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Beth O'Neil NAAC Eagles Head Coach

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Norrristown Area High School - Girl's (NAHS): Head Coach 1997 - Present

Norrristown Area High School - Boy's (NAHS): Head Coach 2012 - Present

Norristown Area Aquatic Club (NAAC):  Asst. Coach 2005 - 2008; Head Coach 2013 - Present

Upper Merion Stingrays (UMST): Head Coach 2010 - Present (Summer Swim)

Markley Farms ST (MFST):  Asst Coach 1998 - 2002 Head Coach 2003 - 2009

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Coach Beth has been a swimming coach for 20+ years and started her coaching career by giving swim lessons at Norristown Area High School helping kids of all ages learn to better themselves, their strokes and achieve their goals.  Coach Beth is very passionate about the Norristown area and swimming and wants to help each child succeed in the pool and in life.  Coach Beth has been inducted in to the Suburban Aquatic League's Hall of Fame for Coaches.  She is a Norristown High School graduate and swam for Bill Zackey from 1973-1974 during his inaugural year at NAHS. She also swam for Markley Farms and General Washington Country Club swim teams as a child.

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She was also a President of NAAC while her three daughters swam for both NAAC and NAHS. They also swam with the Markley Farms and Whitpain Greens Swim Teams. This gives Coach Beth the added perspective of being both a swim coach and swim parent. Coach Beth's goal is to have swimmers learn to love the sport of swimming and make improvements in their times and their strokes.  Coach Beth graduated from Lock Haven University and played Lacrosse there.  She is a teacher professionally in the Eisenhower Science & Technology Leadership Academy in Norristown Area School District.

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Barbi Griffith Asst. Coach

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Norristown Area Aquatic Club (NAAC); Asst. Coach

Skippack Swim Team (SST): Head Coach - 3 yrs

Lower Merion High School (LMHS): Head Coach - Girl's Team - 1 yr

Emory University (EU): Asst Coach - 1 yr

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Coach Barbi's swim career began at Methacton Aquatic Club from the age of five to 18 and she graduated from Methacton High School.  She She attended the University of New Hampshire and swam competitively all four years and was named All New England in the 100 and 200 breaststroke and the 200 and 400 IM.  She graduated in 1986 where she received a BS in Nutritional Science.  In 1987 graduated from Emory University's Clinical Dietetics program and received her MS degree in Secondary Education from St. Joseph's University in 1995.

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In addition to coaching swimming, Barbi has coached junior varsity softball at Lower Merion High School, 9th grade field hockey at Methacton High School for four years, and has been the assistant coach for the varsity and junior varsity lacrosse team at Mehtacton High School. Barbi has also held various volunteer coaching positions in youth athletics in the area.  Coach Barbi has been teaching chemistry at Methacton High School since 1994.

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Josh Heatherby Asst. Coach - Minis Team

Coach Josh is a 2001 graduate of Archbishop Carroll and a 2006 graduate of Millersville University with a BA in Earth Sciences. Coach Josh began teaching swim lessons at age 14 and has taught swimming at both Norristown High School and Whitpain Greens Swim Club. He began swimming competitively for NAAC when he was six and swam for the team for 12 years. During his high school years, Josh swam and qualified for Easterns twice. He was also co-captain of the boys team during his senior year. Josh also swam for Germantown Academy age group for five years, Markley Farms Swim Club for six years, and Whitpain Greens Swim Club for five years. When not at the pool, Coach Josh is a Field Geologist for Earth Engineering, a construction consulting firm in East Norriton.

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Bruce Hockenbrock Asst. Coach - Technical Specialist

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Norristown Area Aquatic Club (NAAC): Asst. Coach 2001 - Present

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Coach Bruce is the team Technical Coach and works with the swimmers focusinng improving their technical skills, such as stroke technique,  starts & turns and more.  Both his son and daughter swam with NAAC. During this time he has had the pleasure of coaching many very talented swimmers and great young people. His goals as a coach are to try to make sure that every swimmer learns good technique, shows improvement, and have some fun.

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Bruce started swimming as a five-year-old at Mermaid Lake Swim Club. In the winter he swam for the Norristown YMCA and the Methacton Aquatic Club. A 1975 graduate of Methacton High School, Bruce was named a High School All-State in 1974 and 1975 in the medley relay and backstroke. They were league champions in 1973, 1974, and 1975. Bruce graduated from West Chester University in 1980. Bruce credits the great coaches he had in the early years with learning the value of hard work, discipline, teamwork and commitment. He also made some very good friends.

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Bruce, the owner of Frank Jones Sporting Goods in Norristown, is married, has two children and lives in Lower Providence Township.

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Julie Jost Asst. Coach

Coach Julie Jost is a graduate of Gwynedd Mercy High School and Beaver College (now Arcadia University). She swam for the Norristown Area Aquatic Club from the age of 9 to 18 and also for Germantown Academy, Markley Farms, and Whitