Coaches

Coaches 

Coaching Staff
Jeff Riegler Executive Director/Senior Head Coach

Jeff was born and raised in Canton, Ohio. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Construction Management from Eastern Michigan University.

Jeff is Executive Director and Senior Group Head Coach. Jeff was the Head Coach for the Gahanna YMCA Gators from 2016-2020, after being an assistant coach from 2014-2016. He has been the Head Coach at Gahanna Lincoln High School since 2014. Prior to coaching with the Gators, Jeff was an Assistant Coach with the Ohio State Swim Club 2009-2014. He was the head swim coach at Westerville North High School from 2000–2014, Westerville South High School in 2014, and head senior coach with the Highlands Otters of the Greater Columbus Swim League 2004-2014. As a high school coach, Jeff has coached over 60 Ohio state meet qualifiers, 54 All Americans, was voted the 2007 Central District Women’s Swim Coach of the Year, and was the 2020 recipient of the State of Ohio Sportsmanship, Ethics, and Integrity award for Girl’s Swimming. As Gators Head Coach, he coached 15 YMCA National Qualifiers, including the team’s first ever female relay qualifiers (2017), first ever individual male qualifier (2018), and first ever male relay qualifiers (2019). Gator swimmers broke 159 team records during his tenure as Head Coach, including 55 in 2019 and 44 in 2020. Jeff competed for Eastern Michigan University and is a former National High School record holder and US Masters Swimming National Champion.

Jeff is a Realtor with e-Merge Real Estate Premium in Gahanna and resides in New Albany with his wife, Rachel, and their three sons, McCord, Eli, and Ezra.

Steve Riegler Director of Competitive Swimming

Steve is a graduate of The University of Toledo with a master's degree in Recreation Administration.  He was a member of the varsity swim program during his time at Toledo.

Steve brings 20+ years of coaching experience to Hydra Aquatics.  He has spent the last 3 seasons as the Head Age Group Coach at the Gahanna YMCA.  During his tenure with the Gators his swimmers established 60 team records and qualified numerous individuals to both JO's and Zone Championships. 

Prior to Gahanna Steve worked with two club teams in North Carolina, bullding a team from scratch with the Hillsborough Aquatic Club and then moving on to coach with New Millennium Aquatics.  As the head coach of both programs Steve had numerous swimmers qualify for the JO meet.

While in North Carolina Steve was the head coach at Chapel Hill High School for 5 season leading the men's team to 3 consecutive state titles.  

Prior to his time in North Carolina Steve spent 9 years as a college swim coach, working with athletes at 4 different universities.  He helped his swimmers acheive conference championships as well as qualifying for NCAA's and having 1 swimmer earn All American status.

Steve resides in Gahanna with his wife Lindsey and their newborn child Eliana who was born in July 2020.  Steve is the proud parent of Meredith and Josh.

Steve is looking forward to an amazing inaugural season with Hydra Aquatics!

Hayden Birnbrich Assistant Coach

This is Hayden's 5th season as a swim coach. His previous 4 were with the Gahanna YMCA Gators (2016-2020). Hayden is a 2011 HS graduate of St Charles Preparatory School here in Columbus as well as a 2015 undergraduate at the University of Mount Union in Alliance, Ohio. Hayden's degree at Mount Union is in Sports Business and Management with a minor in Business Administration.  Hayden has been working full time in New Albany as the Aquatics Coordinator of New Albany High School since September of 2017.

Hayden starting swimming at 12 for the Summer Gahanna Sea Lions and ended up competing all 4 years of High School and College where he eventually became a 2011 State Qualifier and 2013 Scholar All-American respectively. Hayden is still competing with a Masters team in New Albany and goes to the national meet every year. What Hayden loves most about competing is the individual aspect of being in control of your success while having the support system of your teammates and coaches to help you reach your goal(s). That has translated over to his favorite aspects of coaching which are building relationships with all the swimmers, guiding them to achieve their goals, and of course making the sport of swimming fun. 

He is beyond excited to be a part of Hydra this upcoming season!

Luke Birnbrich Assistant Coach

Coach Luke will be heading into his 5th year of coaching this fall. He previously coached at the Gahanna YMCA for four seasons, was a lifeguard for 3 years, and an Aquatics Coordinator for 1 year. As a swim coach at the Gahanna YMCA, Luke primarily coached "Swamp Monsters," the team's 9-10 year age group. He attended and graduated Bishop Hartley High School from 2011-2015, and was on the school's swim team all four years. Luke has been competitively swimming since he was 12 years old and still continues to competitively swim for the New Albany Masters Program. His favorite stroke is backstroke, and his favorite event to race is the 100 yard backstroke.

For Coach Luke, the best part about coaching is getting to watch his swimmers grow and improve. He is very excited to get this season underway and can't wait to see what great things come out of it! 

Rob Bey Assistant Coach Senior Hydra
Board of Directors
Jeff Riegler Executive Director
Michelle Slisher Acting Chair
Mike Straw Acting Secretary
Kristen Zeltman Board Member
Chris Birnbrich Board Member
Matt Braun Board Member
Azure Miller Board Member