Coaches and Directors

Coaching Staff
Paul Birmingham Head Coach, Sr National & U of A

Paul is an Australian coach who took over the lead of Edmonton Keyano’s technical program in 2018-19. Prior to Keyano he spent 10 years as the National Head Coach for Malaysia.  Prior to 2008, Paul spent 8 years as the Head Coach of a large club in Queensland, Australia; one of the most dense and competitive swimming communities in the world. He brings a wealth of High Performance experience and has been the attending Team Head Coach and Coach at the following international events:


3 x Olympic Games (2008, 2012, 2016)
4 x World Championships (2009, 2011, 2013, 2015)
3 x Commonwealth Games (2010, 2014, 2018)
3 x Asian Games (2010, 2014, 2018)
5 x South East Asian Games (2009, 2011, 2013, 2015, 2017)
2 x World University Games (2011, 2013)
2 x Olympic Youth Games (2010, 2014)
3 x World Junior Championships (2011, 2013, 2019)
3 x Commonwealth Youth Games (2008, 2011, 2015)
2 x Asian Youth Games (2009, 2013)


Alex Wallingford Coach, Junior National

Alex has an impressive background which includes an education from University of Michigan where he earned BSc.Ed and became certified to teach in the state of Michigan after graduation but returned to Cananda to coach. He has been a recipient of the Canadian Swim Coaches and Teacher Domestic Excellence Award twelve times. Alex is a Charter Professional Coach (ChPC) designation with Coaches of Canada where he is NCCP Level 3 fully certified.

 As the former Toronto Swim Club Head Coach he led his team to Division 1 team champions 2011, Eastern Canadian team Champions 2011. He also had dozens of athletes in Top 3 at each Provincial Championships 2011-2013 with several Ontario Tour Team selections.

He was also the OAK Head Age group coach and Head Coach for 14 years where he led swimmers to 15 national and 40 provincial records. His OAK squads won the Ontario Provincial Championships five times and Central Region Champs twelve times. He has also had the opportunity to participate as a Coach selection to the 2010 and 2012 Junior Pan Pacific championships in Hawaii, 2009 Canadian NACC Team and the 2009-2010 Australian Youth tour team, the 2009 Canada Games Team Ontario staff, along with several National Junior Team training camps across Canada.

This is Alex's eighth season with EKSC, his swimmers have broken several National and Provincial records and won individual and relay gold, silver and bronze medals at the Canadian Junior Nationals over the last seven seasons.


Desmond Lam Coach, Jr Provincial, Kin Gold

Desmond is back for his 7th season with Keyano. He started his coaching career for the Vancouver Vikings Summer Club for the 6 summers before moving on with Keyano. He was formerly an assistant Coach for the Kinsmen groups and was the Head Satellite Coach before becoming Head Age Group Coach.  Desmond has developed some of Keyano's top age group swimmers through the Provincial group. He will also be working with and supervising all the Sattelite coaches and programs. 

Francois Coetzer Coach, Sr Provincial

Francois has been involved in coaching swimming since 2002.  He started as a Junior Coach for the Grande Prairie Piranhas and built his skills all the way up to Head Coach of the North Vancouver Cruisers Summer program in 2007 and 2008.  After that Francois went back to be Co-Head Coach for the Grande Prairie Piranhas in 2009 and had his first experiences coaching swimmers at the age group and club national levels.  Francois is an NCCP Level 3 certified coach and holds a Bachelor Degree in Sport Performance from the University of Alberta.

Francois will be working with Paul and the Senior National Group, as well as oversee the Senior Provincial Group with Keyano.  

Ryan Duggan Coach, Kin

Ryan is back for his fifth year of coaching with Keyano, working alongside Alex with the Junior Championship group. Prior to Keyano, Ryan coached for over ten years with Silvertide Swim Club, a season of which as the interim head coach.


Madi Blondal Coach, BD
Matthias Carter Coach, BD
Mark Phillips Coach, JP

Mark has been coaching with Keyano for many years and emphasizes long term swimmer development in the program. The confederation Gold coach, Mark is engaged with his swimmers and invested in their development. He leads by example for the younger coaches on staff. 

Emma Carry Coach, JP

I'm 19 years old starting my fourth year of coaching! I'm currently in sciences at the University of Alberta and before coaching I swam with Keyano for seven years. I'm really looking forward to working with my swimmers and passing on my passion for the sport. 


