Coaches and Directors

Coaches and Directors
Coaching Staff
Edgar Perez Head Coach / Senior Coach

Edgar is the owner/head coach of the New York Sharks.  He develops, implements, and oversees the training programs for all of the team’s groups. He and his coaching staff formulate an individualized success strategy for each swimmer, so that his or her team experience is safe, rewarding, and highly enjoyable; hence, there will be no “Garbage Yardage” at any Sharks work-out. 

Edgar has 16 years of coaching experience, including head coaching positions with high school teams and U.S.A. Swimming clubs.   He has trained over 40 swimmers who have qualified for the Eastern Zone team, many of whom finished in the top eight at the Eastern Zone championship meet.  He has coached swimmers to national top 10 finishes in nearly 20 events.

Coach Edgar is fully committed to the sport of swimming: he serves as the Age Group Chair for Metropolitan Swimming, he has earned multi-year designations as a zone team coach, and he is currently the co-head coach of the zone team.  Edgar has also won the American Swimming Association awards for Age Group Coach of the Year 2012 and Section One Division One Coach of the Year 2012.

Edgar’s lifelong belief has been that hard work, when combined with inspired coaching and first class training, is the source of success.  Edgar’s commitment is to make these principals the core Shark’s philosophy.    

Melissa Freehill Orange County Senior Assistant Coach

Melissa Freehill’s love of swimming began as a young child spending countless hours poolside.  Coach Mel started swimming competitively in 1992 in Middletown, NY.  As a swimmer she excelled in sprint freestyle and breaststroke events eventually becoming Team Captain and was also a Scholar Athlete.  At the age of 16, she began teaching swimming lessons and continues to do so today as a Red Cross WSI.  She believes her positive experiences within the swimming community throughout her life have kept her involved in the sport and kept her passion for it alive.

In 1999 after returning from a semester interning in Walt Disney World, Coach Mel started her coaching career. Initially an assistant with the MRST Barracudas coaching 8 and under novice swimmers, she rose to the position of Head Coach in 2001.  It was during this time she realized how much she loved working with children.  Coach Mel especially enjoyed teaching and helping them reach their goals and dreams.  She thinks there is no better feeling than the moment after a swimmer gets that cut time for the first time!  After over 10 years with MRST Coach Mel moved to become Head Coach of Minisink Valley Aquatics, where she developed and trained some of the area’s top swimmers within their age groups. 

As a coach, she feels the most important thing is to create an environment which engages each swimmer to reach the full extent of their potential.  Individual training and technique work is crucial to the development of each swimmer.  Not all swimmers are built the same and each has its own set of needs and goals. Coach Mel believes in developing and spotlighting each of the athletes' unique talents. Making sure the athletes understand daily training sets and energy systems is a big part of getting them to take ownership of their swimming careers. She wants to inspire the athletes to think for themselves and to use the knowledge I have given them to maximize their possibilities.

Coach Mel’s resume includes a Metropolitan Record Holder, several Metro Top Ten Swimmers, Zone and Sectional Qualifiers, as well as High School State Meet Qualifiers.Coach Mel was also chosen to represent the Metropolitan LSC as a Zone Coach from 2008 to 2011. In her career of almost 15 years she has had success coaching all levels of swimmers in all strokes and distances.   Coach Mel is a Level 3 ASCA coach and has taken many other courses for certification including dry-land training and nutrition for swimmers.  When not with the Sea Dragons, she enjoys hiking with her son Joey and working for Rosmarin’s Day Camp as the Aquatics Director. 

John Alaimo Rockland County Senior 1 Coach

John Alaimo, a native of Blauvelt, NY, is a 2009 graduate of Vassar College with a B.A. in History. John was an assistant coach for the New York Sharks from 2009-2011. In 2011, he took over as the Head Coach of NYSA, leading the Senior 1 Group.  During his time with the Senior 1 Group, he trained 5 athletes who qualified for USA Swimming Junior Nationals and 2 athletes who qualified for Senior Nationals.

