sponsored by

follow us




The Phoenix Aquatic Club coaching staff is here to support you. If your questions are related to workouts, meets, events, and other swimming related needs, please contact your coach. For all questions related to administrative, such as joiing, dues, safety, or policy issues, please send us an e-mail at [email protected].


Don Wagner 

CEO / Head Coach


Coach Wagner, is a former University of Nebraska swimmer, and served as an assistant coach at University of Arizona and University Southern California to former USA national team head coach and general manager Mark Schubert.  

Coach Wagner later became the head coach at Texas A&M and University of Alabama.  Before going to USC, Coach Wagner served as the head coach of Fullerton Aquatics Sports Team (FAST), where he coached 4 time Olympic gold medalist and Olympic Hall of Famer Janet Evans to her world record in the 800-meter freestyle.  

He is an  ASCA Level 5 coach whose accomplishments include:

  • Olympic Coach at Sydney 2000
  • 6 time US National Team Coach
  • Assistant Coach for the Pan Pacific (1989 & 1991) and Goodwill Games Teams (1990)
  • Head Coach for the World University Games (1995)




Dave Nehls 

Age Group Head Coach



Coach Dave joined the Phoenix Coaching Staff in August 2021. After finishing his collegiate swimming career at Ramapo College as a 2-year captain and team record holder, Coach Dave realized he wanted to give back to the sport and joined the coaching staff at Ramapo College. In his 7 seasons as Assistant Coach, he helped grow the program to new heights by producing several NCAA DIII Championship qualifiers and finalists. During this time he also took over the team's Strength & Conditioning Program, implementing knowledge he gained through his personal training certifications.

Upon leaving Ramapo, he became the Head Site Coach of the Bergen County branch of the Life Time Metro Swim Team. He used the lessons he learned as a young swimmer to teach and inspire his athletes, bringing forth a multitude of athletes who achieved Junior Olympic, Zones, and Sectional cuts.


Ryan Wagner

Senior Assistant Coach


Coach Ryan is a former Phoenix Aquatic Swimmer with multiple records. While swimming in High School Ryan won the State Championship Title in 100-yard backstroke. He attended The Ohio State University and swam for the varsity team. Ryan obtained his Bachelor's Degree in Marketing from the Fisher School of Business and minored in real estate. His academic and swimming journey continued at the Redhawks Miami University where Ryan swam for the varsity team and obtained his Master’s in Educational Psychology. 

Coach Ryan has coached since the age of 15, starting his coaching career at the Stonybrook Swim Club where he coached for four years various kids from ages 5 to 18. His coaching further continued at the Greater Columbus Swim Team of Ohio where Coach Ryan worked with 10 & Under age group division. Coach Ryan brings his invaluable athletic and coaching experience to the Phoenix Aquatic Club.


Emre Aydin

Age Group Coach


Coach Emre has been part of Phoenix and working with different age groups since 2018.  Focusing on technique and fundamentals, Emre promotes a fun but challenging workout environment for swimmers to thrive on. 

Growing up in Turkey, Emre swam competitively for 10 years.  He also swam 3 years as part of a masters team in NYC where he competed locally and nationally.

When not coaching Emre works as a full-time computer programmer for a technology and analytics company.   He also swims regularly as part of the Phoenix masters program.


Alice Wagner

Age Group Coach / LTS Director


Coach Alice has been coaching swimming for over ten years. She swam for Coach Mike Stauffer at the Lakewood Swim Club in Washington State. She was a Varsity letter swimmer at Lake High School. In 1990 she volunteered to work the Good Will Games in Seattle Washington. This is where she met her husband Don Wagner. They have two beautiful children in College. Savannah swam for the University of Nebraska and Ryan is currently swimming for Ohio State University.

Alice has been director of aquatics for several years running swim camps, swim meets, and Learn to swim programs. She managed the University of Alabama and Texas A&M Swim camps where enrollment increased 80% in just two years. She was the director/coach of the Crimson Tide Aquatic Swim Club and managed all operations of the club. Her skills in perfecting running swim meets increase revenue from $15,000.00 to $150,000 annually. Over the last several years she developed a learn to swim program that teaches “swim float swim” water safety swimming strategies. She coaches the stroke development and futures swimmers.

In addition to coaching, she is licensed in General and Special Education, and he holds a Master’s degree in School Building leadership from Mercy College.


Sami Robbins

Director of Operations 


Sami first worked with Phoenix Aquatic Club during the covid era. After she moved to Seattle, she wanted to stay involved with the team and her work in sports management became a great fit for dryside of PAC. She has coached from the west coast to the east coach with SMAC, the Manhattan Makos and AGUA. 

In addition to working with PAC, Sami works at OneTeam Partners, a sport agency that works with professional and collegiate atheltes in the group licensing space. 



Mary Lange

Team Administrator



Ken Henry

Web Administrator


Ken is the father of one of Phoenix’s first families to go through our program. His two kids, Parker and Alicia, started swimming with Stonybrook Stingrays over the summers. Shortly after, they both continued their swimming journey with Phoenix. Ken became a key asset for us by handling large administrative tasks and website design. The Henry family has since moved to Atlanta, Georgia. Parker and Alicia have joined the Dynamo Swim Club where both have excelled. Alicia will attend, and swim Division I, for California Berkely.  Ken still helps us remotely, assisting with administrative tasks and registration.