Sponsors
Coaches & Directors

We are here to support your needs. If your questions are related to workouts, meets, events, goal setting, and other swimming related needs, please contact one of the coaches. For all questions related to volunteering, fundraising, and sponsorships please contact a member of the Board.

VYAC's coaches have current safety certifications and are members in good standing with USA Swimming. In addition, all prospective coaches undergo extensive background clearances and reference checks as part of the YMCA's pre-employment process. Our coaches are enthusiastic about swimming, enjoy working with swimmers of all ages, and strive to be good role models of physical fitness and positive character values.

 

Coaching Staff

Frank Poulin - Head Coach

Head Coach

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Coach Frank has been with VYAC since 2006, back when it was called CYAT. In that time, he has seen the program develop from thirty swimmers to over one hundred and seventy today. This includes numerous swimmers that have gone on to swim at the college level as well as many age group, senior, national, junior national, open water, and zones qualifiers as well as top ten times in the United States (Y).

Qualified for his ASCA level 3, Coach Frank began coaching while swimming with the Providence Friars in college, his first role as head coach nearby in Cranston, Rhode Island. His initial season saw that team’s first ever group of swimmers qualify for YMCA Regionals at Brown University. After graduation he pursued professional goals but always stayed close to the pool deck coaching for the YMCA in Santa Monica, California.

Moving back east for law school and to be closer to family in 2005, he started coaching part-time for the Greenbrier Family YMCA. When that long time coach decided to move on, a few passionate parents and swimmers stayed with Coach Frank and they enjoyed and continue to enjoy considerable success. It is the unique blend in this region of USA and YMCA swimming that has allowed the program to thrive. A focus on the technical aspects of swimming before pushing for speed and endurance has allowed swimmers at all levels to achieve their goals. He works full-time for the City of Suffolk.

Eric Landon - Senior/National Coach

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During college, Eric started coaching for various summer clubs in the Cincinnati area. Among those, he coached at North Hills Swim Club for four years where he was the Head Coach the last year in 1998. The following year, Eric moved to Gainesville, Florida, where he started coaching year-round. He coached for North Central Florida YMCA, and helped the program grow from 35 swimmers to 120 in just four years. During that time, the team also grew to a team of 40 Junior Olympic (age group) qualifiers, 17 Y National qualifiers, and 2 Senior national Qualifiers. While coaching for the Y, Eric also served as head coach for Eastside High School for four years. With a team of about 30 swimmers, Eric lead 12-16 swimmers to the high school state championships each year.

In 2003, Eric moved back to Cincinnati where he was hired as Head Age Group Coach for the Cincinnati Marlins for 2 years. During that time, the Marlins won 3 Age Group State Championships, and qualified several swimmers to the Junior Olympic Team. Additionally, Eric served as an assistant coach at St. Xavier High School for one year, helping the team win a State Championship. The following year Eric served as head coach for Wyoming High School.

In 2006 Eric moved to Chesapeake, Virginia, where, for the past nine summers, he and his wife have coached for Larkspur Swim Club in the VBSL. During those seasons Larkspur has won two Divisional Championships and helped the team grow from 85 to 136 swimmers. Eric also served as a head coach with his wife for Nansemond River High School during the 2007-2008 school year. Eric is currently in his second year as a fifth-grade English teacher in Virginia Beach.

He is in his sixth season with VYAC.

Stephanie Erickson

Age Group Coach

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Stephanie Erickson is going into her second year coaching with VYAC. She currently works with all levels of swimmers. As a military spouse, she has coached in different parts of the country since 2009.  She was the developmental coach for Temple Area Swim Club in Temple, Tx. Then moved to Fairfax, Va where she coached for the Mason Makos as an 8 and under and High School/High School Prep Assistant Coach. She was also the Rutherford Water Rats Head Coach in Fairfax, Va.

Coach Stephanie has been involved in USA Swimming since she started swimming year round at the age of seven in Michigan.  She continued swimming throughout her school years and was recruited to swim for the United States Military Academy, West Point where she earned her BS in Psychology. She subsequently served five years as an active duty Army officer and five years in the reserves.

Her goals are to foster a love for swimming while teaching correct technique and a competitive drive especially to younger swimmers. She is certified by the American Swim Coaches Association as a level II coach.

