Coaches and Directors

Coaches and Directors
Coaching Staff
James Peterfish Head Coach

Jim is President of Youthletics Inc. a youth sports business that currently operates Westerville Aquatic Club and Central Ohio SwimAmerica, serving as many as 6000 children and adults annually in learn-to-swim programs at multiple sites around Central Ohio over the past 30 years.

Jim began coaching Westerville Aquatic Club in the fall of 1977 as an age group coach assisting then head coach, John Bruce. After completing his graduate work in adapted physical education he took over the head coaching position in 1985. He then took over operation of the club in 1992. Since that time he has been voted Ohio Swimming’s Senior Coach of the Year three times, recognized most recently in 2009. He was awarded the 2008 Ohio High School Swim Coaches Association’s Sportsmanship and Ethics Award given annually to one coach that exhibits these traits in an exemplary fashion. Over the years Jim has coached swimmers to state and national championships where many have won titles in their respective events. He has had two back to back state record setters in Austin Staab and Kate McNeilis. Austin was voted Ohio High School Swimmer of the Year in 2006 and 2007 and was awarded National High School Swimmer of the year after setting the national record in the 100 Butterfly in 2007.  Staab went on to set the American Record in the 100 Butterfly while attending Stanford University.

As the Program Director of Central Ohio SwimAmerica Jim is serving thousands of children, adults and special needs individuals.    He has been a featured speaker four times at the National SwimAmerica Conference and spoke at the 2008 US Swimming’s Build a Pool Conference to share the success of his program. He started the first Special Olympics program for swimming in Westerville in the fall of 2007.
 
Jim is a long time board member of the Central Ohio Swimming Association where he assumes the position of COSA’s Developmental League Director. He also serves on various committees for Ohio Swimming.
 
Jim is the current Chair for USA Swimming's National Disabilty Committee which he has served as a member since January of 2014.  
 
Jim was appointed the Head National coach of the US Association of Blind Athletes (USABA) in May of 2007 where he coordinated the training and competition opportunities of Blind and Visually Impaired swimmers across the United States. He was the head coach of the USABA World Youth Sports Games in July of ’07 and again in July of ’09. 
 
Jim retired from his position as Physical Education teacher at the Ohio State School for the Blind (OSSB) at the end of the 2012-13 school year. Along with teaching K-12 and Multiply Disabled Physical Education classes for 31 years, he was, in past years, coach of both Track and Swimming. He was the Co-Athletic Director and is the past President of the OSSB Parent Teacher Staff Foundation.
 
Jim resides in Delaware, Ohio with his wife Anita of 40 years.  His son Justin, age 35, and his wife Christie, both graduates of  Indiana University where they were respective captains of the Varsity swim team live in Kansas City, KS with his granddaughter, Brooklynn.  His daughter Julie, age 30, and her husband, David, graduates of the University of Cincinnati live in Delaware, Ohio. Julie is a Senior Copywriter for Pegasystems, based out of Boston.
Calvin Higdon Head Age Group Coach
 
Coach Calvin has been a part of Westerville Aquatic Club (WAC) since 2008. Between 2008 and 2014, Calvin was a swimmer for WAC, swimming for Coach Jim, and since graduating from Ashland University in 2018, has coached for the club spanning across most groups. While completing his final semester in college, Calvin coached both the Gold 1, and Waves groups. 
 
Once graduated, Calvin began assisting the high school group. Following the reformation of the senior group, Calvin began leading the high school group while still assisting with the senior group. Coach Calvin currently oversees all groups while leading the Gold 2 group. 
 
In addition to coaching for WAC, Calvin is the head coach for Olentangy High School (OHS). Between coaching the two programs, Calvin has coached many district and state qualifiers, All-Americans, state champions, and one state record holder.
 
Calvin currently resides in central Ohio with his wife, Alexandra, who is a speech language pathologist.
 
Steve Vonschriltz Senior Group
Daniel Cherok High School Group
Jonathan Brooks High School Group
Matt Phillips Gold 1 & Silver 1

This is Coach Matt’s sixth year as an age group coach with WAC, and he is so excited to be leading the Gold 1 and Silver 1 groups this season! He began his coaching career over 10 years ago and has been coaching various teams in the Central-Ohio area ever since. Matt is currently the head coach of the Westerville JC Poolcats summer team, and the head coach of the middle school & elementary teams at Oakstone Academy. He is also the site supervisor for the Westerville SwimAmerica Learn-To-Swim program.

When he is not on a pool deck, Coach Matt is a behavior and intervention specialist at Oakstone Academy Elementary. Matt has worked with kids of all ages and ability levels in the pool and in the classroom. He has worked for many years with students and swimmers with disabilities, specifically mental health disorders and Autism. Coach Matt is eager to welcome back returning WACsters and meet many new swimmers this season!

Megan Wion Gold 1 & Silver 1
Emily Worhatch Silver 2

This is Emily's fourth season with WAC. She currently teaches 8th and 9th grade math in Westerville. Emily is a graduate from The Ohio State University, where she was also a Scholar Athlete. She has sixteen years of swimming experience and ten years of coaching experience. 

Erika Knodel Silver 2
Abigail Kotik Bronze
Marcie Hatfield Bronze
CarolAnn Morabito Bronze

Coach C.J. has been involved in the swimming community for many years, both as an athlete and a coach.  She is a former WAC swimmer from age group through college.  She swam at Westerville North High School where she was a 4 year letter winner and 2 year captain.   C.J. continued her swimming career at the University of Waterloo in Ontario Canada, graduating with a degree in Chemical Engineering in 2003.  She held a variety of engineering jobs since then, including engineer in the pharmaceutical industry and engineering instructor at OSU.

C.J. started coaching with the Swim America program, served as the 8 & under coach at Westerville JC pool, and was the assistant coach for a high school team outside of Chicago (including a state qualifier). She served as the head coach for the Westerville Special Olympics swimming program (2008-2012).

C.J. now lives in Westerville with her husband, Tom, and their children, Piper (3.5) and Blake (1).  In her spare time she is a youth group leader at her church, she enjoys sewing and crafting, and she can often be found enjoying the outdoors with her family.

Board of Directors