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Coaches

 

Ken DeMont, Head Coach

Ken DeMont began swimming at the age of 5 and was lucky enough to have Olympic Gold Medalist and Sullivan award winner Ann Curtis as his first coach. Ann stressed the importance of good technique that is still the basis of Ken's philosophy today. In high school, Ken was a High School All American while swimming at Marin Aquatic Club, a national power in the early to mid 1970's. The team was coached by Don Swartz, an innovator in training principles. Don is currently Ken's partner at North Bay Aquatics. After high school, Ken attended the University of Arizona, where he was a 4-year All American swimming under the tutelage of Bob Davis and then Dick Jochums. Both coaches had trained Olympic medalists and many of their philosophies are still part of Ken's training methods.

After retiring from swimming, Ken jumped into coaching at the rec league level, where he coached the Tiburon Peninsula Club in Northern California. In the 14 years of leading that team, the TPC was league champions every season. Ken also ran a very successful lesson program, teaching young kids the principles of stroke technique he learned from Ann Curtis. Since then Ken has taken on swimming at the US Swimming level, first forming an age group team and more recently venturing into senior swimming. His team, North Bay Aquatics has recently had its first qualifiers at the national level with the promise of more to come. Ken has also run a successful Masters program for over 20 years, working with Tri-athletes and open water swimmers as well as pool swimmers. Ken is a father of two very successful swimmers in their own right.

 

 

Don Swartz, Senior Group & Masters Coach

Don Swartz began his club coaching career in 1967 as an age group coach with George French at Ladera Oaks Aquatic Club in Northern California. After a stop in Davis, CA he moved to Marin County to become Head Coach of the Marin Aquatic Club. From 1970 to 1976 he coached several swimmers to Olympic, World Championship and Pan-American teams including several world record times. One of his swimmers, Rick DeMont, became, in 1973, the first person to break the 4 minute barrier in the 400 meter free while winning the World Championships in Belgrade, Yugoslavia.

The Marin Aquatic Club had numerous high school All-Americans and regularly placed in the top 10 at the AAU National Championships. Don was a Board member of the American Swim Coaches Association and a featured speaker at several World Clinics for ASCA. He was a coach on the 1975 World Championship staff and on the 1977 National team staff for the dual meets in East Germany and Russia.

In 1977, Don founded the Creative Performance Institute and for eight years specialized in teaching the mental side of the game to coaches and athletes. His workshops covered topics including: goal setting, risk taking, anxiety management and visualization. His clients included many high school, club and collegiate teams. He also worked internationally in Canada, Mexico, Venezuela, Sweden and Ireland.

In May of 2005, Don re-entered the active coaching world as a member of the highly regarded North Bay Aquatics program under the direction of Ken DeMont. North Bay Aquatics is a rapidly developing program with senior swimmers at the Sectional and National level. His commitment is best stated as: "My goal is to provide the best coaching possible by continuing to expand my potential. I am still growing as a coach. Since I no longer coach in a vacuum my capabilities grow each week."

Don was inducted into the American Swimming Coaches Hall of Fame in 2013 for 20 years of ground breaking coaching. "Swimming World" Magazine captures Don's story well in this article and you can watch his inspiring acceptance speech here.

 

 

Jeff Kamler, Pre-Senior Coach

Jeff has been a Marin County swimmer for more than five decades. He has competed on the national platform on every level: as an age group swimmer at the San Rafael Swim Club and the Marin Aquatic Club (both under Coach Don Swartz), at San Rafael High School, and as a USA Masters swimmer. Collegiately, Jeff swam for Stanford University.  Along with NBA coach Ken Demont, Jeff holds a high school medley relay record from 1975 that still stands today!

Jeff’s coaching experience includes 3 years with University High School in San Francisco, one year with the San Francisco City Swim Club, 8 seasons developing aquatic programs for the Marin JCC, and 7 seasons with the Pacific Coast Marlins. He has also spent over 30 years as an independent teacher, trainer and coach.

Jeff holds a B.A. degree in Human Biology from Stanford and an M.A. in Bio-Behavioral Health Psychology from UCSF. Jeff’s educational expertise includes rehabilitation fitness, biomechanics, and maximizing human potential. 

Jeff’s coaching philosophy is built upon the concept that details matter. Focused awareness and mindful swimming are essential for raising swimming performance to the standard of excellence that is the NBA program. Understanding water force and movement, and how to control your body when swimming are the fundamental principles that Jeff coaches daily. Train consistently, build each day, and learn or achieve something new every time you enter the waterthat’s what it is all about!

 

 

Devon DeMont, Tuna for Life and Pre-Senior Coach

Devon grew up in Marin and began swimming with North Bay Aquatics at the age of five. She competed through high school and was coached by Ken (her dad), Don and both Mikes.

Devon went on to swim at UC Davis while studying art. She suffered a back injury her junior and senior seasons, but instead of giving up she chose to help coach the team. This is where Devon first discovered her passion for coaching.

After graduation, Devon spent a year in Spain (where she also taught swimming) and then moved back to Marin to join North Bay once again—this time as a pre-senior coach. 

Devon provides a unique perspective and truly relates to our kids, having been in their position not too long ago; and she’s excited to be back with her former coaches. Our team is thrilled that Devon is once again an “Angry Tuna”!

