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Meet the Coaches

Meet the Coaches

HTAC is fortunate to have one of the largest, most highly experienced and educated coaching staffs in Canada! Our coaches have a strong history in competitive swimming and hold a multitude of coaching certifications.

The entire HTAC coaching staff aspires to be professional, and provided a positive learning and training environment. Our coaches supply a structured and progressive training system that is appropriate for the athlete’s age and ability level, and adheres to the Canadian Sport for Life Long- Term Athlete Development Model.

Important skills such as working as a team, positive mental skills and visualization, as well as goal setting and striving for improved performance are emphasized in order to achieve common goals.

Mark McGrann

Head Coach, Halifax Trojan Aquatic Club -

Coach Mark takes the position of Head Coach as HTAC moves into its 51st season.

Born and raised in Ireland Coach Mark was Assistant Head Coach with Lisburn City Swim Club before moving to Chena Swim Club in North Vancouver as Senior and Assistant Head Coach. 

Mark’s belief is that competitive swimming provides a unique outlet for young, ambitious, energetic athletes to learn life lessons about health, hard work, body awareness, dedication, personal growth and above all, how to deal honourably with both success and failure. Each day he enlivens athletes to support each other and participate fully in creating a positive team environment. Mark encourages swimmers to relish the opportunities that competitive swimming affords and to develop the resilience that will enhance both their swimming careers and their wider aspirations.

Coach Mark’s message to the athletes is, "Be the best you can be". He proclaims that winning involves more than the achievement of first place but rather the fulfillment of an enduring personal objective. Mark strives to create a positive, enthusiastic environment that attracts dynamic coaches, committed swimmers and engaged, proud parents. 

Riccardo Masiero

Assistant Head Coach -

Originally from Italy, this is Coach Riccardo’s third season with HTAC. A former swimmer himself, Riccardo discovered a passion for coaching in 1998 and since then he has been dedicated to the sport of swimming. He has coached swimmers to both the junior and senior Italian Swimming championships and the World Masters championships. Before coming to Halifax, he lived in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania where he worked as assistant coach with the Lionville Community YMCA swim team. Coach Riccardo helped lead them to their first State Championship and helped qualify the largest number of athletes in the team's history to the USA YMCA National Championships.

Bill Durrant

Atlantic White Coach -

Coach Bill has many years of coaching experience in Ontario and his Swimmers have a rich tradition of excellence at all levels of competition. Bill is a native of Toronto and a NCCP Level III coach.

Since relocating to Nova Scotia, Coach Bill has continued his successful Coaching with the Halifax Trojans where his Swimmers have set Nova Scotia provincial records, been selected to the 2017 Canada Games and qualified for Eastern Canadian and Junior Canadian championships.  

Coach Bill is beginning his third year with the Trojans and is the Coach of the Atlantic White group.

Brian Beckwith, RMT

HTAC Grassroots Coordinator -

A native to the Maritimes, Coach Brian earned his Diploma in Massage Therapy from ICT Northumberland College in Halifax in 2001 and works as a massage therapist for LifeMark Physiotherapy.

Apart from his work with massage therapy, Brian was the Head Coach of the Shearwater Bluefins Swim Club for seven years and was the President of the Nova Scotia Swim Coaches Association and a member of the Long Term Athlete Development Committee for 2005 through 2017.  He has also volunteered much of his time for the Canada Games Swim Team in 2005 and 2009, as well as being the head coach of the 2013 team. Since 2010, Brian has been part of the Swim Canada support staff at major international competitions including Jr Pan Pacs, Fina World SC Champs and the World University Games.

Constantly looking to excel both as a massage therapist and Coach, Brian has taken many courses that have taken him to a new level of understanding of the human body. With courses in myofascial release, postural correction and neuropsychology/neurophysiology, Brian uses a full body approach incorporating his biomechanical background and postural analysis to help determine the source of the patients’ problems and swimmers technical needs. This approach was an important part of the Trojan David Sharpe’s 2012 Olympic birth.

“The best part about my duelling professional interests is that they compliment each other so well.   As I expand my knowledge in one area, I become better at the other.”

Coach Brian’s plans for the future are to continue his massage and coaching education through part time studies of Osteopathy.  His goals are to help the Trojans reach the highest level of performance by creating detailed skill mastery based system for the Trojan’s Grassroots program and ultimately represent Canada at the Olympic games.

Philip Evans

Grassroots Coach -

Phillip is the most recognizable and longest standing coach with HTAC mentoring our NovaTech Grassroots Coaches. Quick witted and constantly on the lookout for new technological gadgets, Phillip is always trying something new to help communicate race strategies, stroke development, and the fundamentals of swim training to all Trojan swimmers. With over 30 years experience coaching in Nova Scotia, British Columbia, and England, Phil has inspired, and shared his love of swimming with hundreds of athletes, young and old.

Mikayla Tyrell

Provincial Coach -

Mikayla is in her 5th year with the club, progressing as a coach from our youngest level to assisting with our Provincial groups. Mikayla has finished her Kinesiology degree at Dalhousie and is now working towards an Physiotherapy masters degree. Mikayla always has a smile and is interested in all the swimmers in her charge.

Alexandra Vragovic

Provincial Group Assistant Coach -

I’m Alex and I am currently in my third year in the kinesiology program at Dalhousie. With 11 years of competitive swimming experience, both at the club and varsity level, and having worked with Swim Ontario the past few summers, I am looking forward to approaching the sport from a coaching role. I look forward to positively influencing my swimmers, the same way my coaches did for me.

Lauren Williams

Alpha & Grassroots Coach -

Hi Trojans! My name is Coach Lauren and I am one of the grassroots coaches this year. I swam with HTAC for 5 years (having graduated out of the program this June) and I have been volunteering with the grassroots program for 4 years. I am in my first year of engineering at Dal. I am super excited to be an official coach this year and I look forward to seeing everyone on deck!

Natalie Williams

Gamma & Beta Program Lead Coach - or

This is Natalie’s 4th year coaching the Trojans. She has coached the majority of our grassroots swimmers. She is also head coach of a summer swim team: The Waeg Waves. Natalie is going into her 4th (final!) year of Nursing at Dalhousie, where she hopes to eventually work at the IWK Emergency Department.

Eben Tebay

HTAC Grassroots Coach -

Coach Eben swam competitively for 11 years. Starting on a summer swim team Eben grew passion for competitive swimming. Influenced by encouraging coaches he continued into an all year round competitive swimming program. Now moving on to study Kineisiology at Dalhousie, Eben aspires to bring his studies into further coaching as well as approach each athlete with the same encouraging attitude that was shown to him.