Gulf Swimming
Level 2

Coaches and Directors

Coaches and Directors
Coaching Staff
Shawn Squires Head Coach - Seniors

Coach Shawn Squires joined the SSS coaching staff as Head Coach in the Summer of 2019. Throughout his career, he has coached numerous Jr. National & TAGS champions, National Age Group Top 10 ranked swimmers, Gulf & South Texas LSC record holders, USA Swimming Scholastic All Americans, and has coached 7 swimmers on USA Swimming’s all-time top 100 performances list. Senior level athletes that Shawn has worked with have gone on to compete for schools that include Texas, Texas A&M, Auburn, Arizona State, Wisconsin, Kansas, Rice, UT Permian Basin, Emory, Washington University at St. Louis, and Incarnate Word.

Most recently, Coach Squires worked with multiple groups at the Woodlands Swim Team. Prior to the Woodlands, Shawn was Head Coach of the San Antonio Wave in the South Texas LSC. While at Wave, he led a team of 340+ athletes & 12 assistant coaches. Under his direction the club achieved their best finish in USA Swimming’s Virtual Club Championship in the club’s 30+ year history, ranking in the top 10% of all USA Swimming clubs. The club also produced its first Jr. & Senior National qualifiers in over a decade during his tenure. While coaching in South Texas, Coach Squires served as the Open Water Committee Chair and led the LSC Open Water Travel Teams at both the Southern Zone Open Water Championships & Open Water Festival in Ft. Myers, Florida.

Before moving to San Antonio, Shawn served as the Head Age Group\National Team coach at Swim Streamline at Northampton. During his time at SSAN, the club produced their first TAGS Champion, first NAG Top 10 swimmer, first Junior National qualifier, and first college commitment in program history. Prior to SSAN, he was Senior Assistant & Head Age Group Coach at Blue Tide Aquatics in Kingwood, Texas. During his time at BTA Shawn worked with a 2012 Olympic Trials Finalist and National Junior Team member, as well as numerous Junior National, Sectionals, and TAGS Champions. While with BTA the team  finished in the top 10 at TAGS multiple times, and had a top 10 Men’s Team finish at NCSA Junior Nationals in Orlando.

The son of a club swimming coach, Shawn literally grew up in the sport & has been involved in Gulf Swimming as an athlete & coach for over 25 years. He has worked with all level of athlete from learn to swim through Olympic Trials qualifier during his career. An article Shawn wrote about working well with swimming parents was published by the American Swimming Coach’s Association in 2011. He has served on numerous Gulf & South Texas LSC staff’s including TSA All-Stars, AG Zones, and Open Water All-Stars. Before returning to coaching, he spent 10 years with Prudential Gary Greene Realtors in Houston. In his free time, Shawn enjoys making music, Astros baseball, kayak fishing, and hanging out with his 12 year old son, Connor.

Ben Harlow Head Age Group Coach -Gold & White

Ben comes to us after an 18 year journey as Head Age Group Coach of the Phillips 66 Splash Club in Oklahoma, ready for a new and exciting journey with the Sails.

Honored to be a 5 time Age Group Coach of the year and 5 time High School/Regional Coach of the year award winner, Ben dedicates these awards to his swimmers for their dedication and effort!  He was also Head Coach and Assistant for Bartlesville High School teams, celebrating 5 State titles and as many runner up finishes.   

Ben started his swimming journey at age 7 in the Y program and parlayed that into being able to swim and serve as captain for Augustana College, in Illinois, under the direction of Dave Thomas. He went on to Head Coaching jobs at the Kewanee YMCA, Quad City Swim Club, and Morrison Seahorses (all in Illinois), before landing in Oklahoma. Over 40 years of chlorine bliss!  

Coach Ben is proud of the number of Individual State Championships, Regional/Zone/Sectional/Junior National swims, team records, and high school successes his teams experienced, but he is most proud of how the swimmers under his tutelage grew over the years as people! “They gave as leaders to make themselves and those around them get the most out of every challenge and opportunity put in front of them. A true dedication to who they are and what they are all about!”

He is happy to be in League City, where his mother and sister (with her family including his niece and nephew), reside. Family, faith, friends, and swimming are most important, but watching movies, TV, and attempting to golf are all enjoyable in his little bit of free time.

Heike Schlegel-Walpot Lead Coach-Blue, Developmental, & Comp.

Heike started swimming at the age of 9. At the age of 13 she won her first West German National Age Group title in 100 backstroke, and was selected into the West German National Age Group team. During her career she won over 20 National Age Group Championship titles, and 8 West German National Championship titles. She was a member on the West German National Team from 1974 to 1981, was a semifinalist in the 1976 Olympics in 100 backstroke, and a bronze medal winner in the 1977 European Championships. She got 10 th  place in the 1978 World Championships in 200 IM, was a 3 time finalist in the 1979 World University Games, and a 2 time finalist in the 1981 World University Games. Among her career achievements were 13 National Records, and over 50 National Age Group Records, and top 10 World Swim Rankings. While she studied Medicine at the Aachen University Heike began coaching as head coach of the RWTH Aachen University swim team for several years. After the Schlegel family moved to Houston, she helped as volunteer coach with the Blue Marlins summer league team. She recently retired from her job as an airline pilot with Lufthansa German Airlines, which allows her to spend more time coaching at Sails. Three of her four children swim with the Sails team, Heike enjoys sharing her passion for swimming with young athletes and hopes to help them improve and reach their goals.

Christina Solis Lead Coach - Silver

Coach Christina (goes by Chrissy) joined Sails in 2014 as an Age Group Coach.  She started swimming with the League City Barracudas at age 8. She swam in High School and played water polo. In college, she swam at the University of Incarnate Word in the fall of 2001. Chrissy graduated from  University of Incarnate Word.

Chris Sustala Lead Coach - Bronze
Doug Reno Age Group Coach
Paul Duport Masters

Coach Paul coached the Sagemont Sharks summer league team while in high school. He was a four year letter winner as a swimmer while in high schoool at Dobie in Pasadena, Texas. He was named team captain of the swim team for his junior and senior years of high school. Prior to high school swimming, Coach Paul swam for Pasadena Swim Club. After high school, Coach Paul went on to swim at Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas. Coach Paul now resides in Seabrook, Texas. He has two sons, Makai and Shae, who swim for the Sails. 

Mark Welker Assistant Coach/Seniors
Board of Directors
Kevin Duke General Manager