Coaches and Directors

Coaching Staff
Larry Collins

 

Larry Collins is the Head Coach of the Patriot Beacon Location. Larry Coaches the Beacon Senior Prep Group.

His coaching career began in 1975 and he has held numerous Assistant and Head coaching positions over the years. Larry has enjoyed significant  and continued success in nurturing swimmers to local championshps, regional championships and Junior National championships as well as HS State Championships.

Larry has been selected to the staff of the Empire State Games and Eastern Zone Championship teams. He has also dedicated himself to the administration of the sport of swimming and recently served on the Metropolitan Swimming board as Coaches Representative. He has also served as General Chair and Age Group Chair.

Coach Larry enjoyed a long and succesful competitive career beginning as an age group swimmer for the Elmira YMCA. He was HS Swimmer of the year in 1974 and a HS state qualifier in 1976. Larry qualified for NCAA Division III in 1977 & 1978 and was a member of an All-American 400yd Medley Relay.

His coaching philosphy can be summed up by the following statement:  "Believing in the limitless power of an Indvidual's dreams."  He believes in helping swimmers to "Dream Big" and achieve those dreams.

Bob Vializ

Coach Bob serves as the Director of the Patrot Swim Team and provides support coaching for the various training groups at all locations. 

He started his coaching career in 1978 as a student Volunteer for the De Witt Clinton HS Swim Team.  Two years later he landed his first paid coaching job with the Marist Swim Club.  Since that time, he has held several assistant and head coach positions.  It has been his privelege to assist many athletes to achieve performances from local championships, regional championships and Junior National Championships. He has also been priveleged to be selected to National Select Camp Staff, Eastern Zone Championship Staff and Empire State Games staff.

Coach Bob has dedicated himself to the development of the sport of swimming as well as the development of athletes.  He  has served 3 terms as General Chair.  He has also served has Age Group Chair and has served Metropolitan Swimming for approximately 12 years. 

As a swimmer, Bob came to the sport late, joining his High School team at age 15.  Soon after, he joined the Rose Hill Swim club out of Fordham University, Bronx, NY.    Daily double practices (triples during the HS season) worked their magic and allowed him to break several HS records, win the "Golden Jock" award and qualify for local and regional championship competition in AAU swimming.   Bob's college career was distinguished as he broke all the distance and Individual Medley records at Marist College and enjoyed top finishes in Collegiate Conference Championships

Bob's coaching philosphy is embodied in two words..."Defy Limits"   The focus is to help swimmers of all abilities to recognize their potential and convey the confidence to push past their limits to achieve that potential.

In addition to swimming accomplishments, Bob was a highly decorated Police Officer.  He received 14 commendations during his career.  He retired in 2003 after serving 20 years, combined, with the NYC and City of Yonkers Police Departments. 

Marc Rizzo

Coach Marc has been the Head Senior Coach in Beacon since 2012.   In Spring 2022, Marc will be taking the helm as the Director of the Patriot Swim team, in addtion to his Senior Coaching duties.

He has done an amazing job getting swimmers to the Junior Olympic, Eastern Zone, High School State, Senior Met, Speedo Sectional, USA Future Championship Series, High School All- American,  NCSA Junior National Championship, Junior National Championship and U.S. Open Championship level in short order.  He has coached Junior Olympic,  Eastern Zone, and High School State Champions as well as Speedo Sectional, Senior Met, and USA Future Championship Series medalists. This past year alone, Marc's training group placed more than 75 swims in the Metro top 25 year end rankings.  Coach Marc has big dreams for his swimmers and backs that up with innovative training focused on stroke efficiency combined with race pace.  

An ASCA Level 3 coach, he has had extensive experience in coaching swimmers from Age Group, Senior and Masters Level.   He ran the senior program for two years at Millbrook Swim Club.  Next,  he ran the Age Group Program for Devilfish Aquatics, where he enjoyed great success in helping swimmers achieve many Junior Olympic and Eastern Zone Championship performances.  Marc has also served as an Eastern Zone Championship Coach.

As a swimmer, Marc had an impressive career learning under the tutelage of renowned Coach Gene Damm.  As an age group swimmer in Metro  he became nationally ranked, achieving numerous JO Titles and National Top Ten times. Locally, Marc set many records that still stand today.  He continued his career under another Legendary Coach, John Trembley, at Mercersburg Prep School.  While there, his team won the national title, he attained individual All American Status, and he anchored the Nations #1 ranked 400 Free Relay.  Marc swam for yet another Coaching Legend, Dick Shoulberg, at Germantown Aquatics, then went on to swim for Cornell University where his career came to a pre- mature end due to a shoulder injury.  

Marc offers a unique perspective to his swimmers as he has competed at the national level and competed at the Masters level where he continued his winning ways of achieving top ten national times.   His greatest pleasure in coaching is helping swimmers achieve goals they never believed possible.   He believes in blending hard work with a positive atmosphere that will instill a lifelong love of swimming so that his swimmers will succeed now and, most importantly, in the future.  

Chrisanna Hickey

For the Start of the 2021/22 Season, Coach Chrisanna will be coaching the New Windsor Senior & Senior Prep Groups.

