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Our Coaches

One factor that really differentiates NGAC vs. other clubs is the engagement of our coaches during the training and swim meets.  We do not have a "sit and watch" coaching staff.  Our coaches are extremely hands-on and focused, generally seen cheering along the pool deck during competition.

Laurel McMahon (Head Coach)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our Head Coach, Laurel, has been with the Stingrays for 11 years and has seen our team grow from less than 30 kids to over 100 competitive swimmers.  Coach Laurel typically works with our 10 and under swimmers and newest swimmers in older age groups.  She is extremely positive, always happy and focuses on helping new swimmers improve and become more confident in the pool.  Here are some of Coach Laurel's thoughts on the team and her vision for the future:

​"11 years.  How quickly the years have passed.  If you would have told me where we are now eleven years ago, I wouldn't have believed it.  When I started we had 20 kids and only practiced three days a week.  For our size team, we have always held our own.  Each year, we have grown.  I have always been proud to be the coach of this team.  My vision for this team is to keep it humble and to keep moving forward."

In addition to coaching the Stingrays, Coach Laurel provides private/group swim instruction and teaches certification courses in First Aid and Lifeguarding. 

Sean Halpate (Coach)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Coach Sean is our most colorful and vocal coach, occasionally seen at our major meets with his hair died "NGAC red" to show his support for the swimmers.  He typically coaches our 11 and older swimmers and other experienced members.  Coach Sean runs very intense training sessions, pushing his swimmers hard during practice so that they can be their best during meets.

His training specialties are Breaststroke and Freestyle.

Get to know more about Coach Sean below...

Question

Answer

How long have you been swimming and what various teams club, HS, college, etc. did you participate on?

Since I was 4yrs old. (42 years) Swam for the Weirton WV, Akron OH & Galion OH YMCA’s. 

High schools – Galion and Ashland.

Then the East regional USS swim team until I was 20.

What is your fondest memory from being a competitive swimmer (success, failure, specific meet, accomplishment, etc.)?

My most vivid memory is qualifying at the final meet of the season for districts as a Freshman in high school for the 100 breast and 10 of my team mates jumping in the water to celebrate. (usually a disqualification!!) Judges overlooked it that day. Whew!

What do you know now as a coach that you wish you knew or understood when you were a swimmer?

I know so much more about the "mental side" of swimming.  How to approach practice, how to prepare for a race/meet.  Most importantly, how to focus on what "you" are doing and not everyone around you.

​Clearly it has helped me approach "life situations" as well.  Would to have known this 30 years ago.

What are your favorite and least favorite events?

Favorite events – 50, 100 Free, 100 & 200 Breast & 200 IM.

Least favorite – 100 & 200 Fly and “the Mile”.

How long have you been coaching?

Combined 13 years. 

What is your favorite thing about being a coach?

Helping kids improve. I love to see the reactions when kids improve a time, win a race/heat or accomplish a goal.  They just “light up”!  I love positive energy.

I love the positive/fun energy that kids on the team bring.  They know how to have fun, even when working their tails off!  It can easily make you forget if you have had a "bad day" once you enter the crazy swim world.

If the three of you swam against each other in the 200IM, what would be the order of finish (smack talk welcome)?

Well as I always say “never beat yourself on the block, think positive.”  Sean, Tim, Laurel.  Although I am fairly certain it would be a come from behind because there is that thing in the beginning called “Fly’. 

What else would you want people to know about you?

I am a proud U.S. Army Veteran of Desert Storm and the Noriega liberation.  I love music, going to concerts, the outdoors, hiking, golf and spending time with my family.

What else would you like for people to know about your fellow coaches?

Laurel- Nobody (and I mean nobody) is better with developing the young kids than her! She is amazing and has a super connection with those "little ones". I am thankful everyday that she asked me to be a part of this 8 years ago.

​Tim- He brings a ton of knowledge and great spirit to the team.  I have known him for 35 years and he puts his heart into everything he does.  Awesome guy to have by your side.

​Ray- Nobody has more "style" than Ray.  Super swim knowledge and great all around guy.  Glad his is part of the staff now.

​This is a great group of coaches.  Awesome to be a part of this "family".

Tim Bateman (Coach)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Coach Tim has been part of the NGAC Stingrays for many years.  Tim typically works with a range of swimmers in age and skillset, from the newest to the most experienced.  He runs very fun and competitive training sessions where he engages closely with individual swimmers to tailor drills to individual needs.

His training specialties are Butterfly and Backstroke.

Get to know more about Coach Tim below...

Question

Answer

How long have you been swimming and what various teams club, HS, college, etc. did you participate on?

I started at age 12, swam with Galion YMCA, Galion High School, and Ohio Northern University.  Also competed in AAU swim meets and ran triathlons during the off seasons.

What is your fondest memory from being a competitive swimmer (success, failure, specific meet, accomplishment, etc.)?

My fondest memory of swimming is when I set our high school record in the 100 fly.  I found out a few years ago the record stood for almost 25 years.

What do you know now as a coach that you wish you knew or understood when you were a swimmer?

I have learned how to strike a balance between hard work and having fun.  Both are necessary to truly succeed.

What are your favorite and least favorite events?

My favorite events are the 100 fly, 200 fly, and 100 backstroke.  My least favorite event is any event where a lap counter is required.

How long have you been coaching?

Almost 7 seasons.

What is your favorite thing about being a coach?

I think one of my favorite things about coaching is seeing the enthusiasm on an athlete's face when a technique "clicks in" for the first time and the successes that follow.

Also, the kids are a lot fun.

If the three of you swam against each other in the 200IM, what would be the order of finish (smack talk welcome)?

I have never competed against Laurel, but she probably has the craftiness to out smart us all, I swim breaststroke like I am tied to anchor,  and Sean's fly looks like a drowning buffalo....

So the real winner would be anyone watching us race.  :)  

What else would you want people to know about you?

I play a mean bass guitar, "enjoy" golf, and losing an entire afternoon on the back of the motorcycle.   

What else would you like for people to know about your fellow coaches?

Laurel and Sean have a way of reaching each athlete and always focusing on improvement.