LFSC COACHING STAFF
Michael Lawrence, Head Coach and Executive Director
Michael Lawrence became the 7th Head Coach of LFSC in September 2018 upon the retirement of Coach Maureen Sheehan. He is certified by the American Swimming Coaches Association as a Level V Coach (Age Group/Senior/International) and a Life Member of USA Swimming. Prior to coming to LFSC in 1985 he coached at the Oak Park YMCA (1980-1982) and B.R. Ryall YMCA (1982-1985).
Since coming to LFSC, he has coached over 200 individual Illinois State Age Group Champions, 197 Nationally Ranked Age Group Swimmers, one American Record holder and four world Ranked swimmers. He has staffed 16 USA Swimming National Training Camps, seven Illinois Swimming Camps, five Illinois Mid-States Teams, and two Illinois Zone Teams. Coach Michael has been selected American Swimming Coaches Association Illinois Age Group Coach of the Year five times.
USA Swimming National Team assignments:
- US Olympic Team -- Athens GRE, 2004
- USA vs Europe Duel In The Pool -- Glasgow SCO, 2013
- FINA World Cup -- Berlin GER/Moscow RUS, 2011
- FINA World Cup -- Stockholm SWE/Berlin GER, 2010
- USA Jr National Team -- Melbourne AUS, 2008
- FINA Youth World Championships -- Monterrey MEX, 2008
- Pan Pacific Games -- Yokohama JPN, 2002
- World University Games -- Beijing CHN, 2001
- World University Games -- Fukuoka JPN, 1995
International Sport Governance:
- FINA World Championships -- Barcelona, 2013
- FINA World Championships -- 2015
- FINA World Championships -- Windsor CAN, 2016
USA Swimming Sport Governance:
- Board of Directors -- 1999 - 2012
- Sectional Chair -- 2010 - present
- International Relations Committee -- 2004 - present (Chair, 2012 - 2018)
- Olympic International Operations Committee -- 1996 - 2014 (Chair 2004 - 2012)
- Rules and Regulations Committee
- Senior Swimming Committee
- Age Group Planning Committee
- Club Development Committee
- Camps Committee
Illinois Swimming Sport Governance
- Board of Directors -- 1986 - 2019
- Rules and Regulations Committee
- Open Water Committee
- Senior Swimming Committee
- Planning Committee
- Coaches Committee
- American Swimming Coaches Association Clinics -- 1998, 2009, 2011, 2015, 2018, 2019
- FINA Development Clinic -- Nassau BAH, 1999
- USA Swimming Clinics and Conferences
Coach Michael swam and played water polo at the University of Illinois-Chicago and Oak Park-River Forest High School. He played on the 1973 Illinois State Champion water polo team and was a First Team All-State selection.
Laurel Liberty, Sr Assistant Coach
Laurel Liberty joined LFSC in 2004 after graduating from North Central College where she was a NCAA All-America swimmer. Under Coach Laurel's guidance LFSC swimmers have enjoyed great success pursuing Junior Olympic and Regional Championship berths. Laurel currently guides all aspects of our Age Group program including evaluations, membership and development.
Coach Laurel's swimmers can point to her work with the US National Team and training history with legendary swimming coach Peter Banks (coach of Olympic Gold medalist Brooke Bennett) as key factors in their success. Under Coach Banks she learned the value of hard work and perseverance as key contributors to success.
Most recently (August 2016) Coach Laurel was Head Manger for Marathon swimming with the USA Olympic team in Rio de Janerio, Brazil. Previously she was selected as one of three US coaches to Lead the USA-Russia Bi-Lateral Presidential Exchange Team in Moscow. Prior to that assignment she was a Team Manager for Team USA at the 2011 World Championships (Shanghai, China) and the 2010 Jr. Pan Pacific Games Team (Hawaii).
Coach Laurel still churns the water daily and coaches the Libertyville Masters Swim Team. She was the Gold medalist at the Masters National Championships in the 1650 freestyle (2004), 200 freestyle (2006) and 1000 freestyle (2010, 2011, 2013). She also took 4th in the world in the 400 freestyle and 10th in the world in the 200 Butterfly at the 2014 Masters World Championships in Montreal, Canada.
Alex Casler, Assistant Coach
Coach Alex has been part of the LFSC staff since 2017, working primarily with the Yellow Squad. He is currently the Aquatics Superviser for the Hawthorne Woods Park District and coaches the HWPD summer league team.
