Get to know our coaching staff:
Coach Melissa McGlothen
Melissa McGlothen's involvement with the sport of swimming started at the early age of 4 where she quickly developed a passion for the sport. She swam age group here in the Kanawha Valley and competed at all levels from summer league to Senior Nationals. Through the years of age group swimming she was fortunate to be a state champion and record holder. She was a Southern Zone champion in two events, a Y National Champion, Junior National Champion and participated in Senior Nationals. During high school, she helped George Washington capture three state championships while earning Automatic All American honors all three years.
Her passion for the sport lead her to earning a scholarship from University of Kentucky where she represented the Wildcats at four Division 1 NCAA Championships and earned honorable Mention All-American distinction. The highlight of her swimming career was qualifying and competing in three events at the 2000 Olympic Trials where her top finish was 18th!
After graduation she married Kevin and transitioned from a swimmer to parent of swimmers as her two children are developing their own love for the sport. Over the past three years she has found a new joy for swimming as a coach, encouraging swimmers to reach their goals and become strong teammates. It is her pleasure to share her passion and experience with the next generation of swimmers in the Kanawha Valley!
Outside of the pool, Melissa is a third grade teacher at Overbrook Elementary entering her 13th year. In her spare time she enjoys spending time with her family, cheering for her Kentucky Wildcats during basketball season, and reading a good book when she can! Traveling to the beach and Disney World are her favorite places, but there is nothing better than the New River Gorge area!
Coach Rob St. Jean
Rob has spent the better part of 5 decades in and around the pool. From summer league to year round swimming at the Parkersburg YMCA to Division I swimming at Ohio University. Numerous honors: Y team records, Southern Zones finalist, WV state champion, YMCA national finalist. Collegiate honors: senior national qualifier, MAC conference champion, multiple school record holder, team co-captain 2 years, 4 yr letterman. Most recently, Rob has enjoyed success with open water swimming and triathlons. He was the fastest swimmer out of the water at the 2017 Ironman 70.3 Wilmington NC, beating 1,800 adults on the 1.2 mile swim.
Robs desire to help others enjoy swimming led him to begin coaching again in 2008. All ages are fun and challenging. When he’s not coaching age group swimmers he loves to help his fellow triathletes with the swimming discipline. It’s incredibly satisfying to see big improvements from his peers. When the swim teams have adequate coaching on deck, Rob enjoys jumping in with the swim team and tries to complain as little as possible with the grueling workouts. What a challenge it is to keep up with the youngsters!
Along with part time coaching, Rob enjoys keeping their real estate mgt business afloat. Rob, his wife Becky, and children Wes, Katie, and Jake enjoy a good bit of traveling. They have 3 dogs- one small WV black and brown dog, and 2 standard poodles that Rob attempts to groom in his spare time. Mixed results there. A few other interests include: Coffee roasting, paddle boarding, road and mountain biking.
Rob looks forward to helping swimmers reach their goals.
Coach Kristi Walter
Kristi Walter has been involved with swimming for over 20 years. She started swimming when she was 8 years old, only because she broke her arm and wanted to rebuild muscle strength for softball training that fall. One summer league season got her hooked, and she began competitive swimming for her first program in Richmond, Virginia. She continued swimming through middle school and high school for a USA Swimming Level 4 program, and qualified and competed at the Eastern Zones and the Speedo championship series of meets. In addition to club swimming, she represented Atlee High School at the Virginia AAA State High School championship meet throughout her high school career. During her senior year, she was able to earn both an athletic and academic scholarship to Marshall University. While at Marshall, she earned the Conference USA Academic Commissioner's medal and finaled at the Conference USA Championship swim meet. Because she chose Marshall, she can now call the Charleston, West Virginia area her home! She met her now-husband at Marshall, who was a member of the HERD soccer team, and they settled down here with their two dogs that they consider to be their kids! Graduating college did not keep her away from the swimming world, and she has been involved with coaching since 2011. When she first graduated, they were living in southern West Virginia and was shocked to hear that they had no swimming programs in the area. She collaborated with the Chief Logan Recreational Center, and helped found the first competitive swim team in the southern part of the state. As a result of that team, there are now three high school programs in that area as well. Upon moving to Charleston, she was hired with the HYCAT swimming program and was able to continue coaching. Aside from the swimming world, she has found a new hobby for exercise and enjoys 6 am workouts at the Zenergy Cycling studio - a swimmer never loses their ability to wake up early! She also enjoys hiking and spending time outdoors with her husband and dogs. Their favorite place to visit is the Fayetteville area, partially because they were married there in 2013. She likes to veg out on anything and everything that she can order from a Mexican restaurant, and Oreo espresso ice cream from Ellen's! She is looking forward to joining the YMCA of Kanawha Valley KRAKEN program and to continue to pursue her passion as a coach! There is nothing more rewarding than helping a swimmer achieve his or her goals and aspirations.