Emma Perry Coach. JP

After swimming at a national level for many years, Emma has decided to make the transition over to coaching with Keyano. As a confederation bronze coach, Emma is hoping she can take some of the passion she had for the sport and pass it on to the young, up-and-coming athletes with Keyano.

She is currently working on her level one certification.



Lili Margitai Coach, JP

After finishing her 16th and final year of swimming this past year, Lili is now joining Keyano as a Bronze coach at JP. She competed on the Canadian Junior National Team from 2009-2015 and at the varsity level at Yale for 4 years. She's excited to share her love of the sport with young swimmers and help them achieve their goals while having fun!
She is currently working towards her NCCP Level 1 certification.

Matt Bowkowy Coach, Mead

I am an NCCP level 3 coach with a Chartered designation from the coaches of Canada. I have been coaching in and around the Edmonton area since 2000. I was the Head Coach of the Leduc Otters Swim Club and the Silver Tide Swim Club where I was able to put a swimmer on Canada's 2009 World Aquatic Championship Team before joining the U of A as an assistant and starting Triton Swimming in 2009.  I am excited to rejoin the Keyano Swim Club, who I swam with in the 90's, and to do it with my whole family makes it extra special.

Kellie Bowkowy Coach, Mead

Kellie is excited to be back working on the pool deck with the entry level Keyano swimmers.  She has been on and off the pool deck for the last 30 years as a swimmer and coach. She has coached with the University of Victoria, Pacific Coast Swimming, Leduc Otters, Silver Tide Swim Club and Triton Swimming. Kellie received Swim Alberta Development Coach of the Year recognition and is NCCP Level 2 certified.  As a swimmer, she was lucky enough to swim at the University of Victoria Vikes and attend the Canadian Olympic Trials in 1996 and 2000. Kellie believes that swimming builds not just great athletes but great people for life. When she is not on the pool deck she is teaching Grade 2 in Beaumont. 


Thomas Williams Coach, RGC

Thomas swam with Keyano for the previous nine years, where he was able to train and compete alongside some of Canada's top swimmers. This is his first year coaching with Keyano and is working with the Bronze group at Royal Glenora. He is passionate about the sport of swimming, and combined with his interest in exercise physiology and coaching kids, he's exciting for the awesome year ahead. Thomas is lookign forward to building up technique this season, having as much as possible at the pool, and working hard!

Coaching Certification: Thomas is working on completing his swimming 101 early in the season.

Keenan McDonnell Coach, RGC

After ten years of racing experience at the national level, Keenan McDonnell has switched his focus on to coaching for Keyano in the 2020-2021 season. This is Keenan’s third year coaching overall, and second year being with the club and he couldn’t be more thrilled to be back with the Keyano family. Taking on the Silver and Bronze positions at the Royal Glenora Club, Keenan will take his Level One coaching certification to use with the bears this season.  Keenan’s motto is simple: Work Hard,  Dream Big and anything is possible. He’s excited to share this vision with his swimmers and get working with the young, up and coming athletes of Keyano. 

Clare Grehan Coach, RGC, BD

After spending the last four years completing her BFA at Concordia University in Montreal, Clare is thrilled to be back in her hometown of Edmonton and back on the pool deck for her 5th season of coaching with Keyano. Clare is passionate about the positive impact swimming can have and looks forward to passing on her skills to young swimmers.

Maya Gorgichuk Coach, Terw

I'm 20 years old, starting my 5th season of coaching. I previously swam for Keyano for 10 years and now hope to pass on my passion for the sport. I still swim and play soccer in my spare time and I'm currently attending Grant MacEwan university to get my major in aviation.

Chris Nelson Office

Chris has been with Keyano since 2012 and moved from Head Coach to General Manager in the fall of 2019. He brings a wealth of high performance coaching experience to our office and pool deck, including 4 FINA World Championships Teams, 2 Paralympic medals and several other Junior and Senior National Team appointments. Chris has been the coach of 11 different Canadian National Record holders / National Team members, totaling over 100 distinct national and provincial records set under his coaching.

Edmonton Keyano is home for Chris, and we are excited to have his passion for Edmonton swimming in our organization. While he puts his focus into opening doors for our club behind the scenes, you will also see Chris helping our young coaches as we use his experience to assist in the development of our young swimmers. 

Keyano Office Office
Board of Directors