Flying Fish Arizona Swim Team

Coaching Staff

Rick Laing

Head Coach - Senior Plus/Senior Lead Coach & Blue Lead Coach

Email: [email protected]

Rick has over 30 years of experience in coaching swimming, from novice to Olympic level. He was a competitive swimmer at the national level. He comes from a swimming background in New Zealand and coached alongside his father, Duncan Laing, who coached Olympic double gold medalist Danyon Loader at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics.

Rick was Head Coach at El Dorado Aquatics Club from 2008 to 2014. EDAC swimmers competed exceptionally well in local, state, and regional meets under Coach Rick. At the year-round state level, El Dorado swimmers amassed three top three high point trophies, multiple state titles and top three medals, as well as top five high point winners at Arizona Age Group State Championships. During the 2009-10 season, six El Dorado swimmers went to Far Westerns, winning one title and nine top eight medals. Coach Rick also coached three EDAC swimmers to top ten or top 20 national rankings in their main events.

Rick worked as Lead Senior Coach with Tucson Ford Dealers Aquatics from 2014 to 2019. Among his many accomplishments at Ford, Rick coached Aidan Reagan to his first Olympic Trials cut in the 1500m Freestyle.

Rick is a Physical Therapist with his master’s thesis on swimmers’ shoulder injuries. He believes deficiencies in technique are the main issue causing shoulder injuries in swimmers. He combines his therapy skills and coaching knowledge to help swimmers develop the most proficient, as well as powerful, swimming stroke. His interests are exercising, reading, and watching sports.

Matt Brauer

Head Coach - COO/CFO – Gold Lead Coach & Senior Plus/Senior Assistant

Email: [email protected]

Coach Matt has been with FAST since the team’s inception. He has been coaching for 12 years.  While with FAST, he has helped to develop a number of talented swimmers to National Rankings.  During his time with his prior team, El Dorado Aquatics Club, he was an assistant coach and was mainly responsible for the younger swimmers. Coming to FAST Matt has been involved in not just Age Group Development, but Senior and Masters training as well.

Matt has coached many high achieving athletes from some age group swimmers that ranked top 16 in the country for their age to seniors that have achieved the Junior and Senior National level.

Matt's competitive swimming began at the age of six with SAAA and later expanded to USA Swimming. Coach Matt’s individual accomplishments as a swimmer include several age group team records, Age Group State Champion in multiple Backstroke events, along with a "High Point" recognition at the age of 12. During his High School career, he continued to swim with USA and achieved his Senior Sectional cuts at the age of 14.

In addition to all the coaching, Matt served the Town of Oro Valley as a Supervisor and a Red Cross Water Safety Instructor.

Away from the water, Coach Matt has also been a “high achiever” in music.  He received a Bachelor's in Music Education major from the University of Arizona. In Elementary school, and High school, Coach Matt won many awards for his music and was featured in his Studio's “Rising Stars” CD playing an extremely difficult piece of Music. In College, he made the Dean's list during a few of the semesters studying, was a section leader of choir, and was Vice President of the collegiate chapter of the American Choral Director's Association.

Coach Matt has a passion for coaching and is enthusiastic every day about seeing the swimmers progress as swimmers and as people. He is very energetic and is always willing to help a swimmer achieve their goals.

Tori Gutt

Silver Lead Coach & Senior Plus/Senior Assistant

Email: [email protected]

Coach Tori started with FAST in the Fall of 2020. Prior to joining the FAST coaching staff, Tori spent seven years as the head coach of Ventana Canyon Swim Team here in Tucson. Tori is excited to continue to develop the swimming community here in Tucson and work with the expanding network of FAST swimmers.

Tori grew up in Tucson where her love for the water began at an early age with her participation in SAAA summer league swimming. She later swam for El Dorado Aquatics Club and attended and swam for Catalina Foothills High School. After high school, she swam Division I for the University of Northern Colorado on an athletic scholarship. During her career at UNC, she was team captain both her junior and senior years and achieved both individual and relay school records. She went on to graduate with a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice, a bachelor’s degree in journalism, and a minor in Spanish. Following her college graduation, she attended Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, Texas where she graduated with a master’s degree in criminology and criminal justice before returning to Tucson to lead Ventana Canyon Swim Team. 

