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Coaches & Board

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 administrative, such as dues, safety, or policy issues, please contact one of the board members.

 

Coaching Staff

Ray Onisko

Head Coach

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Coach Ray has been involved in competitive swimming for 36 years, 13 years as a swimmer and the past 23 years as a coach. Ray has coached/taught all levels of swimming from the learn to swim beginner, senior development swimmers, high school swimmers as well as collegiate (swimmers that have attended St. Bonaventure University, Oakland University, Eastern Michigan and Miami of Ohio to name a few) and master level athletes.  As an ASCA level 3 certified coach, Ray has had numerous Junior and Senior National Qualifiers, High School State Champions and All-Americans, as well as assisting in the development of Olympic Trial Qualifiers. Coach Ray has also seen numerous former swimmers go on to become successful coaches in both the USA swimming ranks as well as the High School swimming ranks.  

 

 As a High School Coach, won three consecutive county (Dakota) titles as well as two consecutive division (Dakota) titles in Macomb County.  Between Eisenhower and Dakota, produced 3 swimmer of the year recipients and countless first team and dream team Macomb County swim team members.  On the club ranks, guided teams to numerous top 3 State meet finishes for both the 12 and under as well as Open Championship meets.  Guided the BBA girl’s squad to a Sectional Championship in Wisconsin; served as zone coach for team Michigan in 2000.

Katie Sullivan

Head Age Group Coach

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Coach Sullivan was hired spring 2015 to be Liquid Lightning new Head Age Group Coach. Katie grew up in our community and was a swimmer for OLY, Adams High, and Eastern Michigan University. Katie has her Master’s degree in “Human Performance Analysis” and also is the head coach at Heart of the Hills Swim club in Rochester, MI during the summer months. Katie has had many coaching experiences in the past including Head coach for North Oakland Waves, and assistant coach positions for the Cyclone Swim Team, and at various colleges and camps since the year 2000.

Katie’s philosophy “My coaching philosophy comes from 16 years of eclectic experiences. These experiences range from learn to swim lessons to college coaching, from being a swim instructor to head coach of a USA/YMCA swim team, working with novice coaches to working with the world’s best coaches (Mark Schubert) and from teams as small as 35 swimmers to 400+. I enjoy coaching all age groups, and believe that technique is vital at all levels of swimming. I believe in quality over quantity and at the same time having a “well balanced” coaching approach. I believe that success in swimming is built through hard work and a consistent commitment, while understanding that those things are different for every swimmer.”

Jim Steffl

Assistant Coach

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Jim was an All State high school swimmer in California, North Carolina and Michigan, four year letterman at Kent State University, member of two MAC championship teams. Head coach area high school, summer club and USS teams, with two swimmers achieving national age group records. Jim has been mentored by many distinguished coaches high school coach of the year, Mid American Conference coach of the year, the coach of a teammate of mine who placed 6thin the 400 IM at the Olympics, two collegiate head coaches, an Olympic head coach, a coach of national age group record holders and team of excellence awards. Jim has three daughters that swam competitively through age group and high school, two at a national level, one with a state age group record, one just finishing her career at the University at Buffalo on a full swimming scholarship with several honors and records, including two time national champ 200 free relay at Y Nationals. I feel honored and privileged to work with the kids in the pool, and feel it my responsibility to maximize their potential. Philosophically, I believe that swimming is a team of the parent, coach and swimmer. I work best with kids and parents who understand what swimming demands to be the best they can be and are willing to meet those demands.

Darin Abbasse

Assistant Coach

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Darin Abbasse has been coaching competitive swimming for 30 years as a high school, age group, and a college assistant for Oakland University Men’s team.   Currently he is one of three Associate Principals and has been the Head Swimming and Diving Coach for Lake Orion High School since 1998. 

He attended Oakland University on a swimming scholarship and graduated with a degree in secondary education with a major in history and political science.  He did receive his masters in administration at Wayne State University and soon became an administrator for Lake Orion Community Schools.    

Jake Rimatzki

Assistant Coach

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Katherine Scott

Assistant Coach

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Katherine Scott is an assistant coach during the summer and currently competes for Oakland University. Oakland Swimming and Diving is known for their long history of success in the pool, she began competing at the age of 9. Katherine attended Stoney Creek High School in Rochester, Michigan and swam all four years. Katherine was a 2nd All-League breaststroker at Stoney Creek, and attended the MHSAA Division I State Championship meets 3 times.  2012-2013: As a first-year Golden Grizzly, Katherine swam at the 2013 Summit League Championships, where Oakland University won 1st place.

Eric Platte

Assistant Coach

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Coach Eric has had extensive coaching, instructor, lifeguard, and swimming experience over the last 9 years, he is also the current Head Coach for Utica Stevenson High School Boys & Girls Swim/Diving teams, after serving 3 years as an assistant.  In his short coaching and swimming career Eric has the following accomplishments, led all individuals on Stevenson swim team to time improvements at the end of the 2014 and 2015 seasons, Won three conference titles (2010-12) as a member of Wayne State University swim team, Four years as a student athlete for WSU. 

Board of Directors

Nancy Robertson

President

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Chris Turner

Vice President

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Rick VanBuskirk

Secretary

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Katie Valentine

Treasurer

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Dan Pawlaczyk

Member-At-Large

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Bob Shores

Member-A-Large

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Dan Seeds

Member-At-Large

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