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 [email protected].

DCS Board of Directors:

  • Tish Atwell — President
  • Christine Rolka — Vice-President
  • Cheryl Melilli — Treasurer
  • Maria Bartlett — Secretary/Admin
  • Julieta Valenzona — Safe Sport Coordinator

Coaching Staff:

image of Jarrod Hunte

Jarrod Hunte

Head Coach

[email protected]

(470) 507-1717

“The path to Success is guided through belief, desires and dreams. When each individual finds that spark that makes them champions from within their body and mind, Success can be a reality.”  — Jarrod Hunte

Jarrod Hunte, or better known as Coach JRod 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, a member of the record setting men’s 800 freestyle relay and swim team captain during his senior year.

Moving from the pool to the deck, coaching swimmers became a primary passion for Jarrod. Before joining DCS as Head Coach in 2017, Jarrod led the Mako Swim Team in Valparaiso, Indiana, guiding swimmers as far as the Junior and Senior Nationals and the 2016 Olympic Trials. Jarrod was recognized as a World 100 18 & under coach by USA Swimming in 2017, and was placed on the 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018 USA Junior Team coaches list. In 2019, he served as a Head Coach for the USA Swimming Select Camp for Diversity and Inclusion.

As DCS Head Coach, Jarrod fuels the passion and focus of our team. We witness the results of hard work in our swimmers' successes last year: 1 Junior Nationals Qualifier, 3 Speedo Sectionals Qualifiers, 5 NCSA Qualifiers, 15 State Championship Qualifiers, and 90+ outstanding swimmers.

Coach JRod believes that a swimmer’s environment is tantamount. At DCS, Jarrod Hunte creates 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!

Image of Coach Julie

Julie Palmer

Assistant Coach

[email protected]

Coach Julie is coming back to the pool deck after graduating from Berry College in 2018. As a member of Berry College Swim Team, Julie swam distance. Her favorite part about swimming is the family atmosphere that being a part of a team creates.

Born and raised in Arlington Heights, IL, Julie began swimming for a recreational team at the age of 8. Inspired by lifelong swimmer, her father, Doug, Julie quickly caught the swimming "bug", and fell in love with the sport. Julie began swimming with USA Swimming at the age of 9 with the Arlington Alligators in Illinois.

When Julie's family relocated to Marietta, GA in 2010, Julie became a "junior" coach for her neighborhood swim team, and joined the Marietta Stingrays USA Team. Julie continued to coach on her summer breaks for Cobb County Summer League teams, and worked as an assistant coach for the Cobb County State Team. After a few years away from coaching, Julie is excited to be back on the pool deck. 

Currently, Julie and her husband, Teddy, reside in Smyrna, Georgia where Julie teaches 3rd Grade at St. Benedict's Episcopal School.

Julie loves to share her love of swimming with the next generation. Her coaching philosophy is that success is the combination of patience, hard work, determination, and humility. She is so thankful to be a part of DCS!

Image of Coach Trey

Trey Patuka

Assistant Coach

[email protected]

Coach Trey developed his swimming, leadership and training talents through the scouting program. From his start as a Cub Scout Aquanaut at age six, Trey’s opportunities with the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) allowed him to pursue merit badges with a focus on water competencies. As an Eagle Scout, he twice earned a spot to attend the BSA National High Adventure Sea Base in Florida to hone his skills in and on the water.

Recognized for his leadership skills, Coach Trey was tapped by the BSA to staff the most advanced training offered to scouting’s adult leaders, Wood Badge. The course teaches leadership, teaching and training skills, as well as team development, project planning, inclusivity and diversity, goal setting and completion, and program development. He has served as the Lodge Chief for the Order of the Arrow and on the BSA Leadership Executive Board for 5 years.

As a certified Lifeguard Instructor (LGI), Coach Trey trains adults and youth essential water safety and lifesaving skills such as CPR and first aid.

As a DCS coach, Trey Patuka shares his love of the water with our Masters, Blue and Future swimmers. He enjoys teaching and seeing his students grow both in their swimming skills and in their self-confidence in and outside the pool.