Chrisanna is a graduate of SUNY Cortland and enjoyed a highly successful College swim career. She began her competitive swimming career with Larry Collins on the USA team Big Blue. She also represented the Patriot Swim Team in USA Sectional competition as a Butterfly specialist. In addition to swimming with Coach Collins, she was a participant on the John Jay swim team. In high school she was awarded Rookie of the year, Patriot Award, MVP, and voted as a Captain. She continued on to compete at the college level for the Cortland Red Dragons varsity swim team. At that time she specialized in Butterfly, Breast stroke and IM. At the end of her college career she finished as: Captain of the girls team; Cortland individual record holder in the 400 IM, 200 IM and 100 Fly; SUNYAC champion, medal winner and National B-cut qualifier. Chrisanna graduated with a BS in Childhood Education.  

In her freshman year at SUNY Cortland, Chrisanna launched her coaching experience in the swim program CAST (Cortland Adaptive Swim Team). CAST is a unique program for swimmers with special needs including but limited to physical, mental and emotional disabilities. Participants are positively affected by their involvement in this program and have become very successful swimmers. By working in CAST she has developed a greater understanding of how to effectively approach each swimmer.  Chrisanna’s aquatic experience also branches off into teaching a college level aquatics class and many private and group lessons for children and adults.

Coaching Philosophy: Everything has a purpose so make it count. 

Brian Sarvis

Brian is the Head Coach of our New Windsor Location.  He Coaches the new windsor Junior and Dolphin Groups

Brian has been coaching for over 30 years.  He started in 1984 as Head Coach for the Cornwall Swim Team.  He was in that position for 11.5 years.  He then coached with VAC, Aqua Gems and Devilfish, helping his swimmers achieve their swimming goals.  In the past year, Brian has made a big impact on Patriot Swimmers of all ages and abilities and is excited to continue to help all swimmers with their goals and team pride.
 
Since 1994, Brian has been enrolled as a member of ASCA completing many courses as Level 3 coaching philosophy of swimming , dry land training, fundamentals of competitive swimming , nutrition for swimmers and personal organization for coaches. He has coached and swam in a masters program, and trained many triathletes as well as competing in several triathlons and biathlons.
Nicholas Charriez

Nick Charriez is a former coach and swimmer for the Patriot Swim Team and returns to us as the Head Coach at our Ossining Location.    He served our athletes as Head Age Group Coach in our Beacon location in 2013.   He left to pursue a coaching career in the NCAA, first as an Assistant Coach with Connecticut College.  He then became an Associate Head Coach and Director of Recruiting at John's Hopkins University.   After Johns Hopkins, Nick joined the coaching staff the US Military Academy at West Point.

Nick began coaching in an assistant position, under Head Coach Edgar Perez,  at Yorktown Swim and Dive, a large summer league team based in Shrub Oak, NY. While there, he gained a reputation as a likeable, talented coach, who pays great attention to detail.

Nick swam for many years himself, but first climbed on the blocks at 8 for Yorktown Swim and Dive, the team he would eventually help coach.  He went on to swim for the old Patriot Swim Club based in Montrose, NY, coached by Patriot’s very own Bob Vializ. He later joined the BGNW Westchester Marlins in Mt. Kisco, NY, where he achieved a number of team records as well as Junior National qualifying times. Nick competed for Lakeland High School and was a 4-year state qualifier and was All-American in the 100 Fly and 100 Back his senior year.

After high school, Nick swam for Division III powerhouse Kenyon College. Guided by the tutelage of legendary coach Jim Steen, the Kenyon College Men’s Swim team owns a record 31 consecutive NCAA National Championships, spanning 1980-2010. Nick was a 3-time NCAA qualifier and 3-time All-American and member of the national team for 2011, 2012 and 2013. After losing the NCAA title for the first time in 2011 and again in 2012, the Lords snapped back the title in 2013- in a meet they were far expected to lose. Nick was also named team captain in 2013. In addition to these accolades, while at Kenyon, Nick qualified for many other national meets including Summer Nationals, Winter Nationals and the US Open.

Nick believes that preparing younger swimmers for the future involves technique-based training, and that this will help them excel not only later in grade school but in college as well.

Aileen Moncion

Aileen Coaches the Beacon Junior Group. 

Aileen started swimming competitively  in about 1990 as a child for the Westside Marlins and then the Riverbank Redtails in NYC. She has been able to compete in and out of state in J.O'S, Empire State games, and YWCA championships. As a teen she began as a lifeguard then a water safety instructor teaching swim lessons to all ages through college. Aileen graduated in applied health sciences and licensed Occupational Therapist Assistant. She has been serving the special needs community for 11 years. She currently works with the CP population where she has been able to use her swimming skills and understanding of anatomy and physiology during aquatic therapy to increase the success of the student's individual goals. 
Over the years she has continued providing swim lessons to children and individualized swim technique instructions for racers. Aileen will continue to evolve through her years of swim training and experience with children to provide a dynamic coaching experience for younger swimmers.
Brian Valedon

Coach Brian will be working with All levels at Ossining and with the Beacon Senior Group. 