In September of 2013, John took the role of Head Age Group Coach at Phoenix Aquatic Club.  During the 2013-2014 season, he led over 20 age groupers to Metropolitan top-10 rankings, several of which were #1 rankings.  John also had multiple National Age Group top 10 ranking athletes in the United States over the past several seasons.

John has represented the Metropolitan LSC as a Zone Coach on eight separate occasions and he was voted Metropolitan Swimming Age Group Coach of the Year by a panel of his peers in May 2015 and was voted Metropolitan Swimming Must Watch Senior Coach of the year in May 2017. 

Since John began working with the Seniors at RCC in 2015, several athletes achieved USA Age Group Top-10 Times, and several athletes have qualified for Speedo Junior Nationals and Senior Nationals and US Open meets.

Peter O'Donnell Rockland County Head Age Group Coach

Peter O’Donnell is a native of Blauvelt, NY and a graduate of SUNY Purchase. Peter coached for the New York Sharks from 2011-2013 with the Silver Group. During his time at New York Sharks, he represented the Metropolitan LSC as a Zone Coach in August of 2012 and led many age groupers to top 3 finishes at the Metro Junior Olympics. He also developed two 10 & Under athletes to qualify for and place in finals at the 2013 Eastern Zone Short Course Championships.

Pete began coaching with Phoenix Aquatic Club in September of 2013 and led the Silver Group (primarily 8, 9 and 10-year olds) throughout the year. His group’s very successful season culminated with multiple 10 and Unders qualifying for the Eastern Zone Championships in Richmond, Virginia in early August.

Peter joins the New York Sharks staff in September 2015 as the Head Age Group Coach for Rockland County and the lead coach for the Gold Group.

Lee Corey Rockland County Assistant Coach
Fran Kaufman Rockalnd County Bronze Coach

Fran Kaufman's main focus has always been swimming education.  She has a degree in Physical Education from Queens College and started teaching swimming during college, teaching and coaching at camp waterfronts and local Y's for a number of years.  She has been trained to teach all age levels from infants to adults, including special needs students.

   Her recent coaching experience includes 15 years with the Condors where she worked taught lessons and with the pre-team, 15 years with East Ramapo as assistant coach of the boy's High School varsity team and 4 years as Head Coach for the girl's varsity.
 
   For the last 2 years Fran has coached Guppies, Bronze and Silver swimmers for the NY Sharks.
Fran has a unique view of the swimming / schoo / "life" balance as a mom herself, having raised three competitive swimmers.
Ed Dellert Rockland Senior Black Assistant Coach

Ed’s 52 years of coaching experience covers the spectrum of Club, YMCA, High School, College and recreational programs.  Beginning his career as an athlete, his first competitive experience was on the Seton Hall Prep High School team.  He continued on to compete with and eventually captain the team at Seton Hall University.  Early on, Ed earned 4 league championships for St. Joseph’s of Palisades High School, as well as 2 years as #1 East Coast ranking and 7th and 4th National ranking for Fanwood Scotch Plains YMCA.  He was inducted into St. Joseph’s Hall of Fame for his contribution to the schools athletic program.  For 26 years, Ed co-owned and was Co-Head Coach at Jersey Gators Swim Team before (semi) retiring in 2016.  An ASCA level 5 coach, his career highlights include coaching and mentoring numerous HS champions & record breakers; senior & junior national level swimmers; the #2 fastest woman in NJ swimming history; and 2 US Olympians to 3 Olympics (2 swimmers in 1992; 1 in 2008 & 2012).  His passion extends to advocating for swimming safety for all, driving him to begin a SwimAmerica swim lesson program alongside Jersey Gators operations and eventually open Swim Fitness Center, both offering lessons for children aged 1 to 12, adults and special needs individuals.  Ed has also held many governance positions, including 5 years as a Representative for St. Joseph’s HS to the HCIAA; NJ Swimming Coach Representative, Senior Chair, Administrative Chair and General Chair; and USA Swimming Committee Chair (2 terms), Eastern Zone Coach Director 2004-2008 and 2012-2016, and a member of the USA Swimming Board of Directors 2004-2008 and 2012-2016.  When Ed isn’t keeping abreast of training and stroke innovations, his wife of 50 years is trying to get him to enjoy retirement.

