Coaches and Directors

Coaches and Directors
Coaching Staff
Adam Byars Director of Competitive Swimming

Adam was named head coach in August, 2017. Prior to MTS, he was assistant coach for the University of Arizona men’s and women’s swim program for four years. Adam’s swimmers earned numerous All-PAC 12 honors, 12 NCAA All-America honors and three different school records fell to his athletes.

Prior to Arizona, Adam spent eight years with the Aiken-Augusta Swim League in Augusta, GA; first as head age group coach then as head coach for his last six years there.

Adam swam collegiately for the University of Wisconsin, where he was an All-America selection, team MVP and named team captain in 2001. He also participated in the 2000 U.S. Olympic Trials in two events (100 back and 200 back).

Personally, Adam is married to his wife Ruth, and they have three children: Zachary, Madeline, and Jacob. 

Kelsey Mcdonald Coach
Hi! I’m Coach Kelsey McDonald and I have been in the swimming community my whole life. I learned to swim at 2, and when I was old enough, I started swimming with the Countryside YMCA team in Lebanon Ohio.
 
After I graduated high school I signed to swim at Guilford College, a small Quaker school in Greensboro North Carolina. My favorite events were the 500, the mile, the 100 breast and the 400 IM.
 
While in Greensboro I started coaching with Star Aquatics, the largest team in the state, working with their youngest age groups and developing a lessons program for swimmers with special needs. 
 
I moved to Memphis in 2012 with my (now) husband and began coaching with MTAC, as well as various high school and middle school teams. I was with MTAC for 5 years before I took a position with the YMCA in summer 2017 after the birth of my first child. In the past 3 years I have been watching the Y grow and change, and I have thrived by helping build a new Aquatics department, including developmental swim team and Safety Around Water. 
 
My motto is “Happy swimmers are fast swimmers” and I strive to run each practice and meet in a way that embodies those
 
Bakari Williams Coach
Greetings everyone! I'm Coach Bakari Williams, and I am very excited to be here with MTYS. I started swimming at the age of seven, and I immediately fell in love with the sport.  All throughout my swim career, I was very fortunate to have coaches who genuinely cared for their swimmers, continuously challenged me to be the best version of myself both in and out of the pool, and passionately coached the sport making even the toughest practices a fun experience. On every team that I have been a part of, my teammates always became more than just friends, for we truly formed a bond that made us more like family. With an experience like the one I had, it would be hard not to love the sport, and it is that love which fuels me each time I step onto the pool deck. 
I have called Memphis home since 2013, which is when I began attending Rhodes College. I graduated in 2018 with a BA in Religious Studies. While there, I also swam collegiately under head coach Charlie Boehme. Before Rhodes, I swam for my high school, Northwest Rankin, and I swam for my local club team, Sunkist Swim Team, located in Jackson, MS. I started coaching in 2011. I was head coach of one our summer league teams for 3 years. I assisted in my club team's developmental program for 5 years. In 2016, I became a USA Swimming certified coach, and I was an assistant coach for Sunkist for two years. My coaching experience in Memphis in 2019 starting with the Ric Nuber YMCA team and later getting involved with Blue City Bluefins and the elementary swim league. 
I am really looking forward to sharing my current knowledge with these swimmers, as well as learning new things together. Each time my swimmers step onto the pool deck, I want them to be stepping into an environment where they feel safe, are having fun, and are ready to put in the work to become better swimmers. Again, I am really excited to be here, and I hope that one day my swimmers will be able to say they love the sport as much as I do. 
 
 
Collin Dowling coach

Coach Collin has been on the Memphis swimming scene his entire life. After ending his not-so-successful swimming career in 2012, he stepped into the coaching world and has loved it ever since. Collin previously served as an assistant coach for MTS for almost 5 years, before going on to serve as head coach for: The Racquet Club of Memphis; St. Mary's Episcopal School; the Memphis Jewish Community Center Blue Dolphins; and the Sharks Swim Team. For his hard work and dedication, Collin was awarded the 2019/20 Commercial Appeal's Girls High School Coach of the Year. In addition to his coaching experience, Collin also obtained a B.S. (2016) and M.S. (2019) in Exercise Science from the University of Memphis. Coach Collin has worked with swimmers of all ages and abilities - and he can't wait to work with your swimmer next!

James Waters coach
Education: Memphis State University BS Education, Eastern Kentucky University (Swimming)
Teaching/Coaching Experience: Memphis State University Asst. Swim Coach 1982-86. Athletic Director/Teacher/Coach Lausanne Collegiate School 1986-1998. Shelby County Schools HPELW Teacher 1999-present. Central Church Swim team Head Coach 1990-98.
Collierville Swimming Founder/Head Coach 1998-2020. 
MTYS/Schilling Farms location Swim Coach-present.
Inducted into Chattanooga Sports Hall of Fame in 2017.
Bryan Hoffman coach
Brian Cavanaugh coach
Mary Katherine DeWane coach

I started swimming when I was nine years old (with MTS!), and I absolutely loved the sport. Although my competitive swimming career ended in 2013, I continued to swim for White Station High School until I graduated in 2016, and I swam on the club swim team while I attended Harvard College from 2016-2020. I moved back to Memphis in March 2020, and I started coaching in September. Throughout my experience as a swimmer, I had great coaches who helped me develop a strong technique and pushed me to do my best at each practice, and the bonds that I formed with my teammates made swimming such a fun experience. It is a joy to be back in my hometown coaching for MTYS, and I strive to provide all swimmers an environment where they can get stronger and faster as swimmers and grow to love the sport. 

Board of Directors