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“Taking the position of Head Coach at Rolling Hills Club gives me excitement and great anticipation. With qualifications and experience from 3 countries spanning 3 decades, I understand that perseverance and humility go hand in hand with personal and team results.”  Richard Nicholls

 

 

 

Richard Nicholls, Stingrays Head Coach

Richard considers Aquatics his profession and has been involved in Aquatics and coaching swimming for over 25 years.

He is a native of Durham City, England, where he spent his youth swimming for Durham City ASC and playing club water polo. Later he moved on to distance swimming and Triathlons.

Richard started his coaching career in the early 90's for his former swim club. He moved on to the University of London where he specialized in swimming development.  Richard created a Swimming Club H20 at The Oasis Sports Center Covent Garden serving the inner city youth and communities of Camden. He also developed a Master’s program called Swim Clinic H20 which continues to be a big success today.

A major change came in 2002 when Richard was invited to live and work in Sweden. Initially, the job was as an Aquatics Director but soon after he was asked to be the Head Coach for HVSS Swim Club. He was later asked to join a larger team for NSLS Swim Club.  Richard managed to develop the two clubs, with a total of over 400 swimmers, in parallel. Both teams produced swimmers who won national and international merits but most importantly produced the spirit of teamwork and consistency.

For numerous seasons Richard was a District Coach connecting with swimmers from the whole region which helped cement together a comprehensive coaching career that took him and his swimmers to meets and camps all over Europe.

 After 11 years of coaching in very competitive and enjoyable environments, Richard met his wife Kristin (a New Yorker) on a trip to visit family in the Bay Area.  In 2012 they got married in Yosemite and Richard officially moved here in the summer of 2013. He first coached for Marin Pirates before taking on an Assistant Coaching roll with the all new USA San Domenico Swim Team led by Head Coach Gadi Shamah. Richard also coached and taught swimming as an Aquatics Specialist at Strawberry rec'district in Mill Valley. At San Domenico and Strawberry he has coached many off-season MSL and year round USA swimmers. During his time coaching in Marin, Coach Richard learned much about the swimming culture and teams in the area.

Sarah Larroque  -  Stingrays Assistant Coach

Sarah grew up on the Terra Linda Orcas Swim Team and had the best time ever. At 16 she began coaching the Junior Orcas and ever since has either been coaching or teaching swimming to all ages and abilities. Sarah has a passion for swimming that will never end. Her hope is that other children will find their love of swimming and continue with it for their lifetime. You can usually find her in a pool or on a pool deck somewhere.

 

Kathy Towey - Stingrays Assistant Coach

Kathy has been coaching the Stingray Swim Team since 2007 and has been with the USA Tritons Swim Team since 2011. She is a USA Swimming certified coach and has over 25 years of swim instruction experience. Her aquatics career began in high school where she swam competitively and worked as a lifeguard and swim instructor on the Presidio of San Francisco. When the Army left the Presidio, she began a nine year career as an Oakland Paramedic before joining the Rolling Hills Club staff. First, as a swim instructor in 2003 and then becoming the swim lesson coordinator in 2012. As an American Red Cross Instructor, she teaches Lifeguard Training, Babysitter's Training, and CPR/AED classes at Rolling Hills Club. She enjoys coaching all ages and watching the progress that is made as swimmers learn and improve their technique while having fun. She is excited to work with the Stingrays Swimmers in developing their strokes and their love for swimming. In her free time she enjoys hiking, camping, and spending time with her husband and two boys.

Michael Stompe - Stingrays Assistant Coach

After starting my swimming career on the Stingrays back in November of 2008 and continuing until I aged out in 2013 I have returned to help coach the team that fostered a plethora of lifelong friendships for me.  I started swimming later than most and so I understand what it's like to not be the fastest kid in the pool, but with that I also know how putting in 110% can get you to success. I am currently studying at Sonoma State to become an elementary school teacher so working with great kids like our Stingrays is exactly where I want to be.

I have loved the sport of swimming ever since I started as you get to both see your own success with all the individual races and still get to work with a team in relay events.  This past year I have learned through going to meets as close as at the Rolling Hills pool and as far as Fort Bragg that I love seeing my swimmers succeed even more than I enjoyed being the one in the pool.  There is no meet too far for me to want to miss seeing you all do your best.

In my eyes the only thing more exciting than finding your limits is breaking them. 

Nicole Coll - Junior Stingrays Coach

Love this “job”!

It is my fourth year coaching the Junior Stingrays and Junior Tritons - those little ones sure have caught my heart! I thoroughly enjoy being on deck or in the water helping swimmers to improve, to learn, & most importantly, to have fun. There is nothing better than to see a swimmer become faster and smoother and for him/her to say, “I think I’m getting it!” I strive to teach each as an individual- everyone learns differently!

And again, I absolutely love being in the pool with your children.

I am a USMS Level 3 Coach and substitute coach for SwimFit (adult coached swim class for all levels at Rolling Hills)

I love to spend time camping, snow skiing, reading, and playing board games with my hubby and our 3 children. I met my husband at Chico State University and now our eldest daughter is in her third year at Chico.

Thought I was a runner at heart, but learned I love swimming even more!

It would be a lie to say I’m not competitive

Olivia Gonzalez - Junior Stingrays Assistant Coach

I swam two seasons with the Stingrays and one season with the Tritons. She enjoys swimming a lot, and while she was on the team, she volunteered in helping the juniors and the eight and unders during their practice. This led to being hired as a swim instructor with the rolling hills swim school and further led to a position of a junior stingray coach.  Olivia loves teaching younger children the skills they need to become strong swimmers and is often rewarded by seeing many of her swimmers advance to higher skill levels in the swim team. 

In her spare time, Olivia loves to play music. She plays piano, cello, ukulele, guitar, and sings.