 

"Mean" Mike McDonald, Head Age Group and Masters Coach

"Mean" Coach Mike began competitively swimming at age nine for the Reno Aquatic Club, a USS club renowned for its distance and IM training. Through high school, Mike was able to successfully balance swimming and water polo while maintaining high academics. He was team captain and four-year letterman in water polo, Nevada State Champion in backstroke and a National Merit scholar.

He moved to California to attend Cal, where he swam for one year under Nort Thornton alongside Olympic swimmers. While Mike attended Cal he was introduced to Ken DeMont’s swim lesson program. He also began coaching as an assistant coach for the Tidalwaves in the Marin Swim League. After a brief stint with Ken for one summer, Mike got his first head coaching opportunity with Sleepy Hollow and led them to two undefeated seasons and two MSL championship titles.

Mike eventually found a home with Ken at the Tiburon Peninsula Club where the legitimacy of US swimming, the opportunity to coach dedicated athletes year round, and Ken’s coaching style result in a rewarding combination for North Bay Aquatics.

Mike believes the first priority to be a successful swimmer is proper technique development. “Fury without form is energy wasted.” After technical proficiency is achieved, it is time for some serious training. Mike draws from his days in Reno to come up with “diabolical” sets. But technique and training are not enough. You must be willing to risk failure and preserve even if you do fail. Risk taking is difficult, but perseverance is even more so. What makes it possible is having a strong support system (parents, coaches, and especially teammates) and a love of the sport.

 

"Nice" Mike Magruder, Age Group and Jr. Swim Team Coach

Mike Magruder brings more than five years teaching and coaching experience to the NBA and Tiburon Peninsula Club’s swim program and the Angry Tuna. Mike began swimming competitively at the age of 7 for the Strawberry Seals, setting many team and pool records as an 8&under and 9-10 swimmer, especially in the backstroke with the Seals.

After his parents moved to Novato, Mike had to reluctantly follow, but he soon found a new home at the Rolling Hills Stingrays, setting more team and pool records. After a short, inexplicable hiatus from swimming, Mike found a new home at TPC swimming for Coach Ken DeMont. The team was then the TPC Sharks.

Coach Ken’s coaching style and enthusiasm inspired Mike to try his hand at teaching swim lessons. He soon became known as the most enthusiastic teacher in the pool. Mike’s goal as a teacher is to instill that same enthusiasm for swimming into every swimmer he encounters. To that end, Mike created, with the help and guidance of Coach Ken DeMont and Coach Mike McDonald, the Junior Tuna Swim program. Junior Tuna is a program specifically geared towards teaching younger kids, who are not quite ready to join the older groups, stroke technique, racing strategy, and hopefully, a love of the sport.

 

Greg Myers, Masters Coach

Swimming has always been a part of Greg Myers’ life. He started swimming as a kid at the Southern Marin Recreation Center (TPC) and swam locally through the first two years of college.  His first coaching experience was at TPC and he went on to coach summer league for 12 years, both in Lucas Valley and Scott Valley. Over the years he coached with Don at the Marin Aquatic Club and high school swimming for both Terra Linda and Redwood High.

It was his love of kids and swimming that got him involved in coaching and teaching.  He taught and headed up the middle school in Ross for many years. After retiring as an educator, Ken and Don lured him back onto the pool deck. He is thrilled to be back and engaged with kids in such a positive and healthy environment.

Greg got himself back into the water about 15 years ago after not being able to run the trails on the Mountain due to his knees. He has been doing open water swims since, with the most notable to date being an English channel crossing on July 3, 2011, with 4 of his buddies from the Olympic club. His favorite open water swim is the Maui channel relay. Greg thinks it’s fantastic to be coached by Don and Ken at the 5:45AM practice.

 

Simon Dominquez, Masters Coach

Simon began swimming lessons before he could walk (like most Aussies) and was swimming laps by age 5. During his schooling, his love of the water led him to become a keen surfer and sailor and, as a member of several surf lifesaving clubs in Australia, he became heavily involved in ocean swimming. Simon has traveled extensively, swimming all over the world. He has competed in the Maui Channel crossing, the Denerau to Beachcomber Island swim in Fiji, the Bondi to Watson Bay swim in Australia and has done a number of Alcatraz swims in my his home town of Marin County. In 2013, Simon swam the length of Lake Tahoe (22 miles) and followed up the next year with the English Channel.

Simon first coached under ex-Australian Swim Team coach Forbes Carlile, coaching kids and adults, beginners and triathletes, to not only learn to swim but also to improve their stroke.

Simon is very excited to have the opportunity to work under both Ken and Don and looks forward to adding his touch of open water madness to Masters training sessions with North Bay Aquatics.

 

"Texas" Mike Sugure, Masters Coach

Mike grew up in Michigan, and then swam at the University of Texas. His event was the 100 fly. Coach tried to make him a 200 flier but it never took. Mike has been swimming with NBA since 2005. Outside of coaching 8 and 9 year olds one summer 15 years ago, this is his first go-round with coaching. He likes it because he gets to share his passion for swimming with like-minded people, engaging their minds and improving themselves.

When Mike is not swimming or coaching, he is a commercial director and photographer, with a studio in Sausalito. He likes long walks on the beach, red wine, butterflies and hanging out with his wife Emily.