Coaching Staff
Preston Parrish Head Coach & FMC Senior 1

Preston is entering his 11th year coaching and his 3nd year with the Rays staff. He was promoted to Head Coach in December of 2017 and has been in that role ever since coaching Senior 1 and leading the staff and team.  

Preston's hometown is Mt. Pleasant, SC. His first coaching position was with MPSC as head Age Group Coach. After coaching there, he coached with SwimMAC Carolina, Carmel Swim Club, the University of South Carolina, and South Carolina Swim Club. 

As an athlete, Preston swam for MPSC, Wando High School, and the College of Charleston - helping lead the Warriors to a Boys Team State Title in 2003 and runner-up in 2004, and also leading the Cougars to back-to-back conference titles in 2008 and 2009. He was a coaches cup award winner for Wando High School and a member of the CAA and CCSA Scholastic conference teams when he was with CofC. He is a former team record holder for MPSC, Wando, and CofC in butterfly, backstroke, freestyle events as well as freestyle and medley relays. He was also a member of state record holding relays with the Wando Warriors. He graduated from College of Charleston with a degree in business administration, and has a graduate degree from the University of South Carolina in Sports and Entertainment Management. 

His most rewarding achievement as an athlete was helping win back to back conference titles with the College of Charleston. As a coach, he has been a part of Junior National team championship teams, but it was winning the Indiana Age Group State Meet in 2013. The swimmers in his groups that year performed so well and it was awesome to see all their hard work pay off. 

Preston is hoping to instill a culture of excellence in Senior 1 and the entire Rays program. Hard work, commitment, resilience, confidence, and investment to their each swimmer's personal growths. 

In his spare time, Preston trains jiu jitsu at Modern Warrior MMA gym, enjoys concerts, traveling with his fiance Jenny, and the Marvel Cinematic Universe. 

Edward Cullen RHAC Lead Site Coach and Branch Manager

Ed Cullen originally hails from Wilton, Connecticut, but he and his wife have been living in the Charlotte area since 2015. He is entering his 12th year of coaching and has coached for Ridgefield Aquatic Club, the Greenwich YMCA, YMCA of the NorthShore, Crimson Aquatics, and SwimMAC Carolina. He is an ASCA certified Level 3 coach, and has served on Junior National Select Camp coaching staffs.

He brings a wealth of knowledge to the sport and YMCA aquatic management to the Aquatics Center facility!

Coach Ed will be running the Rock Hill Aquatic Center and coaching the Pre Senior 1 and Senior 1 groups at Rock Hill.  He also has a passion for open water swimming.  As a young adult, he swam multiple events on Lake Winnipesaukee in New Hampshire.  He has coached multiple Open Water National qualifiers as well.

Coach Ed has worked with a variety of ages and ability levels throughout his career.  He hopes to instill his athletes a respect for hard work and discipline in the water.  He sums up his philosophy as a quote from Vince Lombardi that says, “Individual commitment to a group effort - that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work.”  You will often hear Coach Ed saying “Honor your teammates and yourself with your effort.”

Two fun facts about Coach Ed is that he also met his spouse at the Y in Massachusetts.  Coach Ed has also a outside niche for Professional Wrestling.

Katie Wright CSD Lead Site Coach & CSD Blue/Electric

Coach Katie Wright has been coaching for the last 11 years.  She is currently the aquatics director and lead site coach for the CSD site.  In the fall she is the head coach for the Clover High School Swim team, when that season is done she will take over the CSD Blue Rays.  To date Coach Katie has coached over 117 swimmers to the South Carolin LSC State swim meet from 2013- present day.  She has coach 18 swimmers to the Eastern Section Southern Zone Age Group Sectionals to date!

Originally from Raleigh, North Carolina, Coach Katie moved to the area in 2005 when she and her sister joined the Rays.  After graduating from Northwestern High School in 2007, she attended Wingate University. Katie swam for two years with the Wingate Bulldogs, NCAA Division II. While at Wingate she was an all-conference performer. In 2008, she was a member of the conference champion 400 Free and Medley relay teams.

After completing two years at Wingate, she transferred to the College of Charleston in 2009. She graduated from the College of Charleston in May 2012 with a degree in Arts Management.

