Coaches and Directors

Coaches and Directors
Coaching Staff
Brent Arckey Contact By

Head Coach/CEO

Coach Brent Arckey has been with the Sarasota Sharks since 2010. He has worked in various capacities in the swimming world from a novice coach to working with Olympians. He enjoys the development of athletes and helping them be the best they can be.

Coach Brent started his coaching career in Gainesville, Florida in 2005 with Gator Swim Club. Coach Brent was the head Masters coach and worked with the age group program while finishing his degree in Sports Management in 2008. After graduating, Brent helped run and build Gator Swim Club as the Senior Assistant and the Volunteer Assistant with the University Florida. Coach Brent had the opportunity to work with the University of Florida team that won the 2010 Women’s NCAA Championship. Additionally, Brent worked with many of the post graduated Olympians that competed in 2008 Olympics.

Since becoming the Head Coach in 2014, Coach Brent has helped the program become independently board run, as well as, the operator of the Selby Aquatic Center. Brent has also helped continue and the further the tradition of excellence that has existed with the Sharks, since 1961.

Coach Brent has been named the Florida LSC Coach of the year in 2016 and 2019, Florida High School Coach of the year in 2012, 2015, 2016, 2017, been a part of 9 YMCA National Combined Team Championships, 18 Florida Age Group Championships, and multiple top 10 Junior National Team finishes.

In addition, Coach Brent has helped developed more than 15 Olympic Trial Qualifiers, National finalist/Medalists, Pan Pac Qualifiers/Medalists, World Junior Qualifiers/Medalists, National Team Members, National Junior Team members, YMCA National Champions, NCAA Qualifiers/Medalists, NCAA All Americans, YMCA National Champions, Florida High School Champions and All Americans, and National Age Group Record holders.

Coach Brent has been a part of multiple Gold Medal Club Awards from USA Swimming, received multiple American Swim Coaches’ Association Recognition of Excellence awards, and was selected to be a part of the 2015 Junior World Staff and 2016 Junior Pan Pac staff for the United States. He has also served on multiple Florida Swimming staffs at the Zone and State level.

Coach Brent and his family love living in Sarasota. He has a son, Jackson and daughter, Amelia. His wife Katie is a Nurse Anesthetist and former national level swimmer.

Coach Brent leads our National group.

Andrew Eckhart Contact By

Head Age Group Coach

Coach Andrew started coaching with the Sharks in 2012 until 2016 when he became the Head Age Group Coach for Gulliver Swim Club in Miami, Florida.  While with Gulliver Swim Club he helped lead the Age Group Program to two second place finishes at the Florida Gold Coast Junior Olympic Swim Meet.  He also he oversaw the lessons program, taught physical education, was the Aquatics Facility Operator, and was in charge of developing and communicating the progression of the program.  In 2018 he rejoined the Sharks as a Lead Coach and Aquatics Facility Operator.

Before joining the Sharks in 2012 he coached at Florida State University as a volunteer assistant coach with both the men’s and women’s programs during the 2011-12 season.  He was also the Associate Head Coach of the club program through the University, Club Seminole, during his time in Tallahassee.

Before moving to Florida he coached in Massillon, Ohio.  Where he was an assistant coach for the boys high school team at Jackson High School for the 2010-2011 season.  He also coached at the local YMCA, Paul and Carol David YMCA, were he coached all levels of groups from 8 and unders up to the Senior Age Groups.

While in college he was a 4 year letter winner in swimming at Eastern Michigan University (EMU) and was selected as captain for his senior year. He is a 2010 graduated from Eastern Michigan with a double major in Secondary Education (grades 6-12) and History along with a minor in Political Science.

Since rejoining the Sharks in 2018 he has also taken part in several USA
Swimming Camps and Summits. He was invited to the National Age Group Summit in 2018 and the National Open Water Select Camp in 2019. He was also chosen to be a part of the 2020 Southern Zone Select Camp.

Coach Andrew has also found success as a high school coach. Since 2018 he has been the head coach for Sarasota High School. In 2019 he was named HT Preps Coach of the Year.

Coach Andrew and his family are happy and excited to be back in Sarasota. Coach Andrew has two young sons, Colin and Anderson. His wife works as a teacher and is a former Shark national team memeber.

Coach Andrew leads our Senior Speed and Gold groups.

