Michael Suggs, Head Coach
Coach Michael Suggs started swimming competitively at 12 years old and has swam for the Lamar County Nitro-Fist, the Lamar County Trojans, the Upson-Lee Knights, and Gordon State College.
After two years at Gordon State College, Coach Michael joined the United States Coast Guard. While serving in the Coast Guard he helped teach other Coast Guardsmen to swim properly in order to prepare for swim tests. In the Coast Guard he was an Aviation Maintenance Technician where he was a part of teams to train pilets and conduct search and rescue operations as Aircrew and a Flight Mechanic. During his time in the coast guard, he began to have a passion for teaching swimming not only as a competitive means, but also as a life skill, focusing on proper swimming technique and water safety.
Coach Michael served six years in the Coast Guard and was honorably discharged after his time was served. He then moved to Virginia. There he began to work towards his bachelor’s degree in History, which he is still working towards at Gordon State. In Virginia, he began to teach swimming at a swim school. Within a month of being at there, Coach Michael became a supervisor and coach for their swim team, eventually moving to the head coach position. In this position, he designed all the team’s workouts, set up swim meet events, and evaluated swimmers on the best events for them to swim.
Coach Michael uses a technique-based approach to coaching, which incorporates on-the-spot corrections and proper drills. This technique impedes the swimmers from forming bad habits and works on proper stroke technique. A technique-based approach incorporates building the swimmers stroke from the ground up so that every swimmer has a good swimming technique before doing longer distance swimming. By focusing more on technique than distance in practice, it helps the swimmer build better confidence in short distance before moving on to longer distance swimming. On the spot corrections means that the coaches will sometimes be getting in the water to assist the swimmer on proper form. He feels this also builds confidence in the swimmers and creates more trust and a larger bond between the coaches and swimmers.
Coach Michael is also married with a beautiful 7 year-old daughter named Maddie.
Angela Johnson, Assistant Coach
Angela Johnson is new to the Griffin Gator coaching team this year and is super excited to work with the swimmers. Her childhood summers were spent in a pool, and she swam competitively as a middle school student. Right out of high school, she became a lifeguard and has over 10 years of experience teaching swim lessons. When she's not at her part time teaching position with Griffin Spalding Schools or running her photography business, she's kept busy by three boys, ages 7, 6, and 6.
Luke Jenkins, Assistant Coach
Luke swam for Griffin Gators Swim Team from 2011 to 2017 and served as an assistant coach for Central Georgia Swim Club, Griffin Gators’ year-round swimming program, for the 2017-2018 season. Initially, he swam to alleviate his asthma condition, but quickly developed a great appreciation for this sport. He sees swimming as a chance to learn, to enhance character, and to have fun. Luke’s primary areas of focus are developing technique and good sportsmanship. He wants swimmers to enjoy being in the water, while developing valuable in-water and life skills.
Outside of swimming, he works as a produce clerk for Publix and is currently working on his bachelor’s degree in Government Studies through Liberty University Online.