Coach Katie hopes to instill in each of her athletes that swimming is a sport that can not only save your life, but can lead into learning how to save someone else's life.  She hopes each athlete walks away from her with life lessons they will continue to use, and a love for swimming.

Fun fact about Coach Katie:  She met her husband, Blake, while swimming at Wingate


Anne Small GFY Lancaster Head Site Coach

Coach Anne is from Lancaster, South Carolina.  Coach Anne is the Aquatics Director and Head Site Coach for the Rays at the GFY-Lancaster site.  She oversees all groups that swim out of GFY site for the last 5 years.  Coach Anne has a total of 38 years of competitve and teaching swimming experience.

Coach Anne is incrediblily proud of her 38 years of experience.  She has had the opportunity and privilege to teach and coach children of all ages and abilities.  Many of her Rays swimmers have been with her since they first started swimming.  She bursts with pride watching her athletes grow and develop,  as while as achieve individual goals such as South Carolina State, Age group Sectionals, Senior Sectionals and YMCA Nationals.  Coach ANne believes teaching an athlete to take pride in themselves and their team is a skill she hope to instill in each athlete.

A fun fact about Coach Anne:  She is the crazy coach that runs up and down the side of the pool at the swim meets, cheering for the Rays swimmers.  She says; GO, KICK, SHOOT!  

Lynn Williams FMAC Pre-Senior 1

Coach Lynn Williams is from Kershaw, SC.  She coaches the Presenior 1 athletes at FMAC.  Coach Lynn started her coaching career in 1974 when she started coaching summer league Kershaw.  In 1977 she began coaching the Fort Mill Swim team for summer league, which lead to her starting her career as a year round coach in 1978.  Coach Lynn has been with the Rays program since the year it started in 1988 (she was the founding coach), even though the Upper Palmetto YMCA Stingrays name was not established until 2005.

Coach Lynn is qualified as a ASCA level 3 coach.  She was honored as the South Carolina Age Group Coach of the Year in 1992.  Coach Lynn will tell you the most rewarding part of being a coach is seeing the success of the athletes that she has coached, not only in the water but as adults too.

The most important thing Coach Lynn hopes to instill in her athletes is hard work and doing things the right way brings great success in every endeavor of life, not just swimming. Swimming is about life, not just what happens in the pool.  It is a mechanism for learning how to be successful at your ability level in athletic competition, which leads to learning how to be successful in life. It is learning how to work with many different people to bring success to the group, not just the individual.

Coach Lynn has two sons, two grandsons and 2 grand dogs.  She retired as Rural Letter Carrier.  Coach Lynn’s grandfather, grandmother, and father were all Rural Letter Carriers.  Coach Lynn was honored as the 2015 South Carolina Rural Letter Carrier Member of the year.  As a child Coach Lynn played basketball, took ballet and baton.  She also played piano and trumpet, which she played in the Andrew Jackson High School Band.  Coach Lynn was a member of the Alpha Delta Pi sorority at Appalachian State University. Another fun fact about Coach Lynn is she remembers paying $0.10 for swim lessons!

Doug Fleck CSD Pre-Senior 1&2

Coach Doug Fleck is from Elkhart, Indiana.  He coaches Pre Senior and Manta at our Clover site.  Coach Doug has over 55 years of coaching and swimming experience.  He started coaching summer league swimming at the age of 16 and year round swimming at 26 years old.  He has coached at the Johnston YMCA in Charlotte, Palm Springs, Texas Swim Camp, Team Charlotte Swimming and Charlotte Swim Masters.


Coach Doug has had tremendous success as a coach.  Coach Doug coached the first ever 12 year old to go under a minute in the 100 back in North Carolina.  He coached athletes to Olympic Trial cuts in 04”, 08’ and 12’.   Coach Doug played a strategic part in having an athlete place 2ndat Senior Nationals in the 200 breaststroke.  He also coached the World Record holder in 100 Fly for masters.


Coach Doug is a level 3 ASCA certified coach.   He also took 1stplace in the 50-yard backstroke at North Carolina State his 1styear swimming.  In college he was a NAIA qualifier for 3 years.  As a masters swimmer he placed 3rdin the 50 fly at the World Championship and took a 1stplace finish in the 400 IM at YMCA Master Nationals.