Megan Hughes Cornwall Silver Coach

Meghan grew up just north of Baltimore in Cockeysville, Maryland. She started her swimming career in the Central Maryland Swim League for the Springdale Stars. She quickly moved to year round swimming for the North Baltimore Aquatic Club. A very rigorous team that produced many Olympians such as Michael Phelps and Chase Kalisz. They placed a high emphasis on stroke technique and attending stroke clinics, led Meghan to have a desire to teach that same strong technique to children. She began teaching lessons in her parents' pool at age 14.

 Meghan found success in swimming, especially in the butterfly and IM events. With no high school swim team, she joined the cross country and track teams and quickly became one of the best in the state in the 800m through 3200m events. She parlayed her swimming and running ability into triathlons and was picked to be part of the National Junior Triathlon team, where she spent the summer of 1996 training at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs. She eventually decided to concentrate on running, and received a full scholarship to UNC Chapel Hill. After her sophomore year, she transferred and finished her career at the University of Maryland, where she earned her B.S. in Kinesiology.

 Even though she shifted her competitive attention to running, swimming has been the one constant throughout her life. It was her first sport and her first job back when she taught lessons at her parents' pool. During her summer breaks in college, she was a swim instructor at ESF camps in Baltimore. Soon after graduating, she married an Army officer and they moved all over the country and world. She worked with the Swim America program in Manhattan, Kansas. Moving to California, she concentrated on obtaining her masters degree in Kinesiology from San Jose State. This degree along with her strong swimming background, gave her the opportunity to work in the Department of Physical Education (DPE) at the United States Military Academy. As a swimming instructor in DPE, she taught cadets stroke mechanics as well as survival swimming skills. Next moving to Northern Virginia, her daughter began swimming in the Northern Virginia Swim League (summer swim team) team and later for the year round team Mason Makos. There she met one of her swimming mentors, Beth Bedell, who ran a swim clinic that her children attended. Subsequently she became one of the instructors at the clinic which eventually led to a coaching position at Mason Makos. Meghan worked with their age group program before moving to New York.


This is her second year coaching the Silver group for the New York Sharks Cornwall branch. Meghan believes that strong stoke mechanics and hard work are the foundation of a successful swimming career. She is looking forward to helping each of her swimmers reach their own personal potential.

Meghan resides with her husband, David, a West Point professor, and their three children in New Windsor, NY. She still enjoys competing in running and swimming and is working on getting back into triathlons.

 

Travis Decker Goshen Assistant Coach

Bio. Hi my name is Travis Decker. Very excited to be joining the New York Sharks. I swam for 8 years in Orange County. Swimming was a huge part of my childhood. I made some of my closet friends and my best memories through swimming and excited to continue that journey as a coach.

 

Jeffrey Chen Rockland Senior Coach

Coach Jeff comes to New York Sharks from LaGuardia Aquatic Club Twisters (LGAC) where he coached from 2007-2019. His diverse experience helped him serve his athletes fundamental development at the age-group level. During his time at LGAC, his contributions led the team to multiple Junior Olympic team titles as well as many years placing in the top three. While working with age groupers at LGAC, athletes under Coach Jeff’s guidance achieved Top 16 USA National Age Group times, Metropolitan LSC records, National Age Group records, as well as Sectional and Junior National standards. Coach Jeff will primarily be working at RCC with the Senior Group. Jeff will be instrumental in providing another layer of coaching strength on deck as well as with our dryland training.

Board of Directors