Coaches and Directors

Coaches and Directors
Coaching Staff
Jonathan Jolley Director of Competitive Swimming

Coach Jolley is in his 29th year with the YSST program.  He began swimming competitively in 1973.  He began coaching in 1987 with the Greenville Swim Club while attending East Carolina University.   Jon joined the YSST staff in the fall of 1992 as Head Age Group Coach.  Since becoming the Head Coach in June 1996,  Jon has coached numerous YMCA National Qualifiers, 19 Junior National Qualifiers, 5 Senior National Qualifiers, 3 Olympic Trials Qualifiers, 5 North Carolina Swimming Age Group record holders, 9 YMCA National Champions, 2 YMCA National record holders, and a YMCA National Age Group record holder.  Jon was recognized as the Age Group Coach of the Year for North Carolina Swimming in 2013 and 2015.  He was recognized as the Franke Bell Senior Coach of the Year for North Carolina Swimming in 2016.   Jon was named an Assistant Coach for the 2017-2018, 2018-2019, and 2019-2020 USA Swimming National Junior Teams.  He has also been a member of the North Carolina Swimming Select Team Staff.  Jon is the Operations Vice-Chair of North Carolina Swimming, and is a member of the North Carolina Swimming Board of Directors (2009-present), the president of the Greater YMCA Sunbelt Swimming Association, and is a member of the YMCA of the USA Upper Southeast Regional Swimming Committee.  Jon graduated with degrees in both Vocal Performance and Vocal Pedagogy from ECU.

Rachael LeClair Assistant Coach

Coach LeClair joined the YSST coaching staff in January 2009.  Rachael swam competitively for 12 years with the Mid-Ohio Valley Swim Association, Parkway Swim Club, Tulane University and Emory University.  She was a Senior National qualifier, a 21 time NCAA All-American, 2 time NCAA Division III individual champion, former Division III record holder, and was Georgia Hall of Fame Amateur Athlete of the Year.  When she is not at the pool, Rachael practices family law and criminal defense law.  She and her husband Tommy Shores have two daughters, Maly and Audrey, and a son, Peter.

Ann Taylor Assistant Coach

Coach Taylor swam competitively for the North Canton YMCA in Ohio for 11 years, then swam for Ohio Northern University.  She was the first Ohio Northern swimmer ever to qualify for Nationals in an individual event (200 Fly).  Ann helped coach the Morganton Swim Club for 2 1/2 years before joining the YSST staff.  She works in the hospital system as a pharmacist, and currently resides in Granite Falls with her husband Christopher, and their four children - Logan, Marissa, Ryanna, and Kayana.  Kayana currently swims for YSST.  Ann coaches the Gold Group.

Rob Scott Masters/Adult Aquatic Fitness Coach

Rob became a US Masters Swimmer in 1986 and has held numerous state records during that time, as well as National Top Ten rankings. In 2012, he won the One Mile National Open Water Championship.  Rob was Head Age Group coach for the Jasper (Indiana) Aquatic Wildcats with over 70 swimmers of all ages and abilities. He moved to the San Francisco Bay Area and was the Head Coach of the Burlingame Aquatic Club. In 2009, he started the YSST Masters swim team at the Y and he currently coaches over 60 adult swimmers.

Cathy Hitchcock Assistant Coach

Cathy grew up in Hickory and swam for HSST from 1978-1988.  She continued her swimming career as a four time All-ACC swimmer at the University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill.  She also qualified for the 1992 US Olympic trials in the 200 backstroke.  She served assistant coaching stints at the North Carolina Aquatic Club (1994-1995), Davidson College (1996-1997), University of Kansas (1997-2000), and then as the Head Coach of the University of Kansas women's team (2000-2002).  In 2002, Cathy moved back to Hickory and began teaching at Northview Middle School.  In May of 2011, Cathy was inducted into the Catawba County Sports Hall of Fame.  In addition to coaching YSST, she is the Head Coach of the Hickory High swim team.  Cathy's children, Drew and Ella Brett are both members of YSST.  

Jessica Flowers Assistant Coach

Coach Jessica Flowers has been a swim instructor at the YMCA of Catawba Valley for the past 9 years. She is a former YSST swimmer who swam competitively for 14 years. During her swimming career at YSST, she was a YMCA National Qualifier (100 and 200 backstroke) for both short and long course. She continued her swimming career at Pfeiffer University, and held a record for the 100 backstroke. During her time at Pfeiffer she took on a leadership role as club coach for three years of her swim team. In addition to being a swim coach, Jessica is also a Full time Preschool teacher. She and her husband Zach have an 85 pound fur baby named Bishop who still thinks he’s a puppy. Jessica coaches the Silver Group.

Mary Ellen Sherrill Assistant Coach

Mary Ellen grew up in Greensboro, NC and swam competitively since the age of 8. After graduating from high school, Mary Ellen moved to Hickory to attend Lenoir-Rhyne University. In 2007, she helped to organize the Women's Swim Program at LR and was the first season's MVP. Mary Ellen continued to swim for LR until graduating in 2010. She began working at the YMCA as a swim instructor in 2010 and joined the YSST staff in 2017. Outside of the pool, Mary Ellen works with alumni engagement at Lenoir-Rhyne and is involved in other community organizations.

Maryia Johnson Assistant Coach

Maryia joined the YSST coaching staff in April of 2021.  She is originally from Belarus, where she first started to swim competitively. Maryia moved to the United States twenty years ago. In 2003, she started at the YMCA in Conover as a water aerobic and swimming instructor. From 2006 to 2020, she was an assistant coach for the CVAC swim team. The last eight years Maryia has also worked at fitness plus located at Catawba medical center where she has a program for new swimmers as young as 6 months and older. Maryia and her husband have two daughters, ages 7 and 9, and they live in Conover.

Board of Directors