Coaches and Directors

Coaches and Directors
Coaching Staff
Cameron Higdon Head Coach

Cameron Higdon was born and raised in Knoxville, Tennessee. He began swimming competitively for Pilot Aquatic Club of Knoxville at age six. In middle school, he switched over to BLAST for three years before returning to Pilot to finish out his high school swimming career. While swimming for Bearden High School, Cameron earned All-American status and was Team Captain his senior year. He then received an athletic scholarship to swim for Western Kentucky University. 

Cameron joined Prime Aquatics in the winter of 2016. Before joining Prime, Cameron was an assistant at the Atomic City Aquatics Club where he coached a USA T16 age group qualifier. Cameron was the head coach for the Gettysvue Gliders summer league team for twelve years from 2008-2019. Cameron coached Farragut High School from 2015-2019.

Cameron is married to Lindsey and loves to spend his free time with Lindsey and their dog Thor. Prime is excited to have Cameron on staff. He brings a wealth of knowledge, experience, and positive energy on deck every day.

Kayla Griffin Assistant Team Coach, Lead Junior Coach

Coach Kayla comes to Prime from Baton Rouge, Louisiana where she was Head Coach and Head Masters Coach at Tiger Aquatics. Kayla has 8 years of coaching experience with club swimming as well as experience working with summer league, middle school and high school teams. She has coached a variety of age groups and ability levels from introductory swim lessons to Junior National Qualifiers. 

 

Kayla is a native of Portland, Oregon where she grew up swimming for Parkrose Swim Club and Mt. Hood Aquatics. She was a 6A Oregon High School State Champion, former state record holder, district record holder, and U.S. National Qualifier. Kayla went on to swim for and graduate from Tulane University with a B.S. in Public Health. Coach Kayla graduated with school records in the 50 Free, 100 Back, 100 fly, and 4 relays. In her time at Tulane, she was twice named the Conference USA Swimmer of the week, a mid-major All-American, achieved several NCAA ‘B’ time standards, and competed in several USA Swimming National Meets. Kayla also has a Masters degree in Health Administration from Louisiana State Univeristy-Shreveport. 

 

In her free time, Kayla and her husband David spend time together trying new restaurants, watching and attending sporting events, and spending time at home with their Chow Chow, Myla. 

Jenna Johnson Assistant Team Coach, Lead Gold

Coach Jenna is from Santa Rosa, California. She began swimming competitively at age 8 on a summer league team the Wikiup Warriors, and, by age twelve, joined her first USA team, the Santa Rosa Neptunes. 

As a 16-year-old, Coach Jenna represented the United States at the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles, California.  Jenna's 1984 Olympic Trial time in the 100-meter Butterfly (59.08) was the second fastest time ever swum in history. She won three medals in the Olympics: a gold medal in the 4x100 meter Freestyle Relay, a gold medal in the 4x100 meter Medley Relay, and a silver medal in the 100-meter Butterfly.

Jenna graduated from Stanford with a degree in Communication. She won 6 NCAA individual national championship over her college swimming career in sprint free and butterfly events.  She was co-captain of the Stanford Women's Swim Team her senior year in 1989, during which Stanford took home the NCAA National Championship.  While at Stanford, she broke two American Records, the 100-meter freestyle and the 100-yard butterfly. She also competed in the World Championships, Pan Pacific Championships, and World University Games representing the USA.  As a 19-year-old, she received the Honda Sports Award for Swimming and Diving, recognizing her as the outstanding college female swimmer of the year in 1985–86, and was a runner-up for the award the following year.  Jenna has been inducted into the Stanford Sports Hall of Fame.  Jenna competed in the 1992 and 1996 Olympic Trials before retiring from competitive swimming. 

Jenna started coaching at Prime Aquatics in the fall of 2017. Jenna has been coaching and teaching since she was 18 years old. On her 25th birthday, she moved to Tennessee to become an Assistant Coach for the Lady Volunteers Swim Team at The University of Tennessee, which lasted from 1993-1998. Jenna has also coached Berean High School, Maryville High School, U.T. Masters, Stanford Masters, West Side Y Masters, and West Side Y, along with other small swim teams in California prior to that.  Jenna has been strongly influenced by her incredible swim coaches, Dick & Sherry Lopeman, Guy Miller, Nancy Breene, Ed Spencer, George Haines, Richard Quick, Bill Boomer, and her father Johnnie Johnson, who was a college basketball coach. Along with Prime, Jenna also teaches and instructs swimming at the Boys and Girls Club. Jenna loves working with children and adults of all ages and levels of ability. Her favorite part of coaching is sharing her swimmer's joy after a personal best performance. Jenna's goal is to touch her swimmers' lives in a lasting way.

Jenna has been married to Joel Younker for 23 years, and they have two children, Baylor (age 22) and Cali Rose (age 17). Joel is the owner of Creative Edge Graphics in Knoxville. Baylor is a junior at Bellarmine University in Louisville, KY where plays basketball and is majoring in Mathematics. Cali is a junior at Maryville High School and swims for Maryville High School and Prime Aquatics. 

 

Scott Mayo Assistant Coach
Coach Scott Mayo comes to us with an extensive background in swimming and coaching. As a young child he had a fear of the deep end and was adamant that he was not to enter a pool with a deep end. That was until a friendly neighbor encouraged him to join the summer swim team. After just a few lessons he was hooked on the water and by the next summer he was seen at the community pool every day, rain or shine. He went on to become a full time swim coach in Northern Virginia with Machine Aquatics for five years. Coach Scott is a technique driven coach that teaches with enthusiasm and entertainment; there's never a dull moment during his practices! Scott moved to the area in 2020 with his wife, Ashley and three dogs: Cooper, Cody, and Zeta. He currently coaches for Bearden High School, and in the summers he is the head coach of the AJCC Swim Team. In his free time he enjoys going on hikes and lifting weights in his home gym.
Betsy Smith Assistant Coach

Betsy Brockman Smith was born and raised near Cincinnati, Ohio. She swam competitively for Anderson Barracudas (M.E. Lyons YMCA) and was the lone swimmer for Williamsburg High School. Betsy earned two Ohio High School Swimming State Titles and held the Ohio High School State Meet record in the 200 IM. After high school, she attended the University of Tennessee, where she competed as a Lady Volunteer for four seasons. Betsy served as a team captain during her senior season.

After completing her undergraduate degree, Betsy worked as a Graduate Assistant for UT Athletics and coached high school and summer league swimming while earning her Juris Doctorate from The University of Tennessee College of Law. She currently practices as a consultant for K-12 and Higher Education institutions on compliance related issues.

Betsy coached the Heritage High School, William Blount High School and Maryville Middle Swim Teams during the 2019-2020 season and will coach Heritage High and William Blount for the 2020-2021 season. She started coaching for Prime in the spring of 2020 with the pre-season group and also serves as a substitute coach.

Betsy and her husband, Jared, have a son, Brogen (8), who swims with the Prime Gold Group. Betsy is excited to share her enthusiasm and love of swimming with the Prime Tribe. 

Lana Burl Assistant Coach

Lana Burl is the owner and head coach of LB Endurance, a coaching service committed to supporting athletes on their own endurance sports journeys. 

Having only learned a few water safety basics as a child, Coach Lana did not truly discover swimming until age 34, when her husband and friends decided to take on their first triathlon. Overcoming fear and anxiety in water, she has become an experienced triathlete and adventurous open water swimmer.  She actively participates in all manner of endurance and multi-sport events locally and internationally, including representing Team USA in three events at World ITU Championships in 2019. She can be found swimming in our local rivers, lakes and quarries year-round!

In addition to coaching LB Endurance athletes both locally and remotely and Prime Masters, she also coaches middle school and high school swimming with Hardin Valley Academy.  Lana loves the challenge of guiding people who simply want to be better at what they do, and hopes she can help others overcome their anxieties in the water to find life long joy in swimming.

Lana's education includes a master’s in Nutrition and undergraduate degree in Chemical Engineering.  Her coaching certifications include USA Triathlon, USA Cycling, USA Swimming, US Masters Swimming and USMS Adult-Learn-To-Swim. She lives in Knoxville with her husband Chris and two awesome cats Jethro and Ragnar.

Greg Stanley Strength Coach/Injury Consultant

Dr. Greg Stanley, currently an Assistant Professor of Exercise Science and Physical Education at Carson Newman, is the most recent addition to our Prime Aquatic’s coaching staff! Dr. Stanley will serve as a Sports Injury Consultant and Strength & Conditioning Consultant for Prime Aquatics. 

Dr. Stanley is a native of East Tennessee and currently resides in Maryville with his beautiful wife Katie of fourteen years, along with his two amazing children, Sophia (age 9) and Jack (age 6), who are currently members of the Prime Aquatics. He enjoys spending time with his family, upland bird and duck hunting, shooting (trap/sporting clays), reading, running, cycling, swimming, strength training, and learning. He spent his last year training for a Half Ironman in Chattanooga, but due to COVID-19, the race was canceled, and he was deferred to May 21. He continues to train weekly.

Dr. Stanley earned a Bachelor of Arts in Education from Maryville College (2005), a Master of Science in Exercise Physiology from The University of Tennessee, Knoxville (2010) and a Doctorate in Health Education from A.T. Still University in Kirksville, Missouri (2015). Dr. Stanley began teaching in 2005 for the Knox County School System as a Physical Education and Strength/Conditioning Instructor. After a brief stay, he moved to Blount County in 2006 for a full-time position teaching PreK-5 Physical Education and Wellness. With his deep passion for learning, he pursued a master’s degree while working as a Graduate Assistant-Strength and Conditioning Coach for The University of Tennessee (Knoxville) Women’s Athletic Department.

Dr. Stanley feels fortunate to have worked with all the women’s athletic teams at The University of Tennessee; however, he primarily designed and implemented strength and conditioning programs for volleyball, tennis, soccer, and novice rowing teams. His first taste of university teaching came with the development and implementation of a semester-based curriculum for undergraduate student assistant strength and conditioning coaches. While completing his doctorate, Dr. Stanley worked as a clinical exercise physiologist and developed/implemented cardiovascular, strength, and flexibility programs for bariatric and cardiopulmonary phase 2 & 3 patients. He can sympathize and relate to students who strive to balance the demands of familial, professional, and academic responsibilities.

Greg Stanley’s additional certifications:

  • Clinical Exercise Physiologist (CEP)
  • Certified Exercise Physiologist (EP-C)
  • Exercise is Medicine® Credential Level III
  • Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS)
  • National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA)
  • Tennessee K-12 Teaching License
Board of Directors
Ragan Goff President
Jim Curtis Vice-President
Randy Stanley Treasurer
Kellie Hudgens Secretary
Steve Benedict Board Member at Large
Lina Desai Board Member at Large
Sally Pardue Non-Voting Board Member at Large
John Matson Board Member at Large