Brian has had a stellar swim career.  At Brewster HS Brian was an All American in the 500 as well as two-time Section 1 champion in that event and a member of the “All Section” team.  He enjoyed Top 5 Finishes at Boys HS States and holds several records for Brewster. 

As a member of the Ridgefield Aquatic Club, he was a Junior National qualifier and finalist, High Point winner at the CT. Senior Open Champs as well as Senior Open Champion in the 1650, 1000, and 500-yard Freestyle events.  

As a Freshman and Sophomore, he was a member of the “Storied” Indiana University Men’s team, helping them win Two Big Ten Championships and scoring for the team in the Division 1 National Tournament. 

He transferred to the University of Tampa for his Junior and Senior years, helping the “Spartans” win their first ever Sunshine State Conference Championship and earning All American status for his performances in the 200yd Butterfly.  

Brian has coached three summer seasons for the Lakeside Field Club.  

Coaching Philosophy:    “What you put in is what you will get out!”

Sylvia Kenny

For the Start of the 2021/22 Season, Sylvia will be coaching the Beacon Dolphin Group

Sylvia started her coaching career  in 2004, when our team was the West Point Swim Club.  She quickly distinquished herself as a master at developing basic competitive swim skills in brand new swimmers. 

In addition to imparting strong skill sets, Sylvia makes practice fun for her swimmers.  When her swimmers are promoted to the next level, they have a great understanding of basic technique, a solid work ethic, and a great passion for the sport.  Many of our most successful Junior swimmers started their swim career with Sylvia.

Coach Sylvia has also served as an assistant coach for the Putnam Valley HS Girls Team.    She has two daughters that swam for the West Point Swim Club (Now known as Patriot Swim Team)  Both went on to successful collegiate careers at RPI and SUNY New Paltz.

 

Alyssa Thomas

Alyssa has been on Maternity leave.  We expect her to return to coaching the Beacon Dolphin Group, sometime in the 2021/22 Season

 Alyssa is an alumni of our team and swam under Coach Larry Collins and will be working alongside him to deliver the most effective swimming techniques to our Dolphins. Alyssa has been involved with competitive swimming for fourteen years.  In addition to learning with our team, she swam with the Roy C Ketcham’s High School team.

Alyssa has had years of experience in teaching learn to swim and is well suited to helping our newest and youngest swimmers, assisting them in the development of the fundamentals of competitive swimming. In addition to teaching private swim lessons, Alyssa has years of lifeguarding experience and has been trained in CPR and First Aid to ensure the safety of each swimmer we have.

Alyssa also teaches theatre to children ages 6 through 18, making her an excellent fit for our team with her knowledge, skill and experience working with youth.
 

Charles Smith

Charles will be the dryland coach for our Beacon Location

Charles R. Smith Jr. is a NASM certified personal trainer and MMA coach based in Poughkeepsie, NY. He has years of practical experience in a variety of martial arts and fitness training and recently competed on season nine of American Ninja Warrior in Cleveland.  

Staci Gash

Staci Gash is the Dryland Coach for our Peekskill Location and will also coach Patriot Masters.

Staci grew up swimming in Southern California.  She competed at the both the junior college and collegiate level. She has continued to enjoy the sport as a masters swimmer and Ironman triathlete. She is a graduate of the United States Military Academy and served for seven years as a US Army  Engineer Officer. 

She is a certified US Army Master Fitness Trainer, a Corporate Physical Fitness instructor and an executive leadership coach. 

Staci has 5 kids. All swim for patriots!

Gene Damm

Coach Damm has been retired from active coaching but continues to serve as a mentor and advisor for the Patriot Staff. 

Coach Damm brings an incredible knowledge of stroke mechanics and athlete development to our swimmers and has been an invaluable rescource to our Coaches as well as our swimmers.

Coach Damm retired as the Head Coach for Mount Saint Mary's Mens swim team.  In 2009, he led the Blue Knights to an 11-1 record, the best record for the program in school history.  

Coach Damm is a level 5-rated coach by the American Swimming Coaches Association, which is the highest rating you, can achieve. At the time he achieved that rating, he was one of 300 coaches in the country to hold it, and one of only a dozen or so to hold it for both Senior and Age Group swimmers.  His swimmers have achieved a number of top sixteen including number one in the national age group rankings. His number one in the nation, 17-18 400 yard freestyle relay, still holds the Metropolitan record from 1990. The John’s Hopkins University coach called him the “stroke doctor” for the work he did with his 22 times all American. He also worked with Olympic Trial swimmers and one Olympian.  He firmly believes that motivation plays a strong role on performance in practice His latest book, which he co-authored with his wife Mary was published in October 2013, is entitled “Fast Swimming with Technique and Mental Awareness.” It is one of the few books that combines technique and the mental aspects of swimming in a single volume.

Coach Damm co-authored the "Guide for Competitive Swimmers" in January of 2000 with his wife Mary Damm.  In 2003 this couple examined the importance of mental preparation in competitive swimming in their 2nd book, "Mind Over Water".