Coach Doug believes technique is critical for improvement as an athlete develops mentally and physically. He knows a strong kick promotes a strong fluid stroke that will in turn instill a strong swimming game!  He believes an athlete needs to enjoy what the sport brings to you and to appreciate and respect the process.  Coach Doug says circle swimming is life; it is full of angles, decisions, memories, challenges, failures, success and treasured friendships.


When Doug isn’t on the pool deck, he is at home with his wife, Beth, and his two dogs, Gracie and Koors.


Some interesting facts about Coach Dog:  He played tennis, soccer, basketball, baseball, rugby, ran cross-country and swam in college!  He also has the same birthday as his father and grandmother.


Cindy VanBuskirk FMAC Manta & Blue

Cindy has been coaching the sport of competitive swimming for twenty years. Cindy joined the Rays coaching staff in 2005.  She has coached many levels for the Rays team, from age group to interim senior coach for the 2012-2013 season. Cindy started coaching the Manta and Blue Rays groups in 2016.  


Cindy was head coach of the Tega Cay Breakers summer league team from 2001-2014.   She coached the team to consecutive Metrolina League Championships from 2010-2014. 


Cindy is Head Coach of the Fort Mill High School Boys and Girls Swim Team.  She has been coach of these teams since 2008.  She has led the FMHS boys and girls team to 10 consecutive Region Champion titles, the girls team to five state team silver medals (2011, 2012, 2014, 2015, 2016) the boys team to back-to-back team state championships in 2010 and 2011 and two state team silver medals in 2014 and 2018.

Cindy has been awarded:

·     National Federation of High Schools 2014 State Boys Team Swim Coach of the Year

·     High School Sports Report 2014 AAAA Boys Swim Coach of the Year 

·     National Federation of High Schools 2016-2017 Boys Team Swim Coach of the Year

·     National Federation of High Schools 2016-2017 Girls Team Swim Coach of the Year

·     National Federation of High Schools 2016-2017 Girls Team Sectional Swim Coach of the Year (Sectional 8 states: AL, FL, GA, LA, MS, NC, SC TN) 

·     SCACA/SCHSL 2016-2017 South Carolina Boys and Girls Swim Coach of the Year


Cindy swam competitively from the age of 8 through high school in Waterloo, Iowa. She participated in YMCA, AAU and high school swimming. Cindy is a graduate of Iowa State University (Go Cyclones!!) with a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education. Cindy has loved participating in many sports over the years, however, her true passion is competitive swimming! She loves to come to practice every day and hopes to encourage all her swimmers to find success and a continued love for competitive swimming.  Cindy and her husband Jamie, are parents of three children, Alex and twins Julia and Sam, who all swam for the Rays Swim Team. 

Michelle Case RHAC Manta & Blue

Coach Michelle Case is from Fort Mill, South Carolina.  She will be coaching our Manta and Blue groups at RHAC. Coach Michelle has been coaching with the Rays for 5 years.

As an athlete Coach Michelle set records at Campbell University, was honored as the Rookie of the Year in 2015 and was CCSA All- Conference. Her most rewarding experience as a coach was winning the 200 free relay at Fort Mill High School.  Coach Michelle treasures the memory of getting the 200 free relay state record in 2013 at 4A State Championship.

Coach Michelle values teaching athletes how hard work pays off by being patient and trusting the processs in all aspects of life.

A fun fact about Coach Michelle: She is a twin!

Olivia May CSD-Mini Rays, Manta

Coach Olivia May grew up in Knightdale North Carolina.  This will be her 2nd year coaching with the Rays. She will be coaching Mini Rays and Manta at CSD this year.  Coach Olivia previously coached for the Greensboro Swimming Association, Champs Swim Club of Chicago and many Open Water and Triathletes in the Chicagoland area. 

As an athlete she competed in the 70.3 distance triathlon and represented the US in the 2015 World Championships in Zel AM Zee Austria. Coach Olivia hopes to always share her love of the sport along with a strong understanding of swimming mechanics with her athletes. 

Fun Fact: She earned a BFA in Dance and performed as a Professional Dancer with the Dance COLEctive in Chicago for 8 years.

