Coaching Staff

Our Coaches


Head Coach/CEO - Emmanuel Lanzo

Coach Emmanuel is going into his seventh year with RAC. Our 2019-2020 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 USA National Team. He was the fastest 200fr in the country during the 2018-2019 LCM season.

On 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.

On 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. On 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 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/ Fitness Coach ~ Emily Altier

Coach Emily is entering her first season as Head Age Group/Fitness Coach and has been with RAC as an Assistant Coach since April 2019.

Coach Emily comes to RAC with 16 years of competitive swimming experience and 7 years of coaching experience. She graduated from Niagara University where she swam collegiately, competing in the distance freestyle events. Upon graduation, she moved to Indianapolis, Indiana to work for the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and was the Head Age Group Swim coach for at Flashes Aquatics. Also, while in Indiana she coached both Franklin Central High School and Middle School swim teams. Her next stop in the coaching world, led her to Boston, Massachusetts where she was the Assistant Swimming Coach/Assistant Director of Aquatics and head of recruiting for the Wellesley Blue Women’s Swimming & Diving Team. Adding to her many coaching responsibilities at the college, she also was the Head Coach for the Wellesley Masters Swimming Program. During the summer she was a volunteer coach at Harvard University and was the Assistant Director of Technique Swim Academy.


Coach Emily’s passion for this profession and the world of education led her to pursue a Masters in Higher Education, majoring in Athletics Administration from Endicott College. This past season with RAC, Coach Emily was selected as a Connecticut Age Group Zone Coach and was a Assistant Coach for all Squads. Outside of Barlow Pool, she is the Head Coach for the summer league swim team at Westmorland and is an Underwater Video Analyst for Argo Swim Company. Besides swimming, Coach Emily enjoys spending time outdoors and with family & friends!  


Head Development Coach - Thammara Clemente

Coach T will continue as the primary coach for Development and Olympic Way for her second year. 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 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.

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.  

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 at the regional championship tournament.

Assistant Coach ~ Matthew Kirkpatrick

Coach Matthew Kirkpatrick was born in Green Bay Wisconsin. Raised in Ridgefield, Connecticut.  Swimming experience includes swimming for Ridgefield Highschool, Ridgefield Aquatic Club, St. Lawrence University. His events during his swimming career were not limited to the 200 fly, 100 fly, 200IM, 400IM, 500 Free, 1000 Free, and occasionally the Mile.  He enjoyed time swimming and am looking forward to coaching the next generation of athletes.  


Educational background includes receiving a BA in History from Western Connecticut State University.  Yes, at one point thought I was going to teach History and continue to coach swimming. But life had a change of plans.  Upon finishing my degree from Western Connecticut State, I pursued a passion of mine that I had since I was a kid. I joined the military and enlisted in the United States Army.  I served in the Army for four years and six months. It was challenging and gratifying. Although my time in the military would be brief, I will always be something that will make me who I am.  With my return, I am excited to once again coach for Ridgefield Aquatic Club and get back to coaching the next generation of swimmers to reach and achieve their goals. In addition to coaching, I am currently enrolled at Sacred Heart University and am studying Social Work. 

Assistant Coach ~ Hannah Evans

Hannah is excited to start her first season with RAC! Hannah is a Connecticut swimming native and grew up training at UConn with the University Aquatic Club. This past spring, she graduated from Iona College, where she studied Psychology and minored in Religious Studies.  She is pursuing her Master's degree in Marriage and Family Therapy at Fairfield University. Before joining the RAC family, Hannah coached with the Greenwich Marlins where she worked with all age groups. Hannah focused her attention on the senior/national team and age group swimmers for the majority of her time at the Y. She also coaches at Burning Tree Country Club during the summer. 

Assistant Coach ~ Katherine Barone

Coach Katherine has served as Assistant Coach at RAC since 2014. A Ridgefield resident since 2007, she also is Head Coach of the Mimosa Missiles Swim Team every summer. She previously worked as Assistant Coach of the Staples High School Girls Swim and Dive Team in Westport for seven seasons, during which the team consistently placed in the top ten in the state, including a third-place, finish in 2017. She also made a cameo as Assistant Coach of the Weston High School Boys Swim and Dive Team during the 2017-18 season when the team won their division. Coach Katherine swam competitively for Greenwich High School and the University of Pennsylvania, as well as Greenwich YWCA Dolphins. 


During the school year, Coach Katherine works as an English teacher at Norwalk High School. She also is the school’s Yearbook Adviser. When she's not coaching or teaching, she enjoys reading, writing, and traveling.


This winter, Coach Katherine and her husband Brandon, a fellow swim coach at Weston, welcomed a baby girl, Tempest, to their family. Big sister Ainsleigh and big brother Ian are thrilled.