John Bruenning Contact By

Lead Coach

Coach Bruenning grew up in Sarasota and began his competitive career under Sherwood Watts, achieving team records across multiple events and a national ranking.  John continued competing for the Sharks through High School before swimming for the University of South Carolina Gamecocks for four years. Coach John was the Men's Team captain and named MVP. Coach John also earned SEC Scholar Athlete honors. 

After graduation from South Carolina, he began coaching as an assistant for George Washington University where he worked primarily with the stroke and IM groups for five seasons helping the team earn 23 conference titles and break 12 school records.

Coach Bruenning ran the Venice site for the Sharks from 2007-2011 before taking the Head Coach position with STAR Aquatics in Greensboro, NC. 

After the birth of his children, his family decided to move back to Florida to be closer to the grandparents and became the Head Coach of the Tampa YMCA Swim Team from 2014-2018.

In October 2018 John rejoined the Sarasota Sharks as the lead coach of our Senior Prep group and assistant coach of the National group.

Coach Bruenning is a proud husband and father of two beautiful children, Finley and Hunter.

Coach Bruenning leads our Senior and Senior Prep groups.

Terri Leap Contact By

Development Coordinator 

Coach Terri has been with the Sharks for well over a decade.  Her experience not only comes from years on the deck developing future champions but from a long and successful swimming career.

As a New Jersey age grouper and senior Terri was a state champion, a two-time high school swimmer of the year, and high school All American.

She competed in senior national championships from ages 12 to 18, and represented the northeast as a 12-year old at the National Junior Olympics in Colorado.

She specialized in the 200 and 400 individual medleys and distance freestyle events achieving a national rank of 8th for the 1650 freestyle.

She swam for Florida State University and was a four time All American. In addition, she was a National Championship Finalist and Olympic Trial qualifier in the 400 IM.

Coach Terri’s daughter Bethany, a Shark Alumni, swam for the University of Texas and Gardner-Webb University .  She also followed in her mother’s footsteps qualifying and swimming in the 2016 Olympic Trials.

Coach Terri leads our White and Black groups.

Vanessa Aycart Contact By

Aquatics Director & Swim School Director

Vanessa Aycart was a Florida Gold Coast swimmer swimming for Devilray's Swim Club and John A Ferguson Sr High School in Miami, FL prior to swimming for Indian River State College where she won bronze in the 200 Breaststroke as part of Indian River's 2014 NJCAA National Championship victory.  Professionally Aycart was charged with pool operations and lesson coordination for Miami Dade County Parks and Recreation before coaching at Gulliver Swim Club under (now Sharks' Lead Coach) Andrew Eckhart.  At Gulliver Coach Vanessa ran the 10 and unders group,  assisted with the 2016 men and women 2A State Champion senior / high school group and in 2017 assisted with the 4th consecutive 2A girls State Championship. 

Vanessa is currently the Sharks' Aquatics Director responsible for all programming outside of competitive swimming including pool rentals, water park operations, splash camp, swim school and more..

Rick Walker Contact By

Masters Swim Team Associate Head Coach

Coach Walker was born and raised in Sarasota. After many years in business he started the Masters program at the Shark Tank in 2002 with three swimmers. The Sharks Masters have grown to a roster of over 300 with 100+ actively swimming at the Shark Tank. The Sharks Masters pride themselves on offering a program that includes all levels of swimming along with an active social atmosphere.

Coach Walker has been an active Masters swimmer since 1985. Swimming highlights include World Records in the 400M and 1500M Free and a World Championship 3K Open Water Swim. In 2020 he was named a recipient of the Kerry O’Brien Award for coaching excellence in Masters Swimming.

Daphne Elliott Contact By

Associate Lead Masters & Lead SwimFit Coach

Daphne English coaches the evening group. She began her competitive swimming career with the Sarasota Sharks at age 3 under Coach Sherwood Watts. Over the years she’s competed and trained with the Sharks, Gotham (NY), Badger (NY) and Starlit (VA). She’s coached high school teams and the North Port and Venice branches of the Sharks. She is a certified Level 2 coach for USA Swimming and USMS. In 2015 she achieved Top 10 for her age group in the 200 butterfly LCM. Daphne competes as a swimmer in pool and open water events as well as in triathlons.

