YMCA Stingrays Coaching Staff

Dan ValeHead Coach

Coach Dan Vale grew up competing in summer league, club, and high school swimming in Northern California. He then went on to compete at the collegiate level for 4 years at Biola University while coaching his former summer league team and completing an internship with Irvine Novaquatics. 

After graduating with a degree in Physical Education and a minor in Biblical Studies, Coach Dan became the Lead Senior Coach with Costa Mesa Aquatics Club (CMAC) and the Head Coach of the Pacifica Christian High School swim team. He then went on to receive his Master's in Sport Management through the University of Texas.

Coach Dan joined the Rays in the Fall of 2020 and has helped build the team back from fewer than 60 swimmers to where it is now. The Rays sent 4 relays and 4 individual swimmers to the 2022 YMCA Short Course National Championships under Coach Dan and were the second-highest scoring boys' team from Illinois. Coach Dan was named one of the American Swim Coaches' Association 30 Under 30 Award recipients in the Spring of 2022.

Email: [email protected] 


Rachel Rushing, Assistant Coach, Masters Coach

Hi I’m coach Rachel! I grew up in the Rockford area and swam for the Rays from 8-18 years of age and coached until I was about 20. I have three wonderful children: Asher, U’Ziya and Phoenix. We also have two silly pitbulls: Nyx and Richard! I am currently a junior at Rockford College pursuing a bachelors of science degree in Psychology with plans to pursue my doctoral degree in Industrial Organizational Psychology. I have invested my career and time in the Rockford area and look forward to investing time in our swimmers future by helping shape their skills, strength, values and community engagement! 

Email: [email protected]


Nolan Steingraeber, Assistant Coach

Email: [email protected]


Abbi PenningAssistant Coach

Email: abbipenning@rockriverymca.org


Josh MartinAssistant Coach

Email: jmartin@rockriverymca.org