Potomac Valley Swimming
Level 1

Matt Lear

Head Coach

Coach Matt is coming to the Herndon Aquatic Club this season from Nation’s Capital Swim Club where he worked with swimmers in a variety of groups for the last 7 years. Native to Herndon, he grew up swimming in Northern Virginia with Solotar, HAC, and NCAP, as well as in the NVSL with the Herndon Hammerheads and Hiddenbrook Hurricanes. He has served as Head Coach for a few NVSL teams; Herndon, Hiddenbrook, Great Falls, Pinecrest, and Virginia Run; and has worked with swimmers of all ages and abilities for 11 seasons. He has also worked as a teacher in a variety of grade levels for Fairfax County Public Schools. Outside of coaching, he enjoys spending time with family, hiking, and competing in triathlons. Coach Matt is excited to be joining the HAC Commanders and looks forward to a fun and successful year in the pool.


Sheila Houle

12 and under Lead Coach

Email:   [email protected]
Originally from Upstate New York, Sheila moved to Herndon in the fall of 2017 and not long after started with the Herndon Commanders .  Sheila currently works at the Virginia Tech Marion duPont Equine Medical Center as a Lab Specialist and Client Coordinator.   Her background in swimming began when she started swimming for the Glens Falls High School swim team, earning a top spot in the medley relay specializing in backstroke.  Sheila continued her successful swimming career by taking command of other strokes like the butterfly and contributed to breaking a 15-year old high school record in the 200 free relay.  Upon graduating high school Sheila set aside the more competitive aspects of swimming to focus on completing her degree in Biology at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst.  Prior to moving Sheila worked as a Lab Manager for the Neural Stem Cell Institute and in tandem, part-time, for the Delmar Dolfins Swim Club for almost 8 years.  Sheila is excited to be coming back for her 5th year with the evening HAC groups (AGP, AG and Bronze) and hopes that her experience working with varying age groups alike will flourish swimmers on deck and in the water.  She has found a real niche in the swimming community and would like to share her interest with others.  In her spare time, Sheila spends time with her husband, their free-spirited daughter, Willow, and their two cats and dog enjoying life. 

Kathy McLaughlin

High School Lead Coach

Email:   [email protected]
Coach McLaughlin is a graduate from Syracuse University where she swam on a swimming scholarship for 4 years. She currently teaches 9th grade PE/Health at Herndon High School.  She is also in her 11 years as Head Coach of the Herndon High School Swim/Dive Team.  She has been coaching over 30 years. She has coached many years for Solatar Swim team and HAC.  She was also the head coach of the Kingstream Kahunas summer league program for 17 years. She currently coaches the HAC Senior prep group, 3 nights from 8:30 to 9:30 and is the Mastersswim coach.

Jason Porter


Email:   [email protected]
Coach Jason is returning to Herndon Aquatic Club.  Jason has been involved with USA Swimming since the age of 10 starting with Heartland Swim Association in San Diego dating back to 1981.   He has coached at all levels to include eight and under, age group, senior level swimmers and master’s programs dating back to 1988.   Jason has worked with two Olympic level swimmers Kate Ziegler (HAC) and Inge de Bruijn (Solotar). My experience in Potomac Valley Swimming started in 1994 working with Ashburn Village Swim Team, Solotar Swim Club, and the Herndon Aquatic Club.  I’ve coached summer league teams; Hiddenbrook Swim Team and High School swimming at Potomac Falls finishing first in our District our first year.  He has been selected as a PVS Zones coach on three different occasions and presented at the ASCA coaching conference on new techniques for stroke development.  Jason is very excited at the opportunity to share my knowledge, experience and give back to the sport by coaching athletes who are looking to grow and excel in the sport of swimming. 

Atley Manola

Age Group Coach

Email:   [email protected]
Atley began competitively swimming at the age of 6 for her local summer swim team in small town Ohio. After that first summer, her fire for the sport was ignited and she joined a club swim team that ultimately took her to Sweden for an international competition when she was 11. Her family later moved to Arizona where she continued to train and compete which resulted in a couple of high school state championship awards in breaststroke. Her passion for the sport of 13 years continued and culminated in her participation as a breaststroker on the Brigham Young University swim team. Though she enjoyed the thrill of competing collegiately, she decided to retire and focus on her Physiology and Developmental Biology degree. After college, she worked as a forensic DNA scientist and currently works as a genetic analyst for a rare disease company based out of Maryland. After a 10 year break, Atley decided to jump back in the water and continue competing. She currently swims on the Reston Master’s swim team and is excited to pass on her love of the sport through coaching the Commanders. Atley’s knowledge and passion for the sport, coupled with her experience, will set swimmers up for success. When she is not working or swimming, Atley enjoys being with her husband, 2 children and 2 dogs.