Get a DCS L.I.F.E. — Lead · Inspire · Focus · Excel

Coaches & Directors

Douglas County Stingrays is a private 501(c)3 non-profit swim team administered by a parent-volunteer Board of Directors. We are here to support your needs.

If you have questions related to workouts, meets, events, goal setting, and other swimming related needs, please contact one of the coaches after practice time; if you have an immediate need, Board Members are available during practice sessions and can act as a liason for and assistant to the Coaching Staff. 

For all questions related to administrative, such as dues, safety, or policy issues, please contact one of the board members or email us at douglascountrstingrays@gmail.com.

DCS Board of Directors:

  • Dan Gurley — President
  • Christine Rolka — Vice-President
  • Cheryl Melilli — Treasurer
  • Maria Bartlett — Secretary
  • Juile Oliver — Safe Sport Coordinator
  • Tish Atwell — Fundraising
  • Chandra Smith — Events

Coaching Staff:

image of Jarrod Hunte

Jarrod Hunte

Head Coach

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“The path to Success is guided through belief, desires & dreams, in which each individual must find that spark that will make them champions from within their body and mind, so that success can be a reality.” — Jarrod Hunte

Jarrod Hunte, or better known as Coach J-Rod to his swimmers, follows that path every day. Born and raised in Caracas, Venezuela, he credits the sport of swimming as the vehicle for his achievements. Although he started swimming competitively at the age of 6, he discovered the spark that ignited his passion for the sport when he moved to the USA with his family. In Florida, Jarrod swam for Fort Lauderdale Swim Team (FLST) under the leadership of International Swimming Hall of Fame Coach Jack Nelson and Coach Duffy Dillon, the current ASCA International Speaker. Jarrod considers these two coaches to have had the most influence on his dreams and subsequently his life. Using Coach Nelson’s quote, “Access to Success is Through the Mind” as a guide, Jarrod achieved success at Fairmont State University, where he was a four-year letter winner, was a member of the record setting men’s 800 freestyle relay and was captain of the swim team his senior year.

While earning his degree in Electronics Engineering at Fairmont, Coach J-Rod lead the Age Group program for Fairmont Area Swim Team (FAST) from  2004 to 2007. As a student, he also coached the Fairmont Summer League Swim Session for two years. After graduating, he moved to Florida, earning a comprehensive degree in music production and audio engineering from the Florida Institute of Recording Arts and Technology. But he never stepped far away from the pool deck. Coach J-Rod joined the Wahoos in Ocala, and served as their Assistant Coach in charge of the Age Group program and morning workouts for their Senior Group.

In 2013, opportunity lead Coach J-Rod to become Head Coach of the Mako Swim Team in Valparaiso, Indiana. There, he guided swimmers not only to the Divisional, State, Zones and Sectionals championship meets, but also to both Summer and Winter Junior and Senior Nationals. One of his swimmers, Anya Goeders, placed 9th at the 2016 Olympic Trials in Omaha and, under his mentorship,  earned a spot on Team USA’s Junior Pan Pacific Team for the past three years. Another Mako swimmer, Maddi Johnson, placed 6th in the open water Junior Nationals last summer.

Coach J-Rod’s vision to success for his swimmers also earned recognition for himself. He has been placed on the 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018 USA Junior Team coaches list as well as the 2017 World 100 18 & Under coaches list.

Coach J-Rod believes that a swimmer’s environment is tantamount. At DCS, Jarrod Hunte will create an atmosphere where all swimmers enjoy the levels of competition and training through these key components: Respect, Responsibility, Discipline, Determination, Desires, Dreams, Humility, and most of all — FUN!

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Nicole Melilli

Assistant Coach- Dryland Specialist

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Coach Nicole joined the Stingrays in 2013, having just earned her Bachelor of Arts in Broadcast News/Mass Media from the University of Georgia.  Nicole ran Cross Country for both the University of Georgia and the University of West Georgia (NCAA Division I and II teams) during her years as an undergraduate.

As a runner, Nicole has coached young athletes in Upward Soccer and at the Warrior Running Camp at Barry College. As an Assistant Coach for DCS, Nicole has worked with every training group with an emphasis on Pre-Age and Age and has produced state age group qualifiers for the past two years.

Coach Nicole continues her presence on deck but also directs and creates the DCS Dryland program for all levels with Coach Hunte.

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Matthew Hatala

Head Age Group Coach 

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Coach Matthew, a native of South Bend, Indiana, has been a swimmer almost his entire life. Completing the infant swim survival program at the age of 15 months, he has lived in the water ever since!

Competitive swimming began for Matthew at age seven with the La Porte YMCA Swim Team. As a high school Freshman, he transferred to the MAKO Swim Team and trained under coach Jrod Hunte. As a high school swimmer, Matt lettered and was very involved in community outreach. He taught beginning swimmers in middle school all four basic strokes so that they could compete in mini-meets with other middle schools and prepare for both high school and year-round competitive swimming.

After high school, Coach Matthew continued to develop his craft, teaching swim lessons and lifeguarding at La Porte County YMCA. In 2017, Coach Matthew joined the coaching staff of MAKO Swim Team as an assistant coach working with Coach Jrod Hunte and Coach Brahim Hakim. In fact, his coaching collaboration resulted in the development of a record braking 10 & Under boys medley relay in Indiana. Coach Matthew’s swimmers shattered a 17 year-old state record by 3.72 seconds, an amazing accomplishment.

Coach Matthew Hatala brings excitement, energy and a passion for swimming to DCS to help all groups achieve their dreams and goals.