ATAC is proud to have some of the finest swim coaches around. Our coaches are highly qualified and have years of experience, not only in coaching but competing in the sport. Our ATAC coaches share their experiences, knowledge and love of the sport of swimming with the athletes. Their wide range of experiences and knowledge as well as their dedication to the sport of swimming has helped create one of the best teams in the Dallas area.
Chris MacCurdy, Head Coach
Chris MacCurdy has 42 years of coaching experience including summer league, age group, senior, and collegiate levels. Chris is a Level 5 USA Coach, the highest level possible, as certified by the American Swimming Coaches Association. A member of the City of Plano Swimmers (COPS) staff from 1978 to 1997, MacCurdy served as Head Age Group Coach for 1 ½ years and as Head Coach for the remaining 18 years. Prior to coaching at COPS, MacCurdy founded, along with his brother-in-law, Jerry Heidenreich, a very successful USA team and swim school in the Garland area, then rejoined Heidenreich in the fall of 1997 to form the Academy of Texas Aquatic champions.
Under MacCurdy’s guidance, COPS developed into one of the most successful USS teams in the country. Achievements included five Texas Age Group Swimming (TAGS) championships in 1982, 1989, 1990, and 1991. COPS is the only northern Texas team to win a TAGS championship in the 20th century. COPS was a consistent competitor on the national level as well including six Junior National team championships and a Top Ten finish in the USS Senior National Championships. Chris has developed twelve high school age swimmers who have qualified for the U.S. Olympic Trials in 1988, 1992, 1996, 2000, and 2004, several National Age Group record holders, numerous National Age Group champions . His swimmers have been Junior National record holders, Junior National champions, Senior National finalists and a USA Swimming National Champion. They have also been United States Olympic Sports Festival medalists, high school and collegiate All-Americans, Academic All-Americans, and USS National Team members for international and national competitions including placing a swimmer on the 1998 US Goodwill Games team brining home a gold medal.
Chris has also been voted North Texas Swimming Senior Coach of the Year three times in 1991, 1992, and 1996.Chris has played major roles in United States Swimming on both the local and national level. He has served North Texas Swimming as Age Group Vice-Chairman, Senior Vice-Chairman, Technical Committee Vice-Chairman, and Coaches Representative and has served United States Swimming as delegate to the USAS convention, as a member of coaching staffs for regional and national select USS Camps, as a member of the USS National Camp Time Standards Committee and USS National Championship Site Selection Committee. Chris has been an instructor for the United States Swimming Coaches’ College at the Olympic Training Center. He has served the Texas Swimming Association (TSA) as a member and chairman of the TAGS Committee and the TSA All-Star Dual Meet Committee and is currently a member of the TSA Board of Directors and is the Treasurer of the Texas Senior Circuit Committee.
“Swimming F-A-S-T is FUN!” according to Chris, “Swimming smart, swimming with heart, and swimming to gain as much knowledge about oneself while pursuing personal and team goals allow each individual to experience life long benefits. Swimming is a four stroke sport. Everyone should emphasize all four strokes throughout their career for total body strength and for the variety and versatility one has for training and competition.”
As an age group swimmer for the City of Midland Swim Team, he won Texas State and International Swimming titles. A graduate of Texas Tech University, Chris holds a Bachelor of Business Administration degree.While at Tech, he was a four year letterman, four year Southwest Conference Championship finalist, school record holder, and team co-captain. He also served as an assistant swim coach for the Red Raiders. Today, Chris is still an active athlete in the sport of triathlon. In 2003, he was 3rd at the USA Triathlon National Championships in the 50-54 age group and in 2004 he was ninth in the World Triathlon Championships in that age group. He and his wife, Krissy, have been married 43 years and have two daughters, Jamie (35) and Ashley (32) and two granddaughters.
Sherry Gentry, Head Age Group Coach
As Head Age Group Coach, I have been coaching with ATAC for over 14 years.
I learned to swim at age 3, started competitive swimming at age 9. I swam 8 years with Panther Boys Club in Fort Worth and with Arlington Swim Team ( changed to Burford Swim Team after we got a team sponsor) under the legendary coach Don Easterling. I am a former teammate of the late Jerry Heidenreich, co founder of ATAC. I have been teaching swimming for nearly 40 years. I started my coaching career in 1994 coaching for STAR (Swim Team Arlington). I took a 2 year break from coaching to travel around the USA, Canada and Mexico with my son Trent who was a child actor with Barney. After the 2 years we returned and I started coaching for ATAC in 1998. All three of my children are swimmers, Casey, Courtney, and Trent, and they moved from STAR to ATAC with me. Two of my children are now coaches and love teaching the sport. My husband is an official with North Texas and both of my granddaughters Kylie-Raye and Mikaela-Mae swim for ATAC, so you can call us a swimming family.
Casey Gentry. Age Group Coach
Casey has been swimming competitively since age 5 when I swam for STAR (Swim Team Arlington) which is now known as MARS (Mid Cities Arlington Swimming). At age 10, my mom became a coach for ATAC and moved my brother and sister and me to ATAC with her. I then swam for Coach Chris from age 13 until age 17. I took a little break, coached for Frisco Aquatics for a year before returning to ATAC to become a coach. I have always loved ATAC whether it was swimming or coaching. I feel I have learned from the best technical coach around, Coach Chris! I love coaching the younger swimmers and watching their progress as they grow and move up through the ATAC ranks.
I now have 2 children, Kylie and Mikaela who swim for ATAC too. They love swimming as much as I do. We are a swimming family with my mom coaching ATAC and my dad as an official for the past 18 years.
It makes me very happy to know I am teaching kids a skill that they will have the rest of their lives
Johanna Slaysman, Age Group Coach
Johanna is an Age Group Coach for Junior Champs Aqua and Junior Champs Blue. She has been coaching swimming since 2000 and joined ATAC in 2002. Johanna started swimming when she was 15 on the home school team for Grand Prairie Aquatic Club. She continued on swimming even after the home school team was dissolved. For a while, she had the distinction of being the only 15 and over swimmer on GPAC. She then swam, on scholarship, for John Brown University in Arkansas. She swam backstroke and the 100/200 freestyle. She was a 3 time All Conference Scholar Athlete. She thinks swimming in college is awesome and worth the early mornings.
Johanna Began teaching swimming and lifeguarding in 1996 at the Grand Prairie YMCA. She did this for a few summers during college. After college, she began work with Kerr McGee Swim Club (Now King Marlin Swim Club) with a variety of groups from brand new swimmers to TOP 16 swimmers. She also was involved with the coaching and formation of a home-school swimming program. She moved to Dallas in late 2001 and began with ATAC in March 2002. She has also coached various summer leagues programs at Signature Athletic Club, Brookhaven Country Club, and T Bar M Racquet Club. She also does lessons for Pre K and K with Greenhill lesson program.
Johanna is always looking for new and exciting ways to motivate and teach swimmers. She believes good technique is the key to fast swimming. Speed comes with age and muscle development, but those can only take you so far. Perfect strokes are a must, if you want to have long term success in swimming. She enjoys the ATAC motto "The road less traveled" in terms of teaching. Sometimes it takes a radical new approach to get certain ideas across. What works with high school swimmers does not work with 10 year olds that are new to the sport. She enjoys laying the ground work that other coaches will build upon. She will present an idea in many forms as different words resonate differently which each swimmer. She expects her swimmers to work hard and to listen.
Johanna is married to Michael and lives in Far North Dallas. She enjoys fantasy football, gaming, writing, and reading.