Alyssa McAllister FMAC Electric

Coach Alyssa McAllister is from Exton, Pennsylvania. She will be coaching the Electric Rays at the FMAC site.  She has been coaching swimming for a total of six years.  Alyssa has coaching her old club team Lionville Community YMCA Riptides located in Exton for 2 years.  She was the head coach for the Northwestern Swim Team for 3 years.  Coach Alyssa is currently the assistant coach for the Nation Ford swim team.  In the summertime, she coaches for the Rock Hill Country Club.  This will be her third year coaching for the Rays.

Coach Alyssa swam competitively at the age of seven through high school for both her club and high school teams.  During this time, she qualified for both District and State Championship meets.  She also swam for Penn State’s Club swim team for two years and qualified for club Nationals in Georgia.

Coach Alyssa hopes to foster strong relationships with the swimmers in her group.  She hopes to teach her swimmers to love and appreciate the sport of swimming, to encourage and support their teammates and to understanc the importance of hard work and determination.

A fun fact about Coach Alyssa:  She loves to scuba dive and has been a certified diver since she was 10 years old.

Annika Akins RHAC Electric

Coach Annika Akins is from Fort Wayne, IN.  She will be coaching Pre-Senior 1, Electric and Mini Rays at the RHAC site.  Coach Annika has been coaching for 1 year.

Coach Annika swam competitively for 12 years on a club team called SWAC.  She was a top 8 finisher at her high school state.  She was also a high school sectional winner and top 7 at state. Coach Annika was a varsity swimmer for 3 years.  One of her most rewarding achievements as an athlete was reaching her personal best time in the 100 fly in her last swim meet ever.  She also values her memory of winning sectionals her senior year.

As a coach, Coach Annika hopes to teach her athletes that everything counts.  What you do in practice, you’ll do at meets.  She believes if you don’t want to do something or do something at meets you have to practice that skill at practice.

Fun fact about Coach Annika:  She has met Michael Phelps twice!

Randolph Charcalla FMAC Pre-Senior 2

Randy is a first year coach but has been a lifelong swimmer.  He started swimming competitively at age 9 for his local YMCA team and swam for his high school in Pennsylvania where he grew up.  After a long hiatus from routine swimming he reentered the sport joining US Masters Swimming in 2018 and has been competing at regional meets. He graduated from Penn State with a degree in MIS and currently works in the health industry supporting technology.

Brock Fraser FMAC Pre-Senior 2 & Atlantic

Brock Fraser grew up in Charleston, SC. His main groups will be Mini-Rays and Atlantic but will also help out with other age group groups as well. He's been coaching for about 5 years but this is his first coaching position with a year-round team. Brock won the Coach's Cup award with the Snee Farm swim team in 2008, he was alsoa team Captain for Wando high school in 2008 while leading the boys team to an SC Team State Championship that year. Brock hopes to teach each swimmer the value of setting personal goals. Each practice, he likes for swimmers to have one thing they want to accomplish. Work hard, strive to improve, and most importantly—have fun! In his spare time, Brock enjoys hiking locally, and visiting the major United States National Parks.

Cheryl Reinke RHAC Pre-Senior 2

Cheryl is returning to age-group coaching after 10+ years. Her coaching backgrounds includes coaching age-group swimming at Galion Community Center YMCA and Shelby YMCA Community Center in the 1980s, Mini-Rays in 2006, and South Pointe High School this year.  In 2009 she started the master swimming group at the RHAC which included open water swimming in Lake Wylie.

Cheryl was a distance swimmer for Westlake High School and Wright State University in Ohio setting school records at both.  After 2 shoulder surgeries and a 20+ year hiatus she returned to swimming in 2006.  She is an avid marathon open water swimming.  Over the past several years she has worked with budding age-group open water swimmers.

She is a 2-time masters open water national champion, female masters champion at Round The Sound (a 10K in Bermuda), female champion of SCAR (a 4-day 42 mile open water stage race in Arizona) and Beaufort River Swim and overall champion at Swim Around Charleston (a 12.4 mile swim around the Charleston Peninsula), Cliff Backyard Ultra (Denver, CO) and 8 Bridges Hudson Swim (a 7-day 120 mile open water swim in the Hudson River). 

