Level 2

Coaching Staff

Crystee Ballard, Head Coach: "Hard work beats talent when talent doesn't work hard." 

Coach Crystee Ballard has been involved in competitive swimming and coaching for more than 30 years. She has achieved recognition as a Level III ASCA certified coach and has coached swimmers that have qualified for YMCA Nationals, USA Junior Nationals, USA Nationals, and USA Olympic Trials. 

Crystee is a SPY Alumna and went on to swim for Division 1 Towson State University. She spent one year working with the University of Maryland Swim Team while working on her master’s degree and spent three summers coaching at the University of Michigan's summer swim camps.

When Crystee is not coaching she enjoys running, biking, standup paddle boarding, and spending time with her husband Nat and their 3 girls (especially at the beach!). Crystee has been coaching at SPY for more than 18 years and has been Head Coach since 2005.




Richard Heim, Head Assistant Coach : "Every accomplishment starts with the decision to try".

Coach Richard has been involved in competitive swimming for 25 years as both an athlete and as a coach. Richard swam on SPY for 9 years until 2001 and has been coaching since 2005. He is currently certified as a Level III ASCA coach.

Since 2006, Coach Richard has also been the head coach for Oakleigh Forest Swim Team in the summer and has led them to many East Severna Park League Championships over the past 15 years. He has also previously coached for Evergreen and Shipley's Choice during the summer.

Richard is a graduate of the University of Virginia (Go Cavs!) with a degree in Mechanical Engineering and works in Baltimore as an engineer, where he recently received his Professional Engineers License. When Richard isn't engineering or coaching, he enjoys spending time with his family and traveling.




Laura Ainsworth, Assistant Coach: "Not having a goal is more to be feared than not reaching one".

Coach Laura has been involved with competitive swimming for over 30 years. Laura is the Head Coach of Harting Farms Swim Team and most recently assisted in coaching Chesapeake High School Swimming. 

Laura's passion is swimming and mentoring young athletes. As an athlete, she received many All State and All American certificates on the High School and collegiate level.  While attending Shepherd University, she became the NAIA National Champion in the 1650 freestyle.  Her involvement in the sport continues with coaching and officiating at swim meets. 

Laura lives in Annapolis with her husband and two children.  When Laura is not on the pool deck, she enjoys spending time her family and supporting her twins, who are also competitive swimmers.  




 Ken Keer, Assistant Coach: "Good things come to those who wait.  But better things come to those who work for it."

Coach Ken is a long-time YMCA coach who comes to SPY most recently from CATY. We are so happy to have him! 

Coach Ken is an ASCA Level III certified coach and has been coaching age group swimming for more than 20 years. The majority of his coaching career has been spent coaching 12 & Under age group swimmers. Over the years, he has coached National Top 16 qualifiers, Sectional Qualifiers, State Champions, and Maryland Zone Team Qualifiers.

Coach Ken spends his days working in the computer science field, and spends his free time reading, writing and rooting for his favorite sports teams.​




Allie Muha, Assistant Coach: "In order to succeed your desire for success must be greater than your fear of losing."

Coach Allie was a SPY swimmer for 8 years before moving on to swim D2 collegiately at Lock Haven University. She was both a YMCA Nationals Long Course and Short Course Qualifier. At Lock Haven, Allie was a 4 time PSAC conference championships qualifier, and finaled in the 200 fly her junior and senior years. Allie currently holds 5 All-Time Top Five times for Lock Haven University.

After graduating with a Heath Science degree, Allie works in medical sales in addition to coaching and wedding planning. Allie coached the Shipley's Choice Dolphins for 9 seasons and was the head coach in 2015.

When she's not working, Allie loves spending time at the beach with her family and going to Camden Yards to cheer on the O’s. 




Cassie Mann, Assistant Coach: "Push yourself, because no one else is going to do it for you"

Coach Cassie was a SPY swimmer for 7 years, and she is so excited to be back with the team! 

In addition to swimming for SPY, Cassie was a four-year varsity swimmer and captain for St. Mary’s High School in Annapolis and helped lead the team to an undefeated season and IAAM B Conference title in 2015. She went on to swim D1 at Mount St. Mary’s University in Emmitsburg, MD. She swam sprint freestyle events (50, 100, 200) and was a Northeast Conference (NEC) finalist in the 200 free. 

Cassie graduated from the Mount in 2019 with a bachelor’s degree in Communication. She works at a global recruiting company in internal communication and executive strategy. When not working, Cassie loves cheering for the Baltimore sports teams, running, reading, and spending time at the beach with her family.