Coaches and PAC

Coaching Staff
Gary Taylor Head Coach

Gary Taylor is in his first year with Cavalier Aquatics of Charlottesville, VA. Taylor was previously the head coach at Auburn University following North Carolina State where he spent the previous six seasons, including the last two as associate head coach. 

Under Taylor’s leadership, Auburn’s men’s and women’s teams both went 5-2 in dual meets in 2019-2020. At the SEC Championships, the women won three titles and set SEC records in both the 200 and 400 freestyle relays en route to a fifth-place finish. The men placed eighth with a number of Tigers swimming top 10 all-time performances in program history. Though there were no NCAA Championships, Auburn had 19 receive CSCAA All-American honors (18 women, 11 men) 

In Taylor’s first season on the Plains, he helped guide the Auburn women to a 12th-place finish at the NCAA Championships. The women’s team featured nine CSCAA All-Americans and three SEC titles – Erin Falconer in the 200 free, Aly Tetzloff in the 100 backstroke, and the winning 400 freestyle relay team. On the men’s side, Santiago Grassi earned All-American honors in the 100 butterfly at the NCAA Championships. 

Prior to Auburn, Taylor’s primary responsibility with the NC State program was working with the distance freestyle events and stroke aspects and assisting with recruiting responsibilities. In six seasons, he coached 11 swimmers to NC State school records and 97 to all-time top 10 performances.

Taylor played a vital part in guiding the NC State men to four-straight ACC Championship titles and three consecutive top-10 finishes at the NCAA Championships, including top-four finishes in each of the last three years. In addition, while Taylor was at NC State, the Wolfpack women were crowned conference champions in 2017, tabbing its first conference title since 1980. The women’s team also achieved its highest NCAA finish in program history, placing seventh in 2017.

In 2017-18, Taylor’s final season at NC State, his distance group was the only in Division I to have a male and female finish in top three of 1650 freestyle at the NCAA Championships, including NCAA men’s champion Anton Ipsen. The NC State men earned a fourth-place finish at the 2018 NCAA Championships, winning a program-best five NCAA titles. The women finished 18th, which included three top-16 finishes in the 1650 free.

Ipsen was named the 2018 ACC Scholar-Athlete of the Year as he earned All-America honors in the 500 free and All-America honorable mention honors in the 400 IM to go along with his 1650 free title. He was an ACC Champion in the 1650 free, 500 free, 400 IM and 800 free relay.

During the 2016-17 season, Taylor coached four athletes to the men's and women's NCAA Championships where they earned seven total All-America honors. At the ACC Championships, he led Ipsen to his third-straight title in the 500 free and a runner-up finish in the 1650 free. Adam Linker also tabbed All-ACC honors in the 500 and 1650 free events. On the women's side, Taylor helped Hannah Moore to All-ACC honors in the 500 free and 400 IM and Rachel Muller to a third place finish in the 1650 free.

In the 2015-16 season Taylor helped to lead Ipsen to ACC titles and All-America honors in the 500 and 1650 free for the second-straight season, as well as a berth to the 2016 Olympic Games in the 400m and 1,500m freestyle. Linker additionally earned the first All-America honors of his career in the 500 and 1650 free at the 2016 NCAA Championship.

Taylor also played a part in the development of recent graduate Christian McCurdy and Justin Ress's successful rookie season. McCurdy was a three-time ACC Champion and All-American during his career and Ress was named the 2016 ACC Male Freshman of the Year. Ipsen tabbed the mention in 2015, marking the second-straight year a Wolfpack swimmer earned the honor.

Prior to joining the NC State staff, Taylor spent the previous four years as the distance coach and recruiting coordinator at Florida State. The distance program at Florida State flourished under Taylor's tutelage as eight school records were broken during his stint with the program, and 43 all-time top-10 marks were achieved.

Taylor guided four athletes to individual crowns at the ACC Championships while at Florida State, including Juan Sequera, who was named Freshman of the Year in 2012, and Mateo DeAngulo, who took home Swimmer of the Year and Performer of the Championships honors. Taylor guided seven individuals to the NCAA Championships over the course of his four seasons, including DeAngulo, who earned first team All-America honors in 2012.

Prior to taking the reigns of the distance program at Florida State, Taylor spent three years coaching for the Dynamo Swim Club in Atlanta, Ga. He coached multiple age sectional and state record holders, as well as age group sectional and state champions. He was named the Georgia Age Group Coach of the Year in 2007.

Before coaching with the Dynamo, Taylor spent six years with the Twin Cities Swim Team. He was the lead site coach in Minnetonka, Minn., and gained experience in both the business and coaching aspects of the sport through the program.

Taylor was a former student-athlete at the University of Minnesota, and was a member of the 1998 Big Ten Championship swimming team. He graduated in 2001 with a B.S. in sport management.

Taylor is married to the former Amy Mutarelli of Ocala, Fla. She is an Auburn graduate.

Todd DeSorbo Director of High Performance

Todd DeSorbo was hired as the head men’s and women’s swimming and diving coach in August 2017. Since taking over, the women have won two ACC titles, and were seeded to become national champions before the COVID crisis caused the meet to be cancelled. In 2020, the women scored the most points in a single ACC championship, ever. The men have rocketed from the bottom of the NCAA to a top 10 finish in 2019, and to a second place ACC finish behind a fiercely competitive NC State squad in 2020. 

Prior to coming to Virginia, Desorbo spent six years at NC State as an associate head coach, bringing the program to the national and international stage. There, DeSorbo worked primarily with the Wolfpack sprinters and was a developmental specialist. He oversaw the programs’ recruiting, training and day-to-day operations. Additionally, Todd coached Ryan Held to the 2016 Olympic team, where he helped the USA win gold in the 4x100m Freestyle Relay.

Todd joins CAV-Y as Director of High Performance, and adds a wealth of knowledge and experience to the coaching staff. 

DeSorbo holds two accounting degrees from UNCW, earning a bachelor’s degree in 1999 and a master’s degree in 2000. A native of Salisbury, N.C., DeSorbo is married to Lauren Suggs. They have one son, Jack, and one daughter, Cate who are both on the team.

Bridget Burkot Head Age Group Coach

Bridget is currently the Head Age Group Coach and coaches the Platinum and Silver groups. She is a University of Virginia graduate with a BA in Psychology.  She completed her Master's courses in the Curry School of Education in Sport Psychology, with world renouned Bob Rotella as her mentor and director. Bridget has a strong backround both as a swimmer and a coach.  She has been coaching for almost 40 years.  Her strength lies in her knowledge of stroke technique and training philosophy.  She has an incredible passion for working with all levels of swimmers in helping them to realize their potential. 

Her accomplishments include:  being selected and participating as the Head Zone Coach in Virginia Swimming for the last 5 years as well as coaching at many zone meets for Virginia, Maine, and New England swimming as an assistant; Level 4 ASCA Coach, former member of VSI Board of Directors in Club Development; Virginia Age Group Coach of the Year (2000); UVA scholarship swimmer; Age Group Coach of Olympian Ian Crocker while in Portland (Maine); and participating as a Senior National and NCAA  level swimmer. In addition, Bridget has developed and coached state and zone champions, state record holders, nationally ranked swimmers, and national qualifiers.  Many of her swimmers have continued  to compete at the collegiate level and have earned scholarships to swim in college.

Her roots run deep in Charlottesville.  She has coached summer league teams for the city of Charlottesville (in fact started the team at Washington Park), at the Key West Club, the Elks Lodge and in her home town or Reading, Pennsylvania.  She began her year-round swimming career at the Reading YMCA, has attended Y Nationals as a swimmer and coach, swam for her High School team (Wilson High School), and swam for both Lancaster Aquatic Club and Foxcatcher (under the tutelage of Olympic Coach George Haines). She has worked with Olympic Coach Joe Bernal at the Bernal's Gators, has attended Junior Nationals as a coach on many occasions, and Senior Nationals as a swimmer.  Her background in the sport of swimming is extensive.  From a coaching standpoint, she believes the whole is stronger than the parts and working together as a team is the foundaton for success.

Bridget has two children, Jeremy Edwards (24) and Quinn Edwards (21) and was married to and coached with British Olympian Martin Edwards (Munich, 1972), who is currently coaching in England.  Jeremy, also a coach, is the manager of the ODU swimming team, and will be graduating this year with an IT business degree.

Jeremy Edwards Assistant Age Group Coach

Jeremy grew up in a swimming family as his mother is coach Bridget and his father was a British Olympic Swimmer. He has been swimming since age 5 and swam a majority of his childhood with Burkwood Aquatic Club. He recently graduated from Old Dominion University in 2020 where he swam for 1 year before deciding to end his swimming career due to injury. He was then the ODU team manager for 3 years. 

Jeremy has coached at many different levels and abilities in his coaching career. He prides his athletes on swimming with great technique and learning how to swim efficiently. He has coached summer league teams in Mechanicsville, VA. Along with coaching for Tidewater Aquatic Club in Norfolk, VA, and helped the ODU team with technique work and pacing. He also coached the ODU club team and was preparing 15 athletes for College Club Nationals before the Covid-19 Pandemic. He was also selected as a Virginia Swimming Eastern Zone coach in the summer of 2019. 

Jeremy was an experienced distance swimmer in his swimming career being an eastern zone championship finalist in multiple distance events as well as placing 7th and 4th in the VHSL 5A state championships in the 200 & 500 freestyle. 

 

Ariel Howard Assistant Age Group Coach

Coach Ariel is joining Cavalier Aquatics after 6 years with Coast Guard Blue Dolphins.  She has coached swimmers at the beginning level all the way to the Senior level.  Coach Ariel enjoys working with all levels of swimmers and making a connection to help them understand the sport of swimming.  During her time at Coast Guard Blue Dolphins she was selected for Virginia Swimming Zones Coach in 2018, 2019.  She was also selected for the 2021 IMX Select Camp with Virginia Swimming.  Coach Ariel has also coached Hampton Roads Academy in 2017 where both the men and women’s teams won the State title and in 2018 the Men won states and the women placed 6th.  Coach Ariel has also coached for the Sandpipers of Nevada in 2016.  Coach Ariel graduated from Christopher Newport University with a Mass Communication and Social Media degree. She has one dog, Captain Jack who loves to swim in lakes or oceans.

 

Fun Fact: Coach Ariel worked at Walt Disney World.

Wes Foltz Assistant Senior Coach
Conor Hassard Assistant Senior Coach

Coach Conor has joined the Cavalier Aquatics coaching staff in September 2021 as an assistant coach.

Conor comes to Virginia after spending the past two seasons as an assistant coach at Villanova University.  With Villanova, he handled the men’s team recruiting and coached a group of distance and middle-distance athletes.  In his two seasons, the women’s team won the 2020 and 2021 Big East Conference Championships, and Hassard was named to the women’s Coaching Staff of the Year at both meets.

He also works with the swimming and diving program at the University of Virginia, assisting in all aspects of the program as a volunteer coach.

Chris Taylor Assistant Coach
Hunter Mitchell Assistant Senior Coach
 
Coach Hunter grew up in the Charlottesville/Crozet area swimming for the Crozet Gators for 13 years and Western Albemarle High School for 4 years. This is Hunter's 4th season with CYAC. He was lead Bronze Coach during the 2017-2018 season and has served as an Assistant Coach for the program since 2015.  This past summer he served as Head Coach of the Crozet Gators Swim Team, and an assistant coach with the team two summers prior to being the Head Coach. This past season he led the Gators to an undefeated regular season, Sportsmanship Award winners for Division I and a second place finish at JSL Champs.
Parent Advisory Committee
Marco Mejias Chair & Meet Director
Jen Charlton Vice Chair & Volunteer Coordinator
Simon Davidson Secretary
Mary Jamison Apparel Coordinator
Kelly Moore Engagement Coordinator
Jonna Garono Event/Hospitality Coordinator
Laura Schundler Event/Hospitality Coordinator
Kristen Wells Meet Director
Christie Shaps Team Travel Coordinator
Jessica Simons USA/VA Swimming Rep
Brad Heilman At Large
Sara Johnson At Large
Martha Cullaty At Large
Joe Smith At Large