Coaching Staff

Head Coach Mike Merrell

Mike Merrell joined the Lightning in 2016.  Mike's history as an international championship swimmer, combined with his real-world experience and terrific coaching attitude, make him a vital part of the Lightning family.

Mike originally hails from Charlotte, NC.  He was a 7-time All-American at the University of Southern California, where he holds top ten times in both the 100 and 200 Fly. In fact, his USC record in the 200 Fly stood for two deades, falling only in 2015.  Mike competed twice in the Olympic Trials, in 1992 and 1996.  He placed 3rd in 1992, missing an Olympic berth by just 0.02 seconds!  Mike also competed--and medaled--at the Pan Am Games, the Pan Pacific Games, and the Summer Universiade Games.  You can read more about Mike’s stellar swimming history at his Wikipedia page:

After a successful tenure in commercial real estate, Mike left the corporate world to follow his passion for swimming.  He was most recently the Assistant Coach with the Sleepy Hollow Sea Lions.

Mike sums up his approach this way:  "I believe that having fun and keeping a good mindset will help kids swim fast.  Starting with the youngest swimmers, I want to instill great technique and the joy of swimming so they can grow to be confident and strong swimmers.  I believe that the team is a big family, and will strive to instill that in every swimmer so it becomes a permanent staple for the community.  Practices will be challenging, but will still be fun!"

Mike is married to Erika, and they have three boys--Chase (14), Cooper (11), and Brody (8).  When he is not coaching, he enjoys spending time with the family and attending Warrior games.