Coaches and Directors

Coaches and Directors
Coaching Staff
Seth Urffer Head Swim Coach
Coach Seth is our BLUE USA Head Coach and Program Lead for our non-USA Swim clinics and programs. Seth has years of experience working with all levels of athletes bringing his expertise, creativity and passion for the development of youth athletes to all of BLUE's members. Seth continually dedicates his resolve to establishing continuity between our entry-level feeder programs and our most experienced athletes. 
 
Seth is a native to the Lehigh Valley, growing up in Fogelsville, Pennsylvania. He swam competitively for Bob Clark as both a member of the Parkland High School Team and USA member of WET/PAAC. After graduating in 2004, he spent two years competing at the DIII level for Lycoming College in the MAC conference. He currently resides in Orefield.
Nicole Danchak Lessons Director
Coach Nicole previously swam for Nazareth Varsity swim team in high school, graduating in 2009. She was the last class to graduate from Nazareth before our current pool was finished and is excited to see how big swimming has grown in the Nazareth community since she graduated. She started teaching swim lessons in high school at the Nazareth YMCA for her first job and has been teaching/coaching for over 10 years since in Stroudsburg for the Aquatics Academy and the Emmaus Aquatic Club. Coach Nicole currently resides in Wilson. 
 
She is very passionate about teaching swimming as a life skill for children of all abilities and working with the special needs community to develop swim skills to be safe in/around water as well as helping kids learn to love the water like she does. 
Matthew Ellis Lead Age Group Swim Coach

Coach Ellis has been working with BLUE for several years coaching all age/level of swimmers. He  works primarily with the age group swimmers at BLUE  giving them a strong foundation of skills and work ethic to prepare them for their high school years. He began his involvement with the sport of swimming as an athlete at the age of 8 with the Pocono Family YMCA. He is currently the Head Varsity Swimming and Diving coach at Easton Area High School.

Scott Palochik Lead Age Group Swim Coach

Since the age of 10, Coach Scott has been involved with competitive swimming. Starting with the YMCA and summer league, Scott competed and qualified for Pa State Championships for Valley High School in both swimming and diving.

For several years, Coach Scott taught swimming at various instructional levels at the Nazareth YMCA. Scott has been a certified official for the YMCA and USA Swimming since 2005. Scott joined the BLUE coaching staff in 2018 working primarily with the mini and age group swimmers.

Cindy O'Donnell Head Diving Coach

From the age of three Coach Cindy has been heavily involved in gymnastics and springboard diving as an athlete and a coach. Through her childhood years, she was ranked nationally as a level 9 gymnast and was inducted into her high school hall of fame for her accomplishments. Coach Cindy always dabbled in diving since she grew up with a pool and a diving board in her backyard. She competed for a short while in high school but her passion did not lie there at the time. It wasn’t till after an injury forced her out of the gym and into the pool full time. 

Coach Cindy started diving competitively in college, at Northeastern University in Boston, and took her athletic abilities to a whole new level. She was awarded a full tuition scholarship, ranked 12th in the country for Division 1 Athletics, was awarded Division 1 All-American and 20 years later still holds the 3meter record. Upon college graduation, with a degree in Science, Cindy held many jobs but her passion has always lied in coaching others to success, whether in diving, gymnastics or business.

Coach Cindy has trained exclusively with world renowned coaches such as Dick Kimball, diving icon, and has competed alongside with many Olympians including Laura Wilkinson and back in the day, Dominique Dawes and Shannon Miller just to name a few.   

Since her move from Boston to PA in 2003, she served as the head diving coach at Lafayette College in Easton, PA for 16 years and is currently the Lehigh University Head Diving Coach. She has coached summer swim league diving, and while running her own diving business, has seen many divers off to college with scholarships and much success.

I’m excited to be part of the BLUE Diving program and I am excited to Dive in with all of you.

Jessica Howk Assistant Swim Coach

Coach Jess started swimming for her summer swim club in NJ at age 5 and finished her career as a co-captain of the UMass Amherst Women's Swim Team in 2011. While at UMass, Coach Jess coached the Triathlon Club's swim workouts and was an assistant coach at the school's summer swim camp. She spent 1 year as an assistant coach for the Circle C Select Swim Team in Austin, TX. 

Alexa Kutch Assistant Swim Coach

Coach Alexa continues her first year with BLUE where she will coach the age group swimmers as well as assist with the lessons program. Alexa swam competitively for 15 years. She competed four years on Easton High School's varsity team, then four years at Drexel University. She graduated Drexel with a Bachelor's of Science in Teacher Education and a Master's of Science in Teaching, Learning and Curriculum. This year will mark the start of Alexa's third year of coaching USA swimming. She also is the Freedom High School Head Varsity Swim Coach. When Coach Alexa is not on the pool deck, she can be found in Freedom High School where she teaches English. Alexa is excited to coach for BLUE and hopes her experience will benefit the swimmers here. 

Macawley Knappenberger Assistant Swim Coach

Coach Macawley is from the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton area of Northeast Pennsylvania. She has been involved in the sport of competitive swimming, either as an athlete or a coach, ever since she was 10 years old. During her time at King’s College in Wilkes-Barre, Macawley taught swim lessons at the Wilkes-Barre YMCA and coached the summer swim team. Upon moving to the Lehigh Valley in 2015, Macawley began her career teaching Spanish at Phillipsburg High School. She also is the Head Varsity Girls Swim Coach there.  She began coaching with BLUE in 2017 and has served as an assistant coach for both the age group and mini groups and lifeguard trainer for the team. Although she is working on her Master’s degree at Wilkes University and coaching the Phillipsburg Varsity swim team, Macawley truly enjoys her time on deck with BLUE and working with the great group of both coaches and athletes of the BLUE family.

Nicholas Zaso Assistant Swim Coach
Andrea Radai Assistant Swim Coach

Andrea started swimming at age 8 for North York Aquatic Club in Ontario, Canada. Her stroke specialties were butterfly and freestyle. Andrea was provincial champion in 50 freestyle at age 13. She then swam in University with the McGill Masters Team. While at McGill, Andrea got her Chemical Engineering Degree and then moved with her husband to the US in 2006. Andrea has been assistant coach with BLUE since May 2017 and she is fully committed to quality stroke development for the long-term success of our swimmers. Her daughter, Alexia, has swam for BLUE since 2016.

Sarah Schiavone Assistant Swim Coach

Coach Sarah has been coaching the mini and age group swimmers for BLUE since the spring of 2021. Coach Sarah has many years of swim coaching experience to bring to the pool and share with the swimmers. 

Kadie Weaver Assistant Swim Coach

Coach Kadie graduated from Shippensburg University with a BA in Psychology and dual minors in exercise science and coaching. She is currently continuing her academics at California University with the online program for exercise science with a concentration in sport psychology. Kadie swam for 12 years at the club, high school and college level. She is also one of the assistant swim coaches with Nazareth High School Swim & Diving team. Coach Kadie primarily works with the age group swimmers at BLUE and does, at times, also assist in all groups. 

Lisa Palochik Manager
Board of Directors
Heather Major President
currently vacant Vice President
Katie Spengler Secretary
Kelly Nelson Community Relations