernando Canales - Head Coach

Coach Canales is the Head Coach for Pitchfork Aquatics Club Team.  Fernando brings a wealth of experience from his 30+ years of coaching at the collegiate level (University of Michigan, Colgate University and UC-Santa Cruz), as well as the club team level as Head Coach with the City of Richardson and Keller Swim Team in Texas where he developed a National High School Swimmer of the Year as well as numerous High School All America’s and Texas State Champions.  Fernando served as High Performance coach with National Champion Club Wolverine in Michigan.  In addition, Fernando coached with the French National Team during the FINA World Championships in 2013 as Olympic and World Champion Yannick Agnel’s personal coach and most recently as National Team Director and Head Coach with the Turkish Swimming Federation and the 2016 Puerto Rico Olympic swim team.  He has held various administrative positions with NCAA, USA Swimming and UANA and as a FINA lecturer.  August 2017 Fernando was appointed to the FINA Coaches Commission, which serves as the liaison between FINA and the coaches and athletes of all the water disciplines focusing on a positive environment and continued development of the sports.  He is also fluent in 5 languages (Spanish, French, Italian, Portuguese, and English).  Fernando has a Bachelor of Science degree in Exercise Physiology from the University of Michigan.  He was a member of three Olympic Teams, was an NCAA All America at University of Michigan and at the top of his career he ranked among the world’s fastest sprinters.

 

Mona E. Nyheim-Canales - Head Age Group Coach

Coach Canales is the Head Age Group Coach for Pitchfork Aquatics.  Mona, a native of Bergen, Norway, has coached for 25+ years at the collegiate level (University of Houston, University of Illinois, University of North Texas, Colgate University, and University of Michigan) and head age group coaching positions with Dallas Mustangs and City of Plano Swimmers.  She was the Head Coach Denton City Aquatics in Texas as well as Head Senior Coach with the National Champion Club Wolverine in Michigan.  She was recently the Director for High Performance in Istanbul for the Turkish Swimming Federation.  Mona was awarded North Texas Age Group coach of the Year and ASCA Age Group coach of the year for Michigan.  Her significant educational background includes a Master of Science in Sport and Exercise Psychology from University of Illinois, Masters of Physical Education/Exercise Science from University of Houston, and Business Economics and Marketing Bachelor degree from University of Arizona where she was a four year letter winner.  Over the years Mona has developed and implemented various programs for student athletes as well as international clinics for coaches. She is currently serving as the Technical Advisor for Coaching in Swimming for FINA.  Mona and Fernando have two sons, Francisco  and Thor  who are both multi-sport athletes.

 

Gabriel De Sousa - Assistant Coach

Gabriel de Sousa began swimming at a young age in his native Brazil.  He went on to become a 9-time Brazilian National Champion and Team member traveling around the world representing his country in the 200 meter Breaststroke at such events as the South American Games, Worlds Championship, and World Swim Cup.  He has held multiple Brazilian and South American records. In 2012 Gabriel made the Top 15 Fina World Ranking in the 200M Breastroke. He held the South American record in 2009.  In 2013 Gabriel was invited by Coach Bob Bowman to be part of a High Performance training group at North Baltimore Aquatic Club (NBAC) where he stayed until 2015 swimming professionally with his world class teammates included Michael Phelps, Yannick Agnel, Conor Dwyer, Allison Schmitt, Lotte Friss, and Oussama Mellouli. 

 

Michael Swain - Assistant Coach

Michael is an assistant coach for Pitchfork Aquatics and is primarily responsible for coaching the Gold and Copper groups.  He began coaching in 2006 as an assistant age group coach and later became the lead strength and conditioning coach for Club Wolverine, a USA Swimming Silver Medal Club.  In 2013-14 he served as an assistant coach for the Plymouth Canton Cruisers.  Swain is a native of Ann Arbor, M.I., and graduate of Eastern Michigan University with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology.  He swam for the University of Michigan (2009-2010) and Eastern Michigan University (2010-2013) where he was a four-year letter winner, and Olympic Trials qualifier. 

 

 

Matthew Allen - Assistant Coach for Prep and White groups - more info coming soon