Carole Bowman

Age Group Coach

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Coach Carole has been coaching at the YMCA for the past two years.  She began coaching at Great Bridge and formally joined VYAC in 2015.  Carole’s emphasis in swimming is good technique and her guiding principle is:  Speed comes with good technique:  Start slow and perfect the basics… speed will follow!   Carole began swimming at the age of 5 at Ridge Top Recreation Association in Richmond, where she swam under Coach Robin Hersey.  Through a chance meeting with Robin’s sister years later, she was introduced to open-water swimming.  Her first race was the Chesapeake Bay Bridges Swim in 1989, and she was hooked!  Upon completing the 4.4 mile race across the Chesapeake Bay, and exiting the water, Carole asked, “can I swim back to the other side?”  Carole still competes in open water races, including the Jack King One-Mile at the Virginia Beach Oceanfront, and the annual Virginia Beach Lifeguard Series, where she consistently places among the top swimmers.  

Gail Kelley

Age Group Coach

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Coach Gail's experiences in swimming are long and varied. She started swimming competitively as a synchronized swimmer when she was 10. As a teenager, she swam for her high school swim team and, later, her alma mater, the University of Rochester. Gail has been teaching kids to swim since she was a teenager teaching handicapped and underprivileged children. Through the years, she coached synchronized swimming teams in Florida, Maryland, and Virginia. In the early 2000s, she coached as a developmental coach for TAC. She started coaching with the Great Bridge/Hickory YMCA in January 2015.

Gail’s family has long been involved with the YMCA. Gail and her siblings all learned to swim at the Y in Rochester, NY. Her family donated their backyard pool to the outdoor swim lesson program, through which she completed her first lifesaving and water safety instructor courses. She taught all three of her children to swim and they all started their competitive swimming careers at the Y.

Gail continued to compete in master’s synchronized swimming for several years. Currently, she enjoys working out with our YMCA master’s swimming group and competing in occasional master’s meets and Open Water Swims.

Gail is a Homebound teacher for Virginia Beach City Public Schools.

 

Ryan Cotton

Age Group Coach

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Coach Ryan started swimming his senior year for Great Bridge High School.  He then started swimming for the Great Bridge Hurricanes. Ryan started coaching for the Great Bridge Hurricanes during the 2014 season and recently began coaching with VYAC.

Rachel Hughes

Age Group Coach

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Coach Rachel started swimming for the Greenbrier YMCA swim team when she was 13 and swam throughout her high school career. She began coaching for VYAC when she was 17 and is about to start her third year with the team. She became a USA certified swim team coach in 2015 and continues to work primarily with the 12 and under swimmers.  

Coach Rachel is a nursing student at Old Dominion University and currently swims for ODUs club swim team. 

Katie Roberts

Age Group Coach

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Coach Katie began swimming for A Place for Girls year-round swim team at the age of 8. She later swam for Greenbrier Christian Academy's Middle and then High School teams, as well as one year with the Liberty University club swim team. She started coaching at 18, assisting at practices for Greenbrier Christian Academy's teams. Coach Katie began working with the Great Bridge/Hickory Y Hurricanes in 2014, and acted as Head Coach through the 2014-2015 fall/winter season. After taking a short break, she is excited to be back and working with all of the VYAC swimmers.

Alan Squires

Age Group Coach

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Coach Alan started swimming for Riverwalk summer swim team at the age of 5 and continued his swimming career by joining the Greenbrier YMCA swim team which would eventually become VYAC. He swam throughout High School for VYAC and Great Bridge High School. He started coaching at 15 for Riverwalk as an assistant coach. At 17, he began coaching for VYAC. Later that summer, he became head coach for Riverwalk Swim Team where he remained for two summers.

Coach Alan is continuing his coaching career as an assistant coach for VYAC working with all levels of swimmers while also serving in the United States Coast Guard. He is a certified USA Swimming Coach. 

Keegan Griffin

Age Group Coach

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Coach Keegan began swimming for the Greenbrier Country Club Swim Team at the age of ten. He continued on with the sport, swimming for numerous teams in the area, to include Hickory High School Swim and Dive Team. He started perfecting his coaching skills at fifteen as a Ski/Snowboard instructor at Massanutten Resort. He quickly learned how to work with students of all ages trying to learn new skills.

He is now back at his first sport, swimming, where he enjoys instructing swimmers of all levels on correct stroke technique. He also teaches swim lessons at Greenbrier Y, especially our pre-team swimmers, preparing them to transition from swim lessons to swim team. He is currently in his second season with VYAC.

Brianna McGuiness

Age Group Coach

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