Coaching Staff
Tom Evers Owner/Aquatic Director and Head Coach

Tom Evers, owner, and founder of Thunder Coast Aquatics (TCA) has spent a lifetime involved in aquatics. His coaching career spans 28 years and began with the USA Swim club the Walnut Creek Aquabears then onto the Concord Terrapins located in the East Bay. Tom moved to San Francisco and coached the Strawberry Seals (MSL) for four years before moving to Novato and taking the head coaching position for the Rolling Hills Stingrays (MSL) for the next seven years. During his tenure at Rolling Hills Tom was voted MSL Coach of the Year on two occasions. Tom also was a seasonal Head Coach for Ygnacio Valley High School in the East Bay and San Marin High School in Novato. In 1998, while at Rolling Hills, he began an affiliation with the Marin Pirates by creating the Age Group Pirates where Tom was the Age Group Head Coach for 20 years. He was also an assistant senior team coach for those years and then Head Senior Coach for the 2019 season. Tom grew up in the Midwest and was a High School All American while also winning 4 individual State Championships at Hoover High School in Des Moines, IA. He was inducted into the Iowa High School Hall of Fame in 1997. Tom then attended and swam for the University of Iowa from 1987-1990 while majoring in Journalism. Tom and his wife Liz have lived in Novato since 1995 and have two children, Justus, 25 and Georgia, 22. Tom and Liz started Forevers Aquatics in 2001 which includes three SwimAmerica Swim Schools and managing partners with the City of Petaluma pools as Supervisors of all aquatics. Tom has also been the Aquatic Program Scheduler for the Indian Valley Campus pool since 2001.


Victor Wales Sports Performance/Senior Team Coach

Victor has spent the last 24 years coaching Division 1 Swimming.  He led the University of Hawaii men's and women's swimming program for the last 10 seasons. Before Hawaii he had stops at SJSU, ASU, UCSB, and the University of Illinois. He also spent time coaching the Senior Group at West Coast Aquatics and DeAnza/Cupertino Aquatics. Coach Wales has produced athletes at every level of swimming success, including: multiple Olympians, NCAA All-Americans, National and U.S. Open Champions, Olympic Trials, Senior and Junior National Qualifiers.  Victor grew up in Daly City, went to S.I., and swam for UCSB. He was a 4x Junior National Champion, Senior National Qualifier, NCAA All-American, and competed at the 1988 and 1992 U.S. Olympic Trials. His wife Miniver grew up in Marin and is a teacher at Marin Montessori School. Victor and Miniver live in Novato with their 3 children: Ethan, Chloe, and Lily.

Eric Whitten Head Age Group Coach/Asst Senior Coach

Eric Whitten has been coaching swimming in the Bay Area since 1984. Before returning to Pirates he was the head coach of the YMCA Pacific Aquatic Club (YPAC) and before that he coached Marin Academy. He was the founder and head coach of Sequoia Aquatics and in the 1990s he was the Head Coach of Indian Valley Aquatics. In those years Eric coached an Olympian and many nationally ranked swimmers, including a Pacific Swimming record holder, Far Western meet record holder and a number one ranked swimmer in the girls 11-12 200 meters and 100 meters breaststroke. He's coached North Coast Section High School Champions, Marin County Athletic League record holders, Far Western champions and winners of Division I college scholarships.  Eric grew up in San Anselmo and received a Bachelor of Arts in American Studies at Yale University. He has two Masters degrees, one in American History from the University of Rochester and one in Painting from the Academy of Art in San Francisco.  In addition to coaching he is a professional artist. He lives in Point Reyes Station with his wife Christine and their three children Audrey, Kathryn and Zachary.

Sarah Paoli 10-under Head Coach/ Operational Manager

Sarah has been in the aquatics field for 28 years in various postions, coaching for the past 22 years. She has coached MSL teams, Marin Pirates and San Marin High School. Sarah began her coaching career with Tom in 1998 with Rolling Hills Stingrays. Sarah is the head coach for Novato Riptide. She has been fortunate to coach all age groups.  Sarah is orginally from Denver, but Marin has been her home for a long time.  Sarah has a job she loves, during the school year, she teaches PE at Vallecito Elementary. Sarah's daughter Kellie gradutated from TLHS (her alma mater) in June of 2019. Kellie is loving Santa Barbara City College.  

Nick Cruse Assistant Age Group Coach

Nick swam competitively for the Marin Pirates for 14 years and competed at the junior national level. Nick began instructing swimming for the Special Olympics at the Rolling Hills club in 2012 and volunteered for the Make-a-Splash program throughout high school. He began coaching for the Marin Aquatic Masters in 2018 and has achieved level 3 status as a masters coach. He began coached the 10-unders with Marin Pirates. 

Richard Nicholls Age Group Coach

Coach Richard is in his thirtieth year of coaching having developed top flight swimmers in UK ,
Sweden getting a number of swimmers on junior national and senior national teams in those
countries as well as D1 college placements before moving to the US in 2013. After coaching at
San Domenico Coach Richard became head coach at Rolling hills club for their successful
recreation league team and USA swimming team.
Holding coaching qualifications in three countries and having worked alongside coaches from
many countries and backgrounds he is dedicated to the engagement, fun and development of
the sport of swimming for young people.
Promoting evidence based coaching as well as inclusive practices for young people of all
backgrounds is his philosophy. When not on deck Coach Richard can be found looking after
baby Lily or on two wheels somewhere in the north bay.
Two little known facts about Coach. He speaks fluent Swedish and fluent Geordie his native
tongue ( A North East English dialect from Newcastle area. )

Board of Directors and Members
Tom Evers President/Owner
Liz Evers Secretary
Jim Larson Director
Karen Bond Safe Sport Director
Margaret DeSomma Member/Zone 3 Rep
Merle French Officials Chair
Dan Koch Member
Shelly Thelen Member
Kimberly Haas Member
Victor Wales Member
Eric Whitten Member
Sarah Paoli Administration
Miya French Athlete Rep/Pacific Swimming Athlete Rep
Mike McIntrye Member