Nothing has a greater influence on the quality of children's sports than the excellence of the coach. The Highlander Aquatic Club staff consists of professionally trained coaches. As member coaches in the American Swimming Coaches Association, they have training and experience in the subjects of physiology and psychology of adolescent development.
Our coaching staff assures that the time your children spend in swimming will be quality time. The team will strive to provide the environment which springs from success. We believe in empowering swimmers with skill and information so that personal judgments and decisions can be intelligently made.
Since 1993, the ever-growing Highlander Aquatic Club has produced many athletes ranked in the Top 10 in the United States. The coaching staff uses the commitment, dedication, and understanding necessary to swim from the perspectives of both a swimmer and a coach.
Coach Mike Curley, has thirty-two years of coaching experience. Curley has been the Head Coach at Cornell College, the Assistant Coach at Ohio State University and is currently the Aquatics Director at Lake Highland Preparatory School and Head Coach of the Highlander Aquatic Club. He is ASCA Level 5 certified and has had the privilege of coaching numerous High School State Champions, High School All-Americans and Olympic Trial qualifiers.Twice he was voted the Florida Dairy Farmers State Class 1A Coach of the Year. Curley has been selected twice to speak on his thoughts on High School and Club Swimming at the ASCA World Coaches' Clinic. He has a Bachelors Degree in Exercise Science and a Masters Degree in Physical Education from the University of Iowa. He currently is a member of the Physical Education staff at Lake Highland Preparatory School. Coach Curley has been married to the former Jan Denise Penningroth for 30 years and they have three boys, Harrison (27) Kenyon College graduate, Mitchell (24) Florida State University graduate and Hayden (20) University of Louisville sophomore.
Coach Todd Mann joined Highlander Aquatics from Razorback Aquatic Club, where he coached from 2015-2018. While he was with RAC, he lead them to the 2018 Spring Sectional Title, as well as NCSA Spring Top 20 female team title in 2017 and NCSA Summer Top 10 female team title. Razorback Aquatic Club was a USA Swimming Silver Medal club in 2016, 2017, 2018. Todd was also at the University of Arkansas, where he coached from 2007-2016. During his time there, Todd was an instrumental part of the development of numerous NCAA All American swimmers, Olympic Trials qualifiers and SEC champions and a complete re-writing of the school record books. Prior to the University of Arkansas, Mann worked as a senior assistant coach and assistant aquatics director at The Bolles School in Jacksonville, Fla. He brought his wealth of experience working with world-class athletes to his position with the Razorbacks. Throughout his 20 plus years of coaching experience, Mann assisted with the development of athletes who competed at the U.S. Olympic Trials and various international competitions. Mann was an assistant coach for the Cayman Islands swim team at the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne, Australia. He also worked with the Cayman team at the CARIFTA Championships. At The Bolles School, Mann handled dry land activity for the national group swimmers and assisted with four consecutive undefeated squads and four men’s and women’s Florida high school state championship teams. In addition, Mann developed great relationships with many of the nation’s top high school and club coaches. Before joining Bolles, Mann worked for four seasons as the assistant aquatics coach and senior coach for Lake Highland Preparatory School in Orlando, Fla. He started his coaching career in 1994 as the head coach of Swim Florida Bradenton in Bradenton, Florida. A 1994 graduate of Florida State University, Todd and his wife, Misti, have three sons (Chase, Cooper and Cade) and two daughters (Taylar and Casey).
Ty was a swimmer at Louisiana State University. While finishing college he began coaching with the local club team, assisting with the LSU team, and coaching the Masters Team. After leaving Louisiana, Coach Segrest worked 8 years in San Diego with the Blue Fins Swim Team as the Head Age Group and Masters Coach. The time with the Blue Fins included an “ASCA Age Group Coach of the Year” Award and 7 Age Group Junior Olympic Team Championships. This time also included assisting with the University of California San Diego for two years and 2 years as Assistant Coach at Mt.Carmel High School. Coach Ty is coaching Age Group 2 and helps with the Masters group. Ty and his wife, Gaby have 2 sons, Eric and Tyler.
|| Lydia Tate - Seasonal Swim Team Coach and Swim Lesson Instructor
Lydia has been at Highlander Aquatics for over 10 years. The majority of her time in the pool is spent with our youngest group of swimmers (ages 2 - 4 years old) in our Swim America swim lessons. In addition to swim lessons, Lydia coaches our Jr. Highlander swim team (our Pre-K and Kindergarten swimmers) and our Seasonal Green Group.
In 2017, Lydia became a certified USA Swimming Coach. She loves working with the developmental swim team to teach swimmers the basics of proper stroke technique, developing a strong work ethic, and encouraging them to have fun.
Lydia enjoys being outdoors with friends and family, NASCAR, and volunteering in her community.
|| Jeandre Pretorius - Assistant Senior Coach, Swim Lesson Instructor and Masters Coach
Coach Jeandre has been a part Highlander Aquatics for over 5 years in many different capacities. He first started out as a high school swimmer for Head Coach Mike Curley back in 2008 until 2012. Originally from South Africa, he swam Olympic Trials for South Africa in 2012. He swam Division I at the University of Connecticut from 2012-2014. Coach Jeandre has been a USA Swimming certified coach since 2016 and is currently coaching our Age Group 1 program. He is currently studying to get his B.A in Sports and Recreation Management from Ashford University.
|| Stacy Wright - Assistant Aquatics Coordinator and Swim Lesson Coordinator
Stacy (Haberkamp) Wright joined the Highlander Aquatics family in 1994. She is a charter member of Lake Highland Preparatory School, graduating in the class of 1995. Stacy started working the summers throughout college developing the Highlander swim lesson program and coaching the age group team. She also coached at Florida Aquatic Swim Team (in Gainesville) and joined the coaching staff of the Florida Swimming Zone and All-Star teams in 1998 and 1999. After graduating from the University of Florida in 1999, Stacy returned to Highlander Aquatics full-time to coach the Age Group team and run the swim lesson program.
Over the years, Stacy has coached numerous Junior Olympic (FLAGS) Champions & National Top 16 swimmers. She was also recognized as Florida Swimming’s Age Group Coach of the Year in 2001. Over the last two decades, she has developed a highly reputable swim lesson program for Highlander Aquatics that nurtures and teaches over 600 students each year. Currently Stacy serves as our Assistant Aquatics Coordinator - managing our dedicated staff of swim lesson instructors, coaches, & lifeguards as well as coordinating the variety of programs we offer at the Lake Highland Aquatic Complex. Stacy is responsible for overseeing our seasonal swim teams, swim lessons, summer programs, and office management. Stacy has been married to Kurtis Wright for 17 years and they have three children, Carter (15), Owen (13), and Abby (5).
Coach Ryan has been with Highlander Aquatics since 2011. She is one of the coaches of our seasonal swim team and teaches swim lessons. Ryan swam competitively as a kid in the Central Florida area. She swam for Winter Park High School and played water polo. She also coaches and swims for the Lake Highland Masters Swim Club. Ryan's husband, Sean is also a swimmer. They have three children Molly (10), Patrick (8) and Lily (4).
The coach's job is to supervise the entire competitive swim program. The Highlander Aquatic Club coaching staff is dedicated to providing a program for youngsters that will enable them to learn the value of striving to improve oneself. Therefore, the coaches must be in total control in matters affecting training and competition.
- The coaches are responsible for placing youngsters in practice groups. This is based on the age and ability level of each child. When it is in the best interest of a swimmer, he/ she will be placed in a more challenging training group by the coach.
- Sole responsibility for stroke instruction and the training regimen rests with the Highlander coaching staff. Each group's practices are based on sound scientific principles and are geared towards specific goals of that group.
- The coaching staff will make the final decision concerning which meets Highlander swimmers will attend. Accordingly, the coaching staff makes the final decision concerning which events a swimmer is entered.
- At meets, the coaching staff will conduct and supervise warm-up procedures for the team. After each race, coaches will offer constructive criticism regarding the swimmer's performance. (It is the parent's job to offer love and understanding regardless of their youngster's performance.)
- The building of a relay team is the sole responsibility of the coaching staff. The coaching staff is constantly updating and improving the team.