Coaches and Directors

Coaches and Directors
Coaching Staff
Richard Romero Head Swim Coach

Richard Romero has been named Head Coach/Swim Team Director of the Herndon Aquatic Club Swim Team at Herndon Community Center in Herndon Va.

Romero, “Coach Rich,” is responsible for overall management of the Herndon Aquatic Club training swimmers and supervising the coaching staff.  His coaching experience has made him a tremendous asset to the team, This is Coach Rich his full second year with Herndon Aquatic Club and Herndon Community Center.

With more than 25 years of swim coach experience and 27 years experience in aquatic administration, Coach Rich has experience coaching for all the swimming levels from Novice swimmers to College levels including Master swim, National swimmers and Water Polo programs.  Coach Rich build and coach swim teams in Puerto Rico for 11 years, coach in New Jersey for 12 years and this is his second year with us.

Coach Rich started swimming lessons at 5 years old and his competitive swimming career at age seven, participating through his college years. He was a member of the Puerto Rican Swim Team and Water Polo Team, representing the country in international swim meets and water polo tournaments, including Central American and Caribbean Swimming Championships and Caribbean Island Swimming Championships.

Coach Rich has extensive experience both as a USA and YMCA swimming coach, and is an Olympic trial qualifying coach.  His coaching philosophy is "good technique builds great swimmers"  and this has has held to be true for a lot of his swimmers participating in  sectional championships, national championships, and olympics trials. 

Brittany Kartchner Assistant Coach

Coach Brittany is joining the Herndon Aquatics Club Commanders as the Assistant Head Coach.  She is coming to the team with 14 years of experience working with people of all ages and especially enjoys coaching age group children.  Brittany's mom taught her to swim at the age of five and began competing at 10 years old with the Aquia Harbour Dolphins in Stafford, VA.  From there, she joined the Quantico Devil Dolphins (QDD) and then swam varsity for Brooke Point High School.  It wasn't until Brittany left for college and swam for the University of Bridgeport that she truly understood the dynamics and stroke mechanics of swimming.  Brittany further cemented her love of the sport while swimming with the University of Bridgeport and saw man personal improvements and time drops.  After college,  Brittany began coaching for Occoquan Swimming working with the age group children and a few years later moved to Mason Makos Swimming. 

 Brittany took about 4 years off from competitive coaching to work overseas and found she terribly missed being around water and working with children.  It is now with the Herndon Commanders she can continue growing her passion of swimming and hopefully pass that love onto the swimmers.  Go Commanders!

Sheila Houle Assistant Coach - AGP PM

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 working with the AGP PM group 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, she enjoys spending time with her husband and their three cats and dog going on adventures.

Kathy McLaughlin Senior Prep PM and Master Swim Coach

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.

Summer Lui Assistant Coach

Hi parents and students, as a certified American Red Cross swim instructor, helping children to stay safe in, on and around water is capital and rewarding. I have experience with ages 6 months to adult. I assisted my coach and taught other children learn how to swim for 5 years. In addition to that, my 6 year experience in the medical field has prepared me to be patient, organized and self-sufficient. I understand the importance of children’s physical, social and emotional developments have implications for their swimming lessons. Every learner needs a helpful friend and an instructor who will motivate and encourage them. 


Chris Geary Lead Assistant Coach - Middle School

This is Chris' fifth year coaching for the Commanders. Although he was not a swimmer as a child, Chris began in earnest in college when he started racing with the Penn State Triathlon team. While earning his Masters in Nursing he joined the Marymount University Masters Swimming Program. Over the next twenty years Chris completed five Ironman races and has studied race physiology and nutrition strategy to become a USAT Level 1 Coach. When not coaching, Chris is an ICU Nurse at Virginia Hospital Center. He also enjoys mountain bike racing and spending time with his wife and 3 children.

Board of Directors
Richard Romero Head Swim Coach