Coaching Staff

Our Coaches


Head Coach/CEO - Emmanuel Lanzo

Coach Emmanuel is going into his eighth year with RAC. Our 2019-2021 TEAM USA National Coach,  CT 2015,2017 and 2019 Senior Coach of the Year, is looking forward to another terrific year.

In 2019, RAC finished 3rd overall at the CT Senior Championship, 4th overall at the CT Age Group Championship. Two swimmers achieved the Olympic Trial cut under his training; James Huang (100fly, 200fly) and Connor Hunt (800fr), and two swimmers made the Winter Junior National cut; Shayne Simmons (200br) and Hannah Seward (100fly). He also volunteered for the Eastern Zone Diversity and Inclusion Camp at the University of Maryland.

Coach Emmanuel is Kieran Smith's development coach. Kieran has been named 2019-2020 part of the USA National Team. During the 2021 Olympic Trials, Kieran Smith made the Olympic Team represent the USA in the 200, 400, and 4x200 fr relay. He was the fastest 200fr in the country during the 2018-2019 LCM season, former 500fr American Record holder.

In 2018, Emmanuel and his fantastic Staff and swimmers took 2nd place at the Connecticut Senior and Age Group Championships. Coach E was also chosen to be the Head Coach of the USA Swimming Diversity Camp at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado. Also, under his coaching, two swimmers achieved the World Top 100 list, and three swimmers (Kieran Smith, AJ Bornstein, and Connor Hunt) represent the USA in three different International venues: Mare Nostrum Series in Europe, Junior Pan Pacific Championship in Fiji and Junior Open Water World Championship in Eilat, Israel winning a silver medal in the 4x1500 mixed relay. Also took two swimmers to Phillip 66 Nationals and seven swimmers to the Speedo Futures Championship, helping the boys finishing in second place. He's been named Coach of Excellence by the American Swim Coaches Association four years in a row.

In 2017, Emmanuel was part of the USA National Junior Team Staff for the FINA Junior Worlds Championship, coaching Kieran Smith to achieve a silver medal in the 200 Individual Medley. In 2016, Emmanuel took three swimmers to Olympic Trials in Omaha, and four to Summer Junior Nationals, where two of his swimmers set new CT resident records, placing them both 3rd in the US for 16-year-old boys, and another swimmer taking home two seventh-place records, placing them 11th and 12th in the US for 16-year-old girls. The American Swim Coaches Association named Coach Emmanuel a 2015 Coach of Excellence. Also, Emmanuel served as CT Swimming 2015 SCY and 2015 and 2018 LC Age Group Zone Championship Coach.

Coach Emmanuel will lead the National, Senior, and Junior Squads. 

Coach Emmanuel Lanzo has been coaching since 1997. He completed his Bachelor's Degree in Physical Education at the University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras Campus, and his Master's Degree in Physical Education with Specialization in Sport Coaching at the University of Turabo. Also, Emmanuel is an ASCA Level 4 Swimming Coach and Certified Stroke Technician, International Olympic Committee Level 2 Swimming Coach, AAALF Adapted Aquatics Instructor, ATI-CPT, TRX Certified Group Trainer, and Cross-train Group Trainer at Results Ridgefield and Ridgefield Parks and Recreation. He is the founder and CEO of the non-profit ToxiKHeaD brand, which provides personal training for elite athletes in Puerto Rico and the USA. 

As a coach, his philosophy is to be able to effectively teach, both fundamental and advanced skills, with a holistic approach, helping each swimmer to achieve their planned goals while having fun! His greatest wish is to guide, empower, and inspire every child to realize and develop their potential daily. Also, to encourage every family to achieve greatness in life and develop high values in our Community.

Head Age Group Coach/ Dev Black Squad Lead Coach~ Ronald Vaughan

Coach Ronnie is going into his second year with RAC. He will be our Head Age Group Coach for the 2021-2022 Season.

In the 2020 - 2021 season, Ronnie became the Head Coach of the Ridgefield Boys Swim & Dive Team and the assistant for the Girls Swim & Dive Team. In 2018 & 2019 he represented the Team CT All-Stars as a Coach at the Eastern Zone Age Group Championships in Richmond. Ronnie serves as the Senior Coach Rep for the Connecticut Swimming Inc Board of Directors. 

Prior to joining RAC, Ronnie got his start as a full-time swim coach in his hometown of Middletown, Ct. In  2017 he helped create the program & became an Assistant Senior Coach for Middlesex Aquatics Club, Assistant Coach for Mercy High School Swim & Dive, and the Head Coach for Xavier Swim & Dive. Later into 2018, he was promoted to the Head Senior & National Team Coach for MAC, Head Coach of Mercy Swim & Dive, and an Assistant for Wesleyan University Men's & Women's Swim & Dive Program.

Ronnie's coaching philosophy consists of teaching life lessons through the ups & downs of competitive swimming. Each day he strives to foster an environment that empowers all individuals to become the best version of themselves. Through this, swimmers become more confident, long-lasting friendships cultivate and team chemistry builds through the program. Often you will hear Ronnie teaching his swimmers about keeping their training & races in perspective and always finding the bright side of any situation. 



Olympic Way/Development Lead Coach - Thammara Clemente

Coach Thammara is going into her sixth year with RAC.Coach T will continue the 2021-2022 season as our Lead Olympic Way and Development Blue Lead Coach. She looks forward to another great year full of fun, learning experiences, and fast swimming! 


Coach T joined RAC in August 2015 as lead Strength and Conditioning Coach, Assistant Coach, and CEO Admin Assistant. During the 2016-2017 season, she served as an Associate Head Age Group Coach and helped many swimmers to qualify for CT Regional Championship and CT Age Group Championship.  Also, she is an ASCA Level 2 Coach, TRX Qualified Group Trainer, and a NASM-Certified Personal Trainer. 


Coach Thammara was born and raised in Carolina, Puerto Rico. She started swimming at age 8. Since then, she has found her passion and love for the sport. Coach Thammara attended the University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras Campus, and was a member of the swim team and captain during her senior year (2007-2011), under Coach Emmanuel’s training. She received her BA in Education, with a major in Biology. Coach T has been coaching and instructing swimming for seven years. Before joining RAC, she served as an assistant coach and help grow the program for San Juan Caribá Team in San Juan, PR (2012-2015). 


Coach Thammara believes that playing sports as a child not only builds character and confidence but also gives a sense of accomplishment. Sports prepare them for life, teaching them about working as a team,  the value of competition, overcoming a loss, dedication, and hard work.

Masters ~ Karen Roth

Karen Roth has been coaching swimming for more years than she would like to admit.  She started her coaching career in Dover, NH at the Seacoast Swimming Association under the tutelage of head coaches Mike and Amy Parratto, where future Olympian Jenny Thompson was swimming.  She also coached Jenny and the rest of the Dover High School co-ed swim team.  She feels incredibly fortunate to have had the opportunity to coach and learn from such an elite coaching staff for over six years.   

After coaching in NH, she moved to Adrian, MI, for three years.  While there, she coached with the Lenawee County YMCA, Adrian High School girls team, and was the head coach at Adrian College a small liberal arts college in the MIAA. 

Following her three years in Michigan, she returned to Connecticut and started coaching with the Wilton YMCA under head coach Tim Murphy (current head coach of Penn State’s Women’s and Men’s team).  She coached with Wilton over nineteen years and under three different head coaches.  During her tenure there, she coached with the National team as well as helped with all levels of the program, including Masters.  She was able to coach several Olympic Trial Qualifiers, Y-National winners, and several teams that were top three at Y-Nationals.  She also coached the Wilton High School Girls Swim Team, and lead them to a second-place finish at the Connecticut State Opens.  She backed away from coaching the High School team after the birth of her first daughter.  She has now been coaching with the Regional YMCA of Western Connecticut for the past four years.  While there, she has coached with the National team under Jason Paige and other groups under Gordon Brown.  She also coached the morning Masters group while there.