Kate Wolf, Assistant Coach
Coach Kate began swimming at age 8 with her local club team, and joined a year-round USA swimming club by age 11. She competed for her high school swim team, setting team records in the 200 IM, 200 FR, and 400m/500 yd FR. At Beloit College, she set team records in the 200 and 400 IM.
While in college, Kate began coaching the Beloit Aquatic Team as an assistant age group coach. She then served as interim head coach for BAT for several years, before returning to her hometown in Wisconsin to coach the Portage Piranhas.
Kate started her MD/PhD education at Rosalind Franklin University in 2015, and is currently studying how the body uses but is excited to continue coaching with the Lake Forest Swim Club!
Ruby Thompson, Assistant Coach
Hi all! My name is Ruby Thompson and I am a recent graduate of Skidmore College where I majored in Sociology, double minored in English (literature focus) and French. I’m originally from Cleveland, Ohio and moved to Illinois to work for a college access program based in Lake Forest (The Schuler Scholar Program). At Skidmore, I was a four-year sprint freestyler and backstroker and taught swim lessons to children ages 4-5 with my team throughout the academic year.
Swimming is a relatively new-found passion for me-- I started swimming my junior year of high school, but quickly fell in love with the sport and challenging myself to improve in the water. Since graduating college, I swim with the Libertyville Masters Swim Team, coached by LFSC’s very own Coach Laurel, which is how I got into coaching for the Yellow Squad. To me, swimming is not only an excellent life skill, but it’s a great avenue to learn and practice patience, resilience, and having fun in the water!
Robin Bender, Mini/Mighty Ducks Supervisor and Assistant Coach
Robin is a Lake Forest Swim Club alum (LFHS, '17) having started in the Yellow Squad at age 9. She is now a nursing student at St. Louis University.
Karin Longeway, Strength and Dryland Coach
Karin is an ACSM certified personal trainer, she has a Master’s degree in Exercise Physiology, a Bachelor’s degree in Nursing, and she is a Registered Nurse with 28 years of experience working at Children’s Memorial Hospital, now Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital.
Karin was a Volleyball player at Indiana University and has been a lifelong athlete. She currently competes in Triathlons, and running events and loves to ski.
I love designing a program that challenges the swimmers to get stronger and improves balance, coordination and strength on land that will translate to what they are doing in the pool.
Karen Borgerding, Office Admin Support
Amy Finn, Office Admin Support
Maureen Sheehan, Coach Emeritus
Maureen Sheehan has served as the Head Coach/Executive Director of LFSC since 1984. Maureen first joined the LFSC staff as Head Age Group Coach in 1981. Prior to coming to Lake Forest, Coach Sheehan was an NCAA All-America swimmer at Kansas University.
Under Maureen’s direction (1981 to 1984) LFSC age group swimmers won numerous Illinois State Championships and National rankings. In 1984 Maureen became the fifth Head Coach of the Lake Forest Swim Club. In September 1988 she added the title and responsibilities of Executive Director, reflecting the growth of the business operation of the club under her direction.
Since 1985, LFSC swimmers have captured 61 Illinois Age Group, Senior Men’s, Senior Women’s, and Combined State Championship trophies. LFSC has swept the team titles at the State Senior Championships three times and is the only team to bring home a trophy each year between 1980 and 2001, when the meet served as the state’s premier Senior Swimming competition. In 1999 LFSC became the first team to sweep both Age Group and Senior Championship titles in back-to-back seasons. Maureen has coached swimmers at every performance level including 30 USA Swimming National Qualifiers, six World Ranked swimmers, and an American Record holder.
Since the USA Speedo Sectional Championship Meet was established in 2001 LFSC has continued to be a dominant team. Our swimmers have been the top Illinois team in every short and long course Sectional Meet between 2001 and 2005. The Lake Forest Swim Club won the six-state USA Sectional Meet in 2001, 2002, 2004, and 2005, captured the men’s team title in 2001 and 2002, and the Women’s team title in 2001, 2002, 2003, and 2004.
Coach Maureen is certified by the American Swimming Coaches Association at Level V. She was selected to the staff of the Three Nation Distance Training Camp (Hawaii, 1991), National Junior Team (Montreal, 1992), the National Team Training Camp (Colorado Springs, 1996) and the Short Course World Championships (Hong Kong, 1999).
In 2004 Illinois Swimming recognized Maureen’s service contributions with a USA Swimming Life Membership