Coach Daphne helps lead our Masters and SwimFit groups.

Erin Bacon Contact By

Synchro Head Coach

Coach Bacon has been a member of the Sarasota Aquatics Synchronized Swimming coaching staff since 2006. She currently holds positions as Administrative Chair of the Southwest Association, Education Chair for the South Zone, and is also a member of the National Coaching Board. She led the SYNCHRO team to National competition during the 2009, 2011, 2012, and 2013 seasons.

Kristi Weyant Contact By

Team Administrator

Kristi has been a swim parent for over seven (7) years and has been the 12 & Under Head Group parent for the last four (4) seasons.  Weyant has also been the principle timer coordinator for all Shark meets for the last several seasons. 
Her daughters, Emma and Gracie, are not only Shark team record holders but have competed at state, regional and national levels.  With this, Kristi has hands on knowledge and experience with FLAGS, FL All Stars, JR & SR Champs, High School Regional, Sectional and State Championships, Y Nats, National Select Camp, National Championships and World Trials meets.

Prior to the Sharks Kristi was with Berkeley (Barracuda’s) Preparatory School in Tampa, FL where she was the Lead Health Education Teacher and Academic Counselor for grades 11 and 12.  She worked with students and parents with all aspects of college admissions counseling and was the lead health education teacher instrumental in creating school programs.

Before her time with the Barracudas Kristi was the Director of Wellness at United States Department of the Treasury in Washington, DC.  As the Director, she was responsible creating and running wellness employee programs, coordinated and managed a large volunteer base, working with large health vendors, ran large group instructional and training sessions, 5K Runs and other like events.

Kristi was also owner operator of Monogram Me H2O which is responsible for the 100’s of Shark logos and names you see on swim bags, parkas, shirts, and towels.

Kristi has a Bachelor of Science from the Pennsylvania State University in Exercise Science/Health Education and has been working towards her Master of Arts from the University of South Florida in Educational Leadership.

Melissa Bailey Contact By

Lead Junior Sharks Coach

Coach Melissa joined the Sharks in 2018.  Prior to living and working in Sarasota Coach Melissa worked with the Sea Dragons Swim Club in New Jersey. While with the Sea Dragons she coached across the entire program and led the strength and conditioning.

In addition to coaching, Coach Melissa was a nationally ranked body builder and worked as a police officer for 20 years. After retiring from the police force, the Bailey’s moved to Sarasota to enjoy the sunshine and swim for the Sharks!

Coach Melissa leads our Junior Sharks group.


Andrew Antonetz Contact By

Assistant Coach

Coach Andy joined the Sharks in 2019 after moving to the area from Louisiana.  While in Louisiana Coach Andy owned and operated his own swim team for over 20 years.  Coach Andy assists with our Senior Prep Group and helps coach the Sarasota High School swim team.

Bence Arany

Assistant Coach

Coach Bence is a Shark alumnus.  He has been teaching lessons and coaching since 2017.  He assists Coach Terri with our White and Black groups. We are excited to have one of our own helping out with the program.

Vern Gambetta Contact By

Functional  Training Consultant

Coach Gambetta designs the Sharks' state of the art dryland program for each competitive swim group level.  Gambetta’s program is designed to bulletproof the swimmer by developing strength, conditioning and athleticism outside of the pool.  The results have been exemplary with little to no injuries at the elite level.  

Gambetta is a seven-time author, international speaker, Co-founder of USA Track & Field coaching education program, Associate editor of the IAAF technical journal and considered to be the Founding Father of Functional Sports Training.  He has worked with many sports at the highest levels.  Including: University of Texas Baseball, University of North Carolina Soccer, University of Virginia Soccer, Harvard Women's Swimming, University Michigan women's swimming, Kenyon College Swimming. Mission Viejo Nadadores Swimming, Carmel Swim Club, and Sarasota YMCA Sharks Swimming; USA Track & Field, US World Cup Soccer Team, Australian Olympic bronze metal softball team, and the Canadian National Men’s and Women’s Basketball teams; New York Mets, Chicago White Sox, Cincinnati Reds, Chicago Bulls, Tampa Bay Mutiny, New England Revolution, Chicago Fire; San Francisco 49ers, Kansas City Chiefs, and San Jose Sharks; Monica Seles and Billy Stearns Tennis Academy.

Board of Directors