Coaches and Directors

Coaches and Directors
Coaching Staff
Zac Mekker Head Coach

Indiana Wesleyan University - M.S. Secondary Education, Mathematics 2004
University at Buffalo - B.A. Mathematics - 1999
Liverpool High School - 1994

The Liverpool Jets Swim Club has been a large part of Coach Zac's life for over 3 decades.  He first joined the team as a 6-year old in 1982.  Zac continued to train with the program through the entirety of his competitive career in college.  Along the way, he assisted with swim camps and swim lessons to share his passion of the sport with new athletes.  Upon graduation from the University at Buffalo in 1999, Coach Zac returned to the Liverpool High School pool deck as the JETS Head Coach.  Over the course of his first two seasons, the program grew from 40 swimmers to over 110.  As director of the popular Jets Summer Learn to Swim program, he helps bring over 400 future swimmers through the pool doors each summer.    

In the scholastic arena, Coach Zac served as the head coach of the LHS girls varsity swimming and diving team from 2001-2018.  Over the course of those 18 seasons, the program re-wrote ALL of the school records at least once, earned 3 league titles, 2 Section III titles, 4 NY State Top Ten finishes, and 17 consecutive NY State Scholar-Athlete Team Awards.  Athletes have qualified for the NYS Championships in all but three of those 18 seasons.  Coach Zac was awarded Section III Coach of the Year honors in 2007 and 2013.  His swimmers have gone on to successfully represent schools in all three collegiate divisions.  The Liverpool Jets were represented on the National Level on multiple occassions, including the 2016 USA Olympic Trials.

Additionally, Coach Zac also teaches 8th grade mathematics for the North Syracuse School District.  He proudly raises three wonderful children with the help of his loving wife, Shannon.

Madison Sestak Assistant Coach

Keene State University - B.S. Biology - 2016
Liverpool High School - 2012

Coach Maddie joined the Liverpool Jets coaching staff in 2018.  Coach Maddie works primarily with our Age Group program.  In addition to working with our younger swimmers, Coach Maddie also created and facilitated the Whole Body Swim Course that is enjoyed by our Sr/Jr level swimmers.  The Whole Body Course looks to incorporate mental and physical training to help compliment the work that is being done in the pool.  The combiniation of boxing and yoga along with a steady dose of visual training and goal-setting create a platform to assist growth in many areas. 

Coach Maddie Sestak swam with the Liverpool Jets from age 9 through the end of college.  She earned 4 varsity letters at Liverpool High School and was team captain her senior year.  After her days at LHS came to a close, Maddie went on to study Biology at Keene State University in Vermont.  While at KSU, Maddie successfully competed as a collegiate swimmer and earned team captain honors once again.  To compliment the training that was done in the pool, Maddie incorporated boxing into her training regimen while at college.  After graduation, Maddie she worked in Boston in Neuropsychology with athletes from a variety of backgrounds, including professional football players.  Coach Maddie is now back in the area developing a strong career in the real estate market. 

Carly Jones Assistant Coach

Ithaca College - May 2013
LHS Hall of Fame Inductee

Liverpool High School - 2009
Carly Jones joined the Liveprool Jets coaching staff in January of 2016.  However, she has been an instructor and swim camp counselor for the popular Liverpool Jets Learn to Swim program since 2007.  Carly was a member of the Liverpool Jets Swim Club from age 9 through her college years.  In high school, she racked up numerous awards including Section III Swimmer of the Year, LHS School records in the 100 Breast and 200 IM, and over 10 Section III individual and relay titles.  She went on to compete in the NYS Championships for 4 straight years.  Because of these accomplishments, Carly was elected to the Liverpool High School Athletic Hall of Fame.  After graduating with honors from Liverpool, Carly headed to Ithaca College where she became a school record-holder and an 8-time NCAA All-American.  
Upon graduation from Ithaca, Carly remained on campus as an assistant coach for the Ithaca College Women's Swim Team.  Several of her athletes went on to compete in the NCAA Division 3 Championships. 
In addition to coaching with the Liverpool Jets Swim Club, Carly is also an aquatics supervisor at the Northwest YMCA and runs the Beaver Meadows Golf Course summer swim team.  In 2018, Carly became the Assistant Varsity Swim Coach at Liverpool High School for both the girls and boys swim teams.  In 2019, Carly began her stint as head coach of the girls varsity swimming and diving team.    

Madison Hall Coach - Developmental

Liverpool High School - 2014
Coach Maddie joined the JETS coaching staff in 2015.  In addition to coaching with our Developmental Group, Maddie is also a swim lesson instructor in the popular Liverpool Jets Learn to Swim program.  Maddie swam for the Liverpool Jets Swim Club and went on to successfully compete for the Liverpool High School Warriors.  In addition to being named Team Captain, Maddie was a member of a school-record setting 200 Free Relay.  


