Coaches and Directors

Coaches and Directors

Coaching Staff
Mathew Mixon Head Coach

Head Coach Mathew Mixon 

 

Mathew Mixon is entering his fourth year as Head Coach of Sunkist Swim Team.  Mixon is native of Brandon, MS where he attended Brandon High School. After graduation, Mathew continued his studies at Delta State University where be obtained a bachelor’s degree in Commercial Aviation with a specialization in Aviation Management. While attending Delta State, Mathew was a member of the Men’s Swim Team who were nationally ranked and NSISC conference champions all 4 years of his tenure.

Coach Mixon has devoted a lifetime to the sport of swimming. He brings 34 years of experience, knowledge, and skill to the Sunkist program. His unique style, innovate training and modern technique concepts continue to drive the program towards success both in and out of the pool. Since Mixon joined the program, Sunkist has reinforced it’s long “tradition of excellence”, making great strides in team growth, moral and performance. His technique-based focus for the program produced noticeable results and the club’s average rate of improvement and best time percentage grew to be well above national average.  Sunkist swimmers have won numerous state championship titles and set new state and team records under Mixon’s leadership. Swimmers in his program qualified for 18&Under Winter Championships, Futures, Senior Zones, Senior Sectionals, Age Group Zones and Age Sectionals under his short 3 year, Covid dampened, time at Sunkist. Those swimmers achieved high levels of success with individual events wins at Senior Zones and top 8 finishes at Futures, Senior Sectionals and Age Group Zones.  In 2021, Coach Mixon was named Mississippi Swimming Senior Coach of the Year.  Mixon previously won Age Group Coach of the Year twice.

Mathew is owner and CEO of Live Slow Swim Fast LLC, a learn to swim company, and has provided thousands of private stroke lessons over the past 21 years ranging from very beginners to nationally ranked USA Swimming age group swimmers.  In 2016, he developed and implemented a water safety and learn to swim program called Schools Practicing Life Altering Swim Habits (SPLASH).  SPLASH provided water safety and water awareness classes to over 250 2ndand 3rdgrade students in the local community.  SPLASH, in conjunction with Operation Shoestring and The 100 Back Men, again provided the much needed outreach program in 2021 to over 75 children.

Fun Facts

  • Has been skydiving twice
  • 2x Full Ironman Finisher, 3x ½ Ironman Finisher
  • Completed the 10.6-mile Viking Swim across Lake Tahoe.  
  • He and his wife Lindsay have two beautiful girls, Vida and Layla.

"I'll always be a student of the sport. Always yearning, always learning. Never satisfied with yesterday always pushing for a better tomorrow."

Mississippi Swimming Coach of the Year:

     2016 Age Group         2018 Age Group          2021 Senior 

                                               

Erica Pedersen Adams Assistant Coach

 

Erica Pedersen Adams

Coach Erica Pedersen Adams has been a proud member of the Sunkist Swim Team family since 1983, competing as an age group swimmer for eleven years, coaching during her collegiate years, and rejoining the team in 2010.  She has worked with all levels of swimmers from beginning instruction, stroke school, age group, and competitive athletes.  Coach Erica is a Millsaps College graduate with a dual Bachelor’s degree in English and Secondary Education and began her teaching career in Okinawa, Japan, with the Department of Defense.  Following her years in Japan, she taught in Kaneohe, Hawaii, and ultimately returned to the Flowood area and taught at Northwest Rankin High School and Good Shepherd Lutheran School.  Coach Erica currently teaches at the St. Augustine School in Ridgeland and is the head coach of Northwest Rankin High School swim team. 

A lifelong passion for competitive swimming has grown into a love for triathlon which Coach Erica enjoys with her husband Greg.  She also has four daughters, Anna Grace, Bella Ward, Lady Catherine, and Pippa Marie, who participate in the Sunkist program at various levels.

 
 
 
 
Rebecca Busby Assistant Coach

Rebecca Busby

Rebecca Busby joins the Sunkist staff to coach the younger groups and assist in implementation of the dry-land program for the Junior groups. She has a Bachelor and Master in Elementary Education, both from Delta State University. She is the Director of Jacob’s Ladder Learning Center in Vicksburg, a school for adults with intellectual disabilities/special needs. Rebecca has been a USA swimming certified coach for 2.5 years. She enjoys coaching and her favorite groups are those with developmental swimmers.  She continues to develop her skill set as a coach by attending coaching clinics. She has three children: Jon Daniel (senior group), Olivia (blue group) and Matthew (blue group) that all participate in the Sunkist Program.

Caroline Thomas Assistant Coach

Caroline Thomas

Caroline swam for Sunkist for 10 years, and during high school worked as a sunfish coach. During her time as a swimmer the team won seven straight state championships where she was runner up in 100 breast multiple times. She was named team captain two years in a row and received the Team Spirit Award. She is now the primary coach of our orange and blue group and is an assistant senior coach. She is currently attending Belhaven University where she is majoring in Elementary Education with a minor in History and English. She plans on graduating in 2023 and pursuing her masters in education.

Marlan McElroy Assistant Coach

 

 

Marlan swam for Sunkist for over 10 years and worked as an assistant age group coach for orange/blue/junior 2 groups. As a Sunkist swimmer he held many team and state records from 50Free to the 200Free. He was also apart of many state record breaking relays and where the team won 7 in a row Mississippi State Swimming championships. Marlan is a proud college graduate of Delta State University with a bachelor degree in Social Justice & Criminology. During his time at Delta State he furthered continued his swimming career where him and his teammates won three straight NSISL Conference Championships. At the time the team placed 2nd at the Divisional II NCAA  Swimming National Championships the highest placing in school history. In the last three years Marlan has spent his Summertime months as a Ocean Rescue Lifeguard in Bethany Beach, Delaware where he is a certified Emergency Medical Responder. He’s a member of United States Lifesaving Association where he has competed in the Ocean Recuse Guard competitions and placed top 3 in his individual events and open water swims. During his time as a Ocean Rescue Guard Marlan was awarded Rookie of the year. He brings years of experience and wining attitude to the pool deck. Coaching Philosophy: “Happy swimmers are fast Swimmers”. 

Bethany Galat Assistant Coach

 

 

Bethany Galat 

Sunkist Swim Team is excited to announce that Bethany Galat has joined their elite coaching staff. Bethany is an NCAA All-American swimmer who graduated from Texas A&M with a degree in Food Science and Technology. Galat won silver medals in the women’s 200 breaststroke at both the 2017 World Championships in Budapest and the 2018 Short-Course Worlds in Hangzhou in 2018. She also won silver at the 2019 Pan Am Games. During her collegiate career, Galat was an SEC champion in the 200 breaststroke. Most recently in 2021, Galat finished fourth in both breaststroke events at the 2021 Olympic Trials. She was .47 seconds behind Lydia Jacoby in the 100 breast and 1.06 seconds shy of the eventual silver medalist Lilly King in the 200.

Her career includes Silver Medal 2017 FINA World Championship, DC Trident team member, USA Swimming National Team Member, and 2016 Olympic Trial 3rd place finisher in both the 400 IM and 200 breaststroke. Bethany brings more than just her talent to the Sunkist swim program. Her humble attitude and passion for the sport is contagious. She is excited to share her love and knowledge of swimming with our Sunkist swimmers. We are excited to show Bethany how to WHOOSH! Please see Bethany’s full bio and other related articles at the links in this post. #GOSUNKIST
Jonathon Busby Sunfish Coach

Molly Albritton Sunfish Coach

Anna Grace Lorence Sunfish Coach

Board of Directors