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.
Sasha’s swimming career began at age 6 with her first zone
championships at 8 years old, making finals and having no idea the
significance of this meet, nor that it would lead to 16 years of
competitive swimming. Sasha lived in Billings, Montana with 9
other siblings who all successfully swam at the collegiate
level. Sasha competed at Zone and Regional Championships and
held several State Championship titles in the breaststroke,
butterfly and freestyle events throughout her club and high school
career. Being a three sport varsity athlete, she led her high
school swim team to two top three State Championships as team
captain her junior and senior year.
In college Sasha was a dual sport athlete- swimming and
fast-pitch softball. She attended Dickinson College and
specialized in breaststroke and butterfly. Her team took
All-Conference two consecutive years and she was Team Captain her
senior year along with representing Collegiate Women’s
Athletics to the Dickinson College Board of Trustees.
Additionally, she was a starter on the Dickinson Softball Team,
All-Conference MVP two consecutive years and Team Captain. She
graduated with a Biology/Pre-med degree.
After graduation, Sasha coached the Kingswood-Oxford Middle and
High School swim teams in West Hartford, CT while teaching
science. Later attending Montana State University-Billings,
MT, she earned her Master’s in Education while teaching
undergrad courses in the Health and Physical Education
Department. During this time she coached the Billings
“Y” Seahawks Club Swim Team and the Senior High Broncs
Boys and Girls Swim Teams (1 year assistant, 3 years Head
Coach). She dramatically impacted both teams’
performances improving from 10th place to second place
finishes at State Championships with multiple State
Being active and fit is important to Sasha and she takes an
innate interest in nutrition, food integrity and youth
development. From the hours, days, months and years of
competing and training, Sasha believes anyone can accomplish their
goals with the right tools, inner strength, and perseverance.
Many athletes underestimate the significant impact proper sleep,
recovery and nutrition play in an athlete’s success and most
importantly, that those elements can be learned at an early age.
ASCA Level 2 Certified.
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 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.
Lauren has been a part of the swimming community since she was
nine years old swimming competitively for several club teams and
varsity in high school. She began coaching in 2008 for North
Oakland Waves until winter of 2012. Lauren was additionally an
assistant coach for Life Time’s summer swim team from 2011 to
2014. Over the past two years Lauren has been the head site coach
at Life Time Rochester Hills. While she was there she developed the
newly established LMTI USA team coaching many of her swimmers to
qualifying meets. Lauren currently attends Oakland University
studying Elementary Education majoring in language Arts. She plans
on completing her masters in Autism.