Matthew Petit Swim Coach
St. Bonaventure - BA English - Secondary Education - 2020
Liverpool High School - 2017
Coach Matt is another proud alumnus of Liverpool Jets and Liverpool High School Swimming.  In High School, Matt was a NYS Championship Qualifier who helped the Warriors earn mulitple Section III and League Titles.  Coach Matt joined the Liverpool Jets staff in 2017. In addition to engaging with athletes in JETS, Coach Matt is also active in the Liverpool Jets Learn to Swim Program as a swim instructor since 2015.  In 2016, Coach Matt graduated from Liverpool High School to study secondary education and English at St. Bonaventure University—graduating in 2020. 
Coach Matt will be pursuing an MFA degree from SUNY Stony Brook in Long Island, NY. 
Madeline Murphy Assistant Coach
Mike Ferrell Coach - Senior/Junior

Coach Mike Ferrell is an honors graduate from SUNY Cortland with BS and MS degrees in Physical Education as well as Ph.D. degree from Syracuse University in Sports Medicine and Exercise Sciences.  Dr. Ferrell’s study and research focus for the past 20 years has been in the biomechanical and psychophysiological areas pertaining to peak athletic performance.  Dr. Ferrell offers personal consultation services toward enhanced athletic performance encompassing most athletic pursuits.

       Coach Ferrell began coaching age-group swimming in Dayton, Ohio in the early 1970s.  Since moving to Syracuse in the mid 1970s, Coach Ferrell has served as head coach of the Camillus Swim Club, Baldwinsville Sharks Swim Club, boys varsity swimming at Jamesville-Dewitt, and girls varsity at Baldwinsville.  Coach Ferrell’s swimmers and teams have enjoyed success at local, regional, state, and international age-group competitions.  Coach Ferrell’s scholastic teams have been consistently ranked in the top ten in NYS with his swimmers going on to successfully compete at all three levels of collegiate swimming.  His varsity swimmers have won events at ESG, Sectionals, and States and status as High School All-American. He is, also, the current Head Coach of the Liverpool Varsity Boys Swim Team

       Coach Ferrell resides with his wife, Marty, in the Cicero area and three of four children remain in the CNY region.

Scott Henry Coach

Saint Bonaventure University - PUT DEGREE HERE - Year
Syracuse University - PUT DEGREE HERE - 1986
Liverpool High School - 1982

Coach Henry brings a wealth of knowledge from years of experience in the sport of swimming and dry-land training.  His constant attention to detail and the long-term view he uses towards our swimmers' development make him an extremely valuable member of our staff. 

In high school, Coach Henry was an All-American and continues to hold the LHS school record in the 100 Breaststroke (58.23).  Upon graduation, he continued his very successful swimming career at Syracuse University.

In addition to coaching with the Liverpool Jets, Coach Henry currently serves as the head coach of the Liverpool Boys Modified Swimming and Diving Team.

James Walker Coach - Age Group

LeMoyne College - 2016
Liverpool High School - 2009

James K Walker joined the Liverpool Jets coaching staff in the Fall of 2013.  James is a Liverpool High School and Liverpool Jets Alumnus.  In high school, James was a team captain and qualified for the NYS Championships in multiple events.  Coach Walker went on to successfully compete at LeMoyne College at the NCAA Division II level. 

Coach Walker's experience includes stints with the Syracuse Chargers.  James was the assistant coach for the Liverpool High School Girls Varsity Swimming and Diving Team from 2015-2017.  James brings a terrific work ethic and a great familiarty of the program.  His ability to instruct a wide range of abilities and ages allows him to be a versatile member of our staff.  James was even the Varisty Diving Coach with the Liverpool Boys Varsity program from 2016-2018.   

Katie Cristaldi Coach

LeMoyne College - BA Psychology/Childhood Education, MS Elementary Education
Cicero-North Syracuse -

Coach Katie was a member of the Liverpool Jets for close to a decade as an athlete prior to signing on to our coaching staff.  She spent five years as an instructor in our Learn to Swim program.  Coach Katie swam for the Cicero-North Syracuse varsity team for 4 years and continued her competitive career at Lemoyne College.  She also works as a Special Education teacher.

Board of Directors
Zac Mekker President
Nick Thompson VP - Operations
Kim Hunter Treasurer
Tracie Griffin VP - Communications
Heather Alexander Secretary
Bob Nicita Parent Representative
Sandi Thorne Parent Representative
Nick Thompson Meet Director