She graduated from the University of New Hampshire with a BA in psychology.  Following that, she received her Master’s Degree in Counseling Psychology from Antioch New England Graduate School in Keene, NH.  

Strength & Conditioning Coach ~ Gabriel Vazquez

Gabriel graduated from the Sacred Heart University, in Puerto Rico (2016). He completed a bachelor's degree in Exercise Science and Health Promotion. Coach Gabo recently completed his National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) personal trainer certification.

Coach Gabo has been a personal trainer for the past five years and worked as a strength and conditioning coach for local youth basketball players back in Puerto Rico. Through his work with the basketball players, the team accomplished second place in the regional championship tournament.


Lead Fitness Coach/ National, Senior and Junior Assistant Coach - Paul Marchese

Coach Paul continues his second season at RAC. He grew up in Monroe and attended Masuk High School (2014) where he was a three-sport athlete. He started swimming during his sophomore year of high school and continued through college. He was named captain his senior year and helped lead his team to the universities’ first two conference championship titles in program history. Before graduation, he coached the Kingfish Aquatic Club in Bristol, RI where he found his passion for coaching.


He comes from the position of Head Coach for Masuk High School Swim and Dive (2020), as well as the Freshman Baseball Head Coach at Staples High School. In his first year as Head Coach at Masuk, the boy’s swim team had its best dual meet record in program history with 4 school records broken, 8 All-SWC swimmers, and the team’s second SWC runner-up trophy in the history of the program. He is also now the Head Coach for the Ridgefield High School Girls Swim and Dive program. In his first year, the girls went undefeated and won the FCIAC Central Championship.


Paul has an athlete-centered coaching philosophy. He is committed to using sports as a vehicle to help athletes develop lifelong skills and self-awareness. He teaches swimming through visualization, competition, goal setting, and fun. 


Paul graduated from Roger Williams University (2018) and SCSU (2020) with a BA in Educational Studies and MS in Athletic Administration, respectively.

Volunteer Assistant Coach Dev/OW ~ Nicole Burke

Nicole swam for RAC predecessor RYST until the Y closed, and then for the Wilton Wahoos. With the Wahoos, she was part of the 1995, 1996, and 1997 YMCA National Championship women’s teams and set CT state and resident records in the 200 and 400 m freestyle. She was a high school All-American for RHS and a winner of the Betty Philcox award for most outstanding swimmer at the State Open meet in 1995. Nicole went on to accept a scholarship with the University of Florida. At Florida, Nicole was a nine-time All-American, was part of Florida’s 1999 Phillips 66 National Championship 800 free relay team, and was the recipient of the Skip Foster MVP award in 2000. At the 2000 US Olympic Trials, she was a semi-finalist in the 200 m freestyle. She is currently a RAC Masters National top 10 swimmer in her age group. A Ridgefield Resident since 1981, Nicole has a Masters of Teaching from Sacred Heart University and taught in both New Canaan and Ridgefield Public Schools. She and her husband Sean have two children, Abi and Tim, who both swim for RAC. Their labradoodle, Scout, does not like the water. Nicole will be assisting Coach Thammara with OW and DEV. Welcome, Nicole!

Volunteer Assistant Coach ~ Sean Burke

Sean swam for RAC predecessor RYST under Dave Reilly. 4-time high school all-American. Attended Fordham University on a full athletic scholarship. Set an Atlantic 10 Conference record along with several team records while attending Fordham. Coached at the New Fairfield Aqua Flyers along with the Larchmont Shore Club. Sean is a resident of Ridgefield with his wife Nicole and two kids, Abi and Tim. All four family members swim for RAC