About Us

Vision and Purpose:

The YOTA Swim Team program transforms young people into high character leaders and lifelong champions of the YMCA.

Through competitive swimming we will empower each individual to reach his or her full potential – as an athlete, a YMCA leader and a community leader - by promoting achievement, creating a sense of belonging and facilitating positive relationships.

Guiding Principles:

  • Holistic development of athletes
  • Excellence in coaching (instructing, leading, motivating, mentoring)
  • Creating, growing, maintaining and supporting a strong community
  • Fiscal responsibility
  • Development and maintenance of quality facilities
  • Provide a safe, healthy, and positive environment


  1. Create strong program-wide culture that clearly reflects the vision and purpose of the YOTA Swim Team.
  2. Align around a competitive progression through which swimmers can strive to reach their full potential.
  3. Increase and model diversity across the program and association.
  4. Secure consistent, quality facility access.
  5. Increase acquisition and retention of swimmers, families and staff.
  6. Create systems for the development of coaches as program leaders and YMCA leaders.
  7. Maintain sound financial status.

Key Performance Indicators:

  • Competitive Achievement
  • Budget Performance
  • YMCA Membership Retention
  • Program Retention
  • Staff Retention
  • Hello Insight Survey
  • Net Promoter Score
  • Internal Survey (character and leadership development)


  • Create messaging/marketing around program purpose and vision.
    • Consistently and aggressively employ messaging and marketing – in the program, the YMCA and the community.
  • Identify focal meets and competitive goals.
    • Clearly and consistently communicate these within the program to swimmers, families and coaches.
    • Align meet selection and schedule, with consistency across sites and levels
  • Engage branch communities to promote program and pathways, especially to traditionally underserved populations.
  • Collaborate with Association leadership in commitment to the maintenance and fidelity of current facilities
  • Assess feasibility and develop plan for construction or acquisition of YOTA Swim Team facility.
  • Determine program enrollment philosophy (goal numbers balanced with quality of experience)
  • Increase communication with swimmers, families and coaches.
    • Create and adhere to communication plan(s)
    • Align with program purpose and vision
    • Include collaborative, celebratory and motivational elements
  • Track retention statistics for swimmers, families and coaches.
  • Increase program revenue and reduce expenses.
  • Develop and communicate clear financial principles and practices with staff.

Group Standards

For each of our age group and senior programs we have standards to help us define success.

Age Group: The standards for success at the age group level are:

  • Develop each swimmer in the fundamentals of all strokes, skills, and race strategies. 
  • Learn and live the four core YMCA character values.
  • Instill a passion for swimming – one that becomes a lifetime habit.
  • Active family participation within the branch through participation and volunteerism.
  • Prepare swimmers for long -term growth to experience senior level opportunities.
  • Enjoy their achievements as well as their teammates and YOTA Experience. 
  • Have 85 Swimmers compete at SC North Carolina Age Championships.
  • Consistently Place in the top 3 at North Carolina Age Championships.

Senior: The standards for success in the senior program are:

  • Develop each swimmer to reach their potential and to pursue their desired level of achievement – including the highest levels within USA and YMCA swimming.   
  • Swimmers embracing ownership of their personal pursuit of success and utilizing the opportunities and resources to their fullest. 
  • Refine character values and develop swimmers into leaders.
  • Celebrate the achievements of the team and teammates success.
  • Provide the skills and experiences that enable swimmers to pursue swimming in college.   
  • Have 40 Swimmers compete at YMCA  Short Course National Championship
  • Consistently Place in the Top 5 at YMCA National Championship


YOTA History

Eric Schwall served from the fall of 1971 until the spring of 1982 when Brooks Teal took the reins.

Bruce Griffin took over the program in 1990 when the program changed its name to the Capital Area YMCA Swim Team. Bruce led CY to continued success at the national level. His men's teams won back-to-back Long Course YMCA National titles in 1993 and 1994. In addition, Coach Griffin led the CY women to the 1997 Women's Long Course YMCA National Championship. Bruce served as the head coach of CY until 1999.

Meredith Griffin led the CY program to continued success from 1999 through 2003. Under her guidance, CY continued to expand and produce excellent swimmers and role models for younger swimmers to follow. Meredith continues to be active at the YMCA of the USA level, working the National YMCA Competitive Swimming and Diving Committee and in other areas of teen program development.

Ron led the team to its first ever Combined Team YMCA National Championship in April of 2006. In addition, YOTA won the Men’s team title that same year and finished second in the Women's race. In three short years Ron developed 10 US National qualifiers, three Olympic Trial qualifiers, numerous YMCA Individual National Champions and All-Americans.

In 2009, Chad Onken was promoted from Assistant Director to the Head Coach/Director of Competitive Swimming role. He came to the program having coached some of the top athletes in the world as a collegiate coach at N.C. State University and Auburn University.

In 2019, Jerry Foley was hired to take over the program as the Director of Competitive Swimming. Jerry came to YOTA from the Greater Susquehanna YMCA in Pennsylvania.

YOTA has also experienced success at the international level. In 2012, Charlie Houchin represented the USA in the London Olympic Games as a member of the US National Team winning a GOLD medal. YOTA had another US National Youth Team member in 2009 when Dominick Glavich qualified to swim in the World Cup events in Berlin, Germany and Stockholm, Sweden as well as the Mare Nostrum series in Barcelona, Spain in 2010.

At the state and regional levels, YOTA is hugely successful, dominating the GYSSA league and USY region over the past 10 years. The team consistently places in the top five at the North Carolina Swimming Age Group and Senior Championship meets.

The team is equally proud of its swimmers’ activities and accomplishments away from the pool. YOTA members are active in their churches, excel in the classroom, and participate in community activities.





1988 | 1993 | 1994 | 2006 | 2010 | 2011 | 2012



1997 | 2014


Informational Videos

About YOTA

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