Cheryl has a degree in Biomedical Engineering and currently works as a contractor in the automation industry.

Tracy Curtis FMAC Atlantic & MiniRays

Coach Tracy Curtis is from Walnut Creek, California.  She will be coaching our Mini Rays and Atlantic athletes at FMAC.  Coach Tracy has been teaching swim lessons for years and is entertaining her 2ndyear of coaching.  Last year she was coaching for the Tigersharks at YMCA of Beaufort in Jasper County, South Carolina.

As an athlete Coach Tracy attended Junior Olympics in Synchronized Swimming and won the National Championship for her age group.  She was also voted Most Valuable Swimmer for Valley Vista Rec Team.  Coach Tracy has completed the Marine Corps Marathon in Washington, DC, and completed the half marathon at the Triple Crown Series in San Diego, California.  Coach Tracy is YMCA Swimming & Diving Coach certified and ACE certified as a personal trainer.

Coach Tracy believes is it very important to teach her athletes to have fun!  She also hoes to teach them how to support and encourage each other while working hard!

A fun fact about Tracy is:  She met her husband on the pool deck when she was 12 years old!

Heather Stout FMAC Atlantic & MiniRays

Heather grew up in and around Wichita, Kansas and moved to the Carolinas in 2002.  She’s a regular at the former ASCG, now Fort Mill UPYMCA Complex, pool where’s she’s taught all age groups of swimmers: from preschool, swim team, adults, and triathletes over the last the last three years.  She’ll be coaching the Mini Rays and Atlantic teams.  She’s excited to see so many familiar faces from the Complex joining the Rays!
Fun fact: Heather once bribed pool attendants to allow her to swim in the outdoor Moscow Olympic pool in the middle of winter!

Lorena Lee FMAC Atlantic & MiniRays
Hannah Buckner RHAC Atlantic and MiniRays

This is Coach Hannah's second year coaching with the Rays. She graduated from D. W. Daniel High School in the Spring of 2018 and started her freshman year at Winthrop University in the Fall of 2018. She is currently pursuing her degree in Social Work. Hannah swam for Clemson Aquatic Team in Clemson, SC for a decade. She thoroughly enjoyed her time on CAT and is thankful for the many opportunities that CAT provided her including being Co-director of Project Grassroots (a mentor program for in and out of water experiences). Hannah has also been assistant coach for the Upstate Torpedoes in Central, SC for the past three years. She is very excited to continue her coaching career and to serve and work with the swimmers and parents of the Rays. 

Karen Ferguson RHAC Atlantic and MiniRays
Karen is in her first year as assistant coach for the Atlantic, Mini Rays 1, 2 & 3 swim teams. She enjoys seeing the younger swimmers grow in their confidence in their ability & technique. One of her most memorable times this year was when she had the privilege of attending “Fitter & Faster” swim camp hosted by Olympic Gold Medalist Tyler Clary in backstroke & breaststroke clinics. 
Originally from Greenwood SC, she played basketball in high school & was co-captain for several years.  She then enjoyed her college time at Clemson University playing Fellowship of Christian Athletes Football where she had a blast as one of their leading wide receivers. She was graduated with a degree in Marketing & Graphic Communications. 
Her mom was afraid of water & didn’t want to pass this on to her children so she had them at the YMCA for swim lessons at the early age of 4 yrs & continued to participate in health & wellness activities as a family for many years. She swam personally everyday through college & now swims nearly every day for personal fitness including water aerobics & is working towards getting her instructors certifications in that as well as school swim instructor.  She believes that everyone should in some way participate in the wonderful sport of swimming for healthy weight management, general fitness, balance & well being including recovery from many health related issues. She currently holds fitness & nutrition certifications which are preparing her to obtain her master’s degree in health, wellness, sports management & recreation therapy. 
Every day, she trail runs or does some form of training for Spartan obstacle races in which swimming is a major part of that training because it is much less stressful on the body & is a major contributor to endurance training but also incorporates ChiRunning & Tai Chi. She loves most water related activities including kayaking, and her next endeavor will include scuba diving & then scuba instructor certification. She especially loves the beach & all of its majesty & God’s glory.  Out of the water, which she often has to be, her favorite activities are photography, tennis, horse back riding, biking & traveling. In college, her favorite courses were sailing, golf & horse management. Her favorite 2 quotes are from a sign in her first Spartan 10k Trail: “Don’t Look Back, You’re Not Going That Way” & the other from Yoda in Star Wars: “Do or Do Not, There is No Try” 
Whitley Leviner RHAC Atlantic and MiniRays

Whitley Leviner is from Chapin, SC.  Whitley will be coaching our Atlantic and Mini Ray athlete at the Rays Rock Hill site. Before joining the Rays, Coach Whitley coached at the Timberlake Country Club Swim Team for 5 years.

Coach Whitley has received a Varsity Letter from her High School, Chapin High School and placed 11thin City Meet as well as other various ribbons at City Meet. As a coach, Whitley’s summer league team received the highest donor and Goal Reaching Team for Kids Kick Cancer, a fundraiser for Camp Kemo.

Coach Whitley’s most rewarding achievement was watching her swimmers do well in their races and having a swimmer raise the most money for Kids Kick Cancer out of  the whole Columbia Swim League. 

Coach Whitley hopes to teach her group (s) about hard work and how to put forth effort to get an end result they want.

Coach Whitley’s computer teacher in middle school was Coach Bowmen’s sister in law and Michael Phelps facetimed the class one day. 

Tara Walsh FMB Mini Rays

Coach Tara Walsh will be coaching Mini Rays at the FMB site.  She has been teaching lessons for 10 years and coaching for over a year now.

As an athlete Coach Tara has earned multiple medal at YMCA Nationals in high school.  One of her most rewarding achievements as an athlete is earning a full scholarship to a division 1 school.  She earn medals from Big East and ACC Championships.

Coach Tara hope to teach her athletes that hard work and dedication pays off.  She wants her athletes to bring their all every day! Coach Tara also believe swimming is a great way to make friends, but it also give you good life skills like time management and a healthy lifestyle.

A fun fact about Coach Tara: She loves to travel and used to live in the Marshall Islands! 

Liz Allen FMB Aquatics Director

FMB Aquatics Director and Lead Site Coach for the Fort Mill YMCA Mini Rays Program

Katy Motsinger RHAC Fill In Coach
Susan Snyder RHAC Fill in Coach

Primary Groups: Coach Sue does not have a primary group and fills in when needed by the Coaching Staff


Sue has been coaching with the RAYS since 2002, and she is also the head coach for the Northwestern High School swim team and the head coach for the Rock Hill Country Club swim team in the summer Metrolina Swim League.  Sue is a Greenville native and a graduate of Clemson University, where she was a member of the crew team.  Sue is a science teacher at Northwestern High School.  She lives in Rock Hill with her husband, Zach, who is a teacher and coach at South Pointe High School, their son Jonah, and their cats.


Sue is another coach that the Rays use to fill in when needed. Sue brings electric energy and a strong passion for the sport that is unmatched and is contagious for the kids she gets the opportunity to work with!


Holly Rickman CSD Fill in Coach

Coach Holly was the head coach at South Aiken High, Aiken SC in 2016.   In her first year as head coach she coached the girl’s team to a AAAA state champions, a school first.  The boy’s team went undefeated in season and placed second at the AAAA state championship, also a school first.  Rickman was named 2016 coach of the year by the South Carolina press.

Coach Holly was one of the founding members of Aiken Pacer Aquatic Club.  As the Head Coach, during APAC’s first season, she lead the team to a 10th place State finish with 18 athletes.  She also coached several athletes to first time state and sectional cut times.

Coach Holly was born and raised in New England.  She started swimming when she was 10 years old. She completed all the way up to the YMCA National Level.  She also competed in junior Olympics, and qualified for US opens. She graduated from the University of Richmond with a degree in Rhetoric and Communications.  While swimming for the Richmond Spider’s she qualified for a NCAA B cut her freshman year in the 1650-yard freestyle.  Her time of 16:49.27 held the Richmond record for several years along with her 1000-yard freestyle time of 10:11.43 and her 500-yard freestyle time of 4:55.83. In 2011, she was inducted into the hall of fame. Coach Holly married her husband, Forrest, in 2009.  They have two beautiful children; Jefferson and Delaney.

Board of Directors