Coaches & Board of 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.
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For all questions related to administrative, such as dues, safety, or policy issues, please contact one of the board members.
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Killer Whales Coaching Staff

KW Head Coach - Cindy Woods

Cindy Woods - Head Coach

Contact:  [email protected]

Office Hours: 
Wednesday:  6:15 p.m. - 8:15 p.m. (FCHS Pool Office)
Friday: 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. (Virtual)

When did you start with Killer Whales? October 2012

What is your coaching background? I have coached for 23 years, producing top performing athletes at every level; zones swimmers, sectional qualifiers, WPIAL and PIAA champions and record holders, junior national qualifiers and an Olympic trials qualifier

What is your swimming background? I swam competitively for 11 years, through high school and college. In college, I was a four-year academic all American and 2-year captain and MVP.

What do you enjoy about coaching? I love impacting young athletes. It means the world to me to have adults come back to say what an influence I have had on their lives.

What one tip can you give universally to your swimmers? The moment right before you want to quit is where every single improvement is made.

Attie Abranovic

Attie Abranovic - Assistant Coach

[email protected]

When did you start with Killer Whales? August 2022

What groups do you coach for KW? Junior

What is your coaching background? After moving back to PA from Washington DC, I found myself on the pool deck for the first time as a coach in the summer of 2013 with the Belmont swim team in my hometown of Kittanning. In the fall of 2013, I took an assistant coaching role at the newly opened Richard G. Snyder YMCA. After two seasons I took over as the head coach. During my time at the YMCA I was fortunate to work with all age groups as we focused on growing the program and producing District, State, Zone, Sectional, and National qualifiers.

What is your swimming background? I started in swim lessons at age three and continued swimming competitively through college at the University of Maryland.

What do you enjoy about coaching? I enjoy many things about coaching swimming: having the opportunity to positively impact kids in their day to day lives, always encouraging them to try their best, and, most importantly, helping them to realize their potential in and out of the water.

What is one tip you can give universally to your swimmers? Yes, you really can achieve anything that you put your mind to! And always work your underwaters!

Lea Gwennap

Lea Gwennap - Assistant Coach

[email protected]

When did you start with Killer Whales? November 2021

What groups do you coach for KW? Primarily Developmental and Age Group

What is your coaching background? I previously worked as a swim instructor for Goldfish Swim School.

What is your swimming background? I swam competitively for Nation's Capital Swim Club for 13 years, was a member of the University of Pittsburgh Varsity Swim and Dive team, and I held two National Age Group records in the 800 freestyle relay.

Matt Harris - Assistant Coach

[email protected]

When did you start with Killer Whales? January 2024

What is your coaching background? I’ve coached masters swimmers, triathletes, athletes, and anyone who wants to embrace movement.

What is your swimming background? I competed in the UK when I was younger, both regionally and nationally, in the Armed Forces. Life took over though, and it was only when a truly wonderful friend suggested I do triathlons and trained with me that I rediscovered my passion for the water.

What do you enjoy about coaching? I enjoy giving athletes the foundation for a future full of movement and joy from exercise. The smiles and visible pride they show when they move towards or beyond their goal, or feel confident with a new skill is amazing.

What one tip can you give universally to your swimmers? Explore the water and how you move through it, and slow down to speed up! Every skill and technique starts with a drill and then practice, practice at every notch of speed you add.

KW Coach - Matt Mauclair

Matt Mauclair - Assistant Coach

[email protected]

When did you start with Killer Whales? October 2016

What is your coaching background? After 20 years of training and racing at a high level/professional in the sport of triathlon - swim, bike, and run - and crossing all the finish lines - short course triathlon to Ironman distance racing - I set goals for, I decided to start my own coaching business "Trust The Plan Coaching" to guide others to their goal start and finish line(s).

What is your swimming background? Until I learned that triathlon included swimming, I had a mean doggie paddle stroke:) With my interest in multisport, I took a beginner swim class at a local YMCA back in 2003, joined the Master's Swim Program at Pitt with Jenn Michaels, and a year later and studied technique and form throughout the years from some of the best coaches and athletes in the country.

What do you enjoy about coaching? It's the journey I love to talk with kids about. So many young people are hurried to make grown-up decisions about where to take their life at this age. I talk with them about enjoying the journey, i.e., the training sessions with your peers that challenge and build character the most ... those are the times you'll remember the most.

What is one tip can you give universally to your swimmers? What I try to speak into the swimmers' minds the most is to stay in the moment. Each day they see a 5k workout written out and the moans and groans sweep across the pool deck. Instead of looking at the 20 x 100 on 1:10 min. or the 15 x 200 desc. by groups of three ... OR ... the 1200 IM at the end of practice, concentrate on getting through the warm-up then focus on the next set and the next ... stay in the moment so your best effort can be maximized for that set.

Finn Ruff - Assistant Coach

[email protected]

When did you start with Killer Whales? I started swimming with Killer Whales in 2020 and started coaching in the fall of 2023.

What is your coaching background? I have been an assistant coach for the Community Swim Club Swim Team for the last four years.

What is your swimming background? I have swum for the Community Swim Club Swim Team since I was seven years old, for Killer Whales for three years from my sophomore to senior year of high school, and for the Fox Chapel Area High School varsity swim team for three years.

What do you enjoy about coaching? I enjoy watching swimmers improve and seeing them have a fun time while doing it.

What one tip can you give universally to your swimmers? Make the most out of your swimming career because it goes by fast!

KW Coach - Sheryl Schrecongost

Sheryl Schrecongost - Assistant Coach

[email protected]

When did you start with Killer Whales? September 2018

What is your coaching background? I got started coaching as a YMCA Official in 2011 because of my children’s involvement in the sport. After a few years of officiating, I decided to get my credentials and move on to an assistant coaching position at the AVYMCA and SPY where I remained for 3 years. During this time I had also become head coach of a summer swim team called Sylvan, where I continue to coach yearly. After leaving the YMCA swimming league in 2015, I met up with CSC where I was an assistant coach for 1 season. The past 2 years I have also assisted in coaching the Freeport High School Swim Team where we have qualified for WPIALS and States each of those years. I also have most recently been an assistant Eastern Zones coach to the AMS Zone team.

What is your swimming background? I swam in High School during my Sophomore and Junior years. I gave up swimming because I was a tri-athlete competing in competitive cheer and softball up until my senior year. I realized that I could not handle all 3 sports but tried my very best.

What do you enjoy about coaching? There are numerous things I enjoy about coaching. When working with younger swimmers especially, I absolutely love watching their face light up when they accomplish something that they have been working on so hard and so long – and they did it!!

What is one tip can you give universally to your swimmers? Nothing comes easy, you have to work for it and want it!

KW Coach - Katie Stack

Katie McCue Stack - Assistant Coach

[email protected]

When did you start with Killer Whales? Fall 2012

What is your coaching background? I started coaching when I was 15 with swim lessons. Then moved on to coach the 8 and under team and finally the entire 8-18 Sylvan swim team until I was 22. After college, I was the assistant coach for Allegheny Valley YMCA swim team for about 4 years. During that time, I was also the assistant and head coach for the Highlands Varsity swim team.

What is your swimming background? I started swimming for my local summer league at the age of 4 (those are awesome pictures!) and swam competitively until I completed high school.

What do you enjoy about coaching? I love seeing the sense of accomplishment when a swimmer completed a task he/she has never done before.

What is one tip can you give universally to your swimmers? Enjoy the little moments each swimming day offers. One day you will realize swimming presents the best challenges, friends, and memories sports can offer.

KW Coach - Lindsay Martin Wood

Lindsay Martin Wood - Assistant Coach

[email protected]

When did you start with Killer Whales? September 2019 (though I've been training with the Flying Fish Heads -- KW's masters swimming program -- for the past few years).

What is your coaching background? Despite teaching many children to swim and occasionally coaching my fellow FFH and Pitt masters swimmers, this would be my first foray into the world of coaching. I am presently coaching our D1 swimmers.

What is your swimming background? Water is the antidote to my fire, so I've always been inclined toward swimming. My dad was an ASCA level 3 swim coach, and I've been blessed with moral and technical support from the start. I was a high level competitive swimmer from age 5 through high school but paused to pursue other endeavors in college. I resumed swimming when I came to Pittsburgh for graduate school and currently train/compete with the FFH. I am a nationally (USMS) and internationally (FINA) top-ranked backstroker.

What do you enjoy about coaching? I love helping others -- in any capacity. This is a remarkable opportunity for me to be for others who I needed when I was a young swimmer. So much of becoming a good swimmer has to do with our mindset, so cultivating a good attitude is imperative. Seeing that translate from the pool and into daily life is beyond satisfying!

What is one tip can you give universally to your swimmers?BE KIND. Always. And streamline

 

Killer Whales Board of Directors

Scott Resek - President

Josh Mariana - Vice President

Sheila Clifford - Treasurer

Amanda Kovach - Secretary

Kyle Rusche - Safe Sport Coordinator

Cindy Woods - Head Coach

Kathy Dantey

Lisabeth Culbertson Ernharth

Shankar Raman

Heidi Stanczak

Non-Board Member Roles

Jackie Cagley - Financial Manager

 

Please contact us if you have any questions.