Coaches and Directors

Coaches and Directors
Coaching Staff
Chuck Dunham Head Swimming Coach

Chuck Dunham is currently in his 14th year as the Head Coach for the Clifton Park-Halfmoon Piranhas. Coach Dunham is the founder and helped start the Piranhas in 2009 and has been the teams only Head Coach.   The Piranhas won their first ever LSC Championship in 2019 and the team has had multiple Speedo Sectional Champions as well as multiple Junior National Qualifiers. 

In addition he is also currently the Aquatics Director @ Shenendehowa and the Head Coach for the Shenendehowa Boys Varsity Swimming and Diving Program. During his sixteen year tenure as boys coach, he has compiled a 170-4-1 dual meet record, won 13 Section II Championships, and 3 consecutive NYSPHSAA Championships (2008-2010) while 5 times finishing the season ranked #1 in New York State (2008, 2009, 2010, 2017, 2019).  In addition he spent 7 seasons as the Head Coach of the Shenendehowa Girls team, where they finished a combined 67-3 and were Section II Champions in 2009, 2011, 2013, and 2015.  The girls program also finished ranked #1 in NYS in 2011.  Throughout his tenure at Shenendehowa, he has coached over 40 All-Americans, 17 State Champions, and over 50 different swimmers to 100+ Section II Titles, and all of his teams have won the NYS Scholar Athlete Award.

A multiple coach of the year award winner, Dunham previously was the Head Coach for the 2006 WMSSL Champion Amherst Tritons, a USA club team that practices @ UMASS and was also an Assistant Coach for the Atlantic 10 Champion UMASS Mens and Womens Program

Dave Washburn Assistant Coach

 

Dave Washburn is in his 8th year coaching for the Piranhas and works with our Junior Groups. In addition, he is currently an Assistant Coach for the Shen Girls and Shen Boys Varsity Teams.  He has a long swimming career in the area as both a swimmer and a coach.  Most of Dave's swimming career was with the Albany Starfish as well as swimming varsity for the Guilderland-Vooheesville Boy's swim team where he was the Section 2 Champion two years in a row in the 50 Free.  Dave went on to swim in college at St. Bonaventure University specializing in the butterfly and backstroke events and received his BS in Finance.  After college, Dave starting coaching for the Heldeberg Aquatics Club (HAC) for the next 5 years.  After a small hiatus Dave returned to coaching for the Albany Starfish for the next 10 years where he had many zone qualifiers, top sixteen swimmers ,and swimmers that went on to swim at the junior and senior national level as well as qualify for Olympic trials.  He received the Adirondack Coach of the Year Award in 2010 and 2011. Dave's coaching style is primarily focused on maintaining technique especially when doing high endurance/performance training.  He believes good technique is a must and provides swimmers with the ability to go through the water as efficiently as possible. 

Dave currently works as a manager for the NYS Workers' Compensation Board.  He lives in Clifton Park with his wife Tina, and three sons, Jacob, Logan and Griffin.

    

George Hooper Age Group Coordinator

George Hooper is the teams Age Group Coordinator and in his 10th year with the Piranhas.  As the Age Group Coordinator, he brings with him a wealth of experience and knowledge in the sport of swimming.  Beginning his coaching career in 1974, he has had a 48 year relationship with competitive swimming.  The foundation of his coaching philosophy is that the sport of swimming offers a variety of opportunities for personal growth and the development of life lessons which will lead to success in both the in pool and beyond.  During his tenure, Coach Hooper has developed numerous High Point award recipients,  Zone qualifiers and seen many go on to compete at the Junior National, Sectional and achieve Intercollegiate success.

 
Educationally, he holds a BA in Psychology from Alfred University, MS in Physical Education from Syracuse University, and MS in Community Mental Health counseling from Long Island University.  Over the years, he served as both Head Coach, Assistant Coach and instructor at the intercollegiate level at both the United States Military Academy, and RPI.  His club experience has included stints with the Syracuse Chargers, West Point Swim Club, Albany YMCA, and Albany Starfish as it's head coach (1993-1995) and assistant coach (2003-2013) before joining the Piranhas. 
 
Coach Hooper resides in Clifton Park with his wife Charlotte.  His children, Aimee and Nick are both graduates of Shenendehowa and accomplished Adirondack LSC swimmers.  Aimee still holds several Adirondack LSC records and Nick still holds the Shen HS record in the 500 Free which he set in 2013.  Aimee, after a successful intercollegiate swimming career at James Madison Univ. where he earned her MA in Special Education now resides in Alexandria VA where she teaches and coaches.  Nick, after completing his swimming career at the University of Buffalo, earned his MS at Temple where he served as a Grad Assistant/Sports Psychologist for the Women's Lacross Team and graduated from Virginia Commonwealth Medical College and is now completing his residency.
 
 

 

Alyssa DiFabio Learn-to-Swim Coordinator

Alyssa DiFabio is in her 10th year coaching with the Piranhas swim club as our Swim Lesson Coordinator. In addition to coaching the Intro and Mini Piranhas groups, she also runs the Learn-to-Swim Program at the Shenendehowa Aquatic Center. Also, Alyssa is in her 3rd year as the Head Coach for the Shenendehowa Girls Varsity Swimming and Diving Team. Leading the girls team to a Section 2 title in 2021 and concluding the 2021 season ranked #1 in New York State. As well as coaching varsity, she currently is in her 4th year as the Head Coach for the Shenendehowa modified program.

 
Leanne Archer Assistant Coach

Leanne Archer is currently in her 4th season coaching the High School group. She is a Piranhas alumna, having swam on the club throughout high school and college. Leanne graduated from Bucknell University with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. She currently works in brand management for Unilever.

 
Shawna Weaver Assistant Coach

Shawna Weaver is in her 3rd year coaching with the Piranhas. She is also in her 4th year as Head Coach for the Shaker Boys Varsity Swimming & Diving Team. Shawna swam for over 12 years in her swimming career including 4 years with the Piranhas as well as for Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake High School. She is currently finishing her Masters degree in Occupational Therapy at Russell Sage College.

Todd Striker Assistant Coach

Todd Striker is currently in his 8th year coaching with the Piranhas and works with our Intro/Mini and Age Group Swimmers.  Todd grew up in western New York and swam at York Central High School in Section V.  He was a member of the MCC Marauders and FAST (Fairport), both USA swim clubs located near Rochester in the Niagara District.  He then swam collegiately for Alfred University where he was a 10 time All-American.  He began coaching in 2003 and has worked with age group, high school and collegiate swimmers.  His favorite aspect of coaching is seeing swimmers learn how hard work and dedication can help to achieve goals, both in and out of the pool.  Todd was named Adirondack District Age Group Coach of the Year in 2012 and is a member of the Section V Swimming and the Alfred University Athletic Halls of Fame.

Board of Directors
Richard Simmons President
Rachel Harpootlian Treasurer
Christine Adams Registrar
Reginald Durden SafeSport Representative
Jason Joyal SafeSport Representative