Coaches and Staff

Coaching Staff
Adam Katz Head Coach & Director

Coaching Experience: 22 years of coaching expertise. Adam has experience in USA Swimming and Collegiate.

Years with LESD: 4

Coaching Accomplishments: Adam's has developed athletes for Zones, Sectionals, Juniors and Olympic Trials. along with fostering State Champions. He was recognized by The News-Herald coach of the year three times.

Personal swimming experience: "I was a swimmer for LESD and Hawken growing up.  I was a State Champion and six-time All-American. I continued my career at Indiana University and THE Ohio State University.."

One takeaway you want to pass onto your swimmers: "To work hard, and have fun! It’s a tough sport and you need to find the joy in the hard work, day after day."

Other Interesting facts: "Enjoy spending time with my family, traveling, and playing as much golf as I can."

Elizabeth Hastings Gold/Silver Coach - Hawken Upper

Coaching Experience: 31 years of coaching expertise. Liz has experience in USA Swimming and High School.

Years with LESD: 1

Coaching Accomplishments: Liz has regularly produced high school All-Americans, Futures and Jr. National qualifiers. Her  swimmers have set Lake Erie Swimming records and s he has been named Northeast Ohio District Division I Girls Coach of the Year and was also awarded the Northeast Ohio District Division II Coach of the Year for both Boys and Girls in the same season. Liz has earned Lake Erie Swimming's Club Development Award on two occasions. In addition to her swimmer's success in the water, Liz is accomplished in creating a culture where high character and fast swimming support one another. 

Personal swimming experience: "I swam through high school then rowed for 4 years at Purdue University where I was nominated for USRowing's Collegiate Academic All-American Team."

One takeaway you want to pass onto your swimmers: "Have an attitude of gratitude. Be thankful for everything."

Other Interesting facts: "I am an Ironman finisher and still actively competitive in the multisport world where I represent Team USA at ITU World Championships."

Jelani Watkins Head of Age Group Coach

Coaching Experience: 10 years of coaching expertise. Jelani has experience in USA Swimming, Middle School, Summer Leage and Collegiate.

Years with LESD: 1

Coaching Accomplishments: Jelani was recognized in 2017 as Atlanta's Swim Association Coach of the Year and was the founding Head Coach of the Atlanta University Center Tigersharks.

.Personal swimming experience: "I was a Georgia high school state-qualifying swimmer for all four years of high school, while swimming for the City of Atlanta Dolphins and Fulton County Swordfish swim teams. Upon finishing high school, I attended Morehouse and worked with former teammates to restart the swim programs serving three of the Atlanta University Centers schools. After graduating, I was hired as an Aquatics Director, continuing the collegiate club program and offering free and reduced-cost lessons for youth in the Atlanta community. I continued coaching with the DeKalb Aquatics swim team and working at Morehouse until I moved to the Cleveland area. Here, I worked with the Shaker Sharks Swimming Team for four years, before finding my new home with the Lake Erie Silver Dolphins."

One takeaway you want to pass onto your swimmers: "Don't just take your mark. MAKE your mark." If you rise to the top and you don't have the strength to bring your teammates up, then it wasn't worth it.

Other Interesting facts: "I'm a musician... an artist, even when coaching. So don't be surprised if you hear a big, baritone voice making music as you swim!"

Rick Balcam Head Site Coach - Mayfield

Coaching Experience: 26 years of coaching expertise. Rick has experience in USA Swimming and High School.

Years with LESD: 16

Coaching Accomplishments: Rick has coached Jr National qualifiers and state champions.  He was named Northeast Ohio High School Division 1 Coach of the Year .

Personal swimming experience: "I was a swimmer for LESD and then swam collegiately at Edinboro University."

One takeaway you want to pass onto your swimmers: "Swimming provides such great life lessons!  With dedication, hard work, and sacrifice anything is possible."

Other Interesting facts: "I enjoy traveling with my wife and fishing with good friends."

Ryan Curry Assistant Coach
Tom Grieshammer Assistant Coach
Eric Dennis Head Site Coach - CSU

Coaching Experience: 19 years of coaching expertise. Eric has experience in USA Swimming and High School swimming.

Years with LESD: 1

Coaching Accomplishments: Eric has developed athletes for Zones, Juniors Nationals, as well as with fostering State Champions. 

Personal swimming experience: "I was a swimmer myself for LESD and St. Edward prep, and continued at Cleveland State University."

One takeaway you want to pass onto your swimmers: "Focus on being better than you were the day before."

Other Interesting facts: "I have been married for 18 years with 3 kids 3 dogs and live in Sheffield Lake where I like to fish and hunt."

Kara Dennis CSU

Coaching Experience: 13 years of coaching expertise. Kara has experience in USA Swimming and High School.

Years with LESD: 1

Coaching Accomplishments: Kara has developed athletes for Zones (in all age groups) and Junior Nationals. Some of her swimmers have achieved Lake Erie and Central Zone records in multiple events.

Personal swimming experience: "I started club swimming with Team Viking at the age of 7 and joined LESD at the age of 9. I swam in high school and then at Wittenberg University."

One takeaway you want to pass onto your swimmers: "A true passion for and enjoyment of what they do will enable them to be successful while still having fun. These are lessons that go beyond the swimming pool and will help them in all aspects of their lives."

Other Interesting facts: "I am one of 6 children and I love to read!"

Thad Schultz Head Site Coach - SPIRE

Coaching Experience: 26 years of coaching expertise. Thad has experience in USA Swimming, Collegiate and FINA swimming.

Years with LESD: 3

Coaching Accomplishments: Thad's swimmers have advanced to Olympics, Junior, Senior Nationals and achieved NCAA All-American.

Personal swimming experience: "I swam at West Virginia University and was a National Champion in 1992."

One takeaway you want to pass onto your swimmers: "Swimming can be a life-long way of staying fit, healthy and goal oriented."

Other Interesting facts: "My dog is awesome."

George Bare Head Site Coach - CVAC

Coaching Experience: 19 years of coaching expertise. Bill has experience in USA Swimming and Middle School coaching.

Years with LESD: 8

Coaching Accomplishments: Bill has coached several age group champions and state champions and record holders.  He has also coached several swimmers who have gone on to swim in college, including a Big 10 champion.

Personal swimming experience:  "I grew up swimming at the Chagrin Falls Rec Center and then started with University Swim Club with Mark Bran and Tim Hable when I was 7.  I switched to LESD when I was 12 swimming with Jerry Holtrey until I finished my swimming career after graduating from DePauw Universiyt."

One takeaway you want to pass onto your swimmers:  "Always give your best effort to get better."

Other interesting facts:  I am married to a former swimmer (Jeremy Neal Bare) who I have known since I was 7.  We have two daughters, Libby and Syndey, who are swimming with LESD."

Matthew Kenosh Head Site Coach - CVAC
Administrative Staff
CJ Musser Chief Administrator
Kristin MacPhail Club Development Director
Marie Salibra Team Manager