Tori began her coaching career where it first started for her—SAAA summer league teams. She worked as both an assistant and a head coach in SAAA before transitioning to her full-time position with Ventana Canyon. During her seven years with VC, she has coached every level within the program and has learned both the wet-side and the dry-side of coaching and managing a team. She roots her swimmers in a strong technical background to prepare them for both speed and success. She strives to develop confident swimmers who want to do their best and be their best. She likes to bring creativity to the workouts, and she wants to keep practices fresh and fun. She thrives in a strong team environment where everyone works together, and the camaraderie and energy are high. Swimming is a team sport, and Tori wants her swimmers to embody that reality and be great teammates with great sportsmanship. Tori’s goal is for her swimmers to find the magic of swimming. She hopes her swimmers dream big, and then set goals to help chase those dreams. Her goal is for her swimmers to appreciate the value and enjoy the fulfillment of hard work, commitment, and dedication and apply that to all areas of life. She wants to create an environment rooted in personal growth to encourage her athletes to reach their highest goals all while becoming the best versions of themselves both inside and outside the pool. Tori enjoys getting to know the person beyond just the swimmer. She believes being on a swim team is not just about swimming—it’s about the life you live while doing it.

When she is not at the pool, Tori enjoys exploring the outdoors and all the hidden gems of Tucson. She feels very lucky to be able to share her passion of the sport with our FAST swimmers.


Lina Ortiz

Green Lead Coach, Bronze Lead Coach, & Swim Lesson Administrator

Email: [email protected]

Lina has been swimming since age seven. In 2013 she joined FAST and has been with them as a swimmer and now a coach ever since. She began teaching swim lessons four years ago, at the age of 16, and started coaching the SAAA team for three years. Since then, she has been coaching and teaching lessons. The summer of 2018 she began coaching with Green Group and has found a new love for the sport and hopes to continue coaching for a long time. 

Lina is currently attending The University of Arizona and majoring in Biochemistry to graduate with a Bachelor’s of Science. After she graduates Lina either wants to be a Forensic Science Technician or go to Pharmacy School. While school is difficult, Lina enjoys coaching because the kids bring a smile to her face. Lina tries to make every day as much fun as she can for the kids while still working on technique. Lina’s goal is to grow as a coach and help the kids grow as swimmers. 

Lina enjoys hanging out with friends, watching TV and listening to music. Lina’s favorite shows are Grey’s Anatomy and Law and Order SVU. Her favorite movies are Stand by Me and The Goonies. 


Nancy Smith

Senior Fitness Lead Coach

Email: [email protected]

Nancy has been a “fish in the water” since the age of four.  She has always been drawn to the water and loves swimming!  Rather funny considering Nancy was born and raised in Phoenix - a Desert!!  She participated in the Phoenix summer swim league during her youth.  Her greatest accomplishment during this time was winning the 25-yard freestyle at the Summer Swim League “Championship” event as a 7-year-old.  Nancy was such an underdog that her coach didn’t even know she was swimming and had NO CLUE that Nancy won.  This left an indelible mark on Nancy and helped formulate the type of Coach that she is today - supportive, caring, inclusive, passionate, and getting the BEST out of each swimmer regardless of ability level.

Despite Nancy’s love for the water, her athletic ability drew her to running - and her True Passion was found. Nancy started running competitively at the age of 9 and has never looked back.  In high school, because cross country was always the same season as swimming, she was not able to compete at the high school level.  Nancy has never stopped swimming - from doing her own workouts, to joining local Masters teams in whatever city she landed - Tucson, San Antonio, Salt Lake City - to name a few, to competing in triathlons.

Professionally, Nancy obtained her Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.) degree from the University of Arizona in 1991.  She then did two residencies and worked in psychiatry for a number of years, academia, NCAA (Drug testing athletes), retail, medical writing, and some research. After almost 30 years in Pharmacy, Nancy self-retired and followed her inner holistic calling - becoming a Reiki Master and starting her own business, Wind Song Healing.  Nancy also started BE THE BEST YOU, a Pharmacy Consulting business and overall health and wellness consultations.

This past school year (2019 - 2020), Nancy was an Assistant Coach for Swim at Ironwood Ridge High School.  What a ride!!  She enjoyed it so much she will be continuing coaching into the 2020 - 2021 school year.

Given Nancy’s extensive background in athletics, medicine, psychiatry, and holistic healing, she is super excited to be part of the FAST Coaching Family and being able to engage and motivate and mentor future generations.

Board Members:                  


Coaching Positions Available:

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Flying Fish Arizona Swim Team
PO Box 68486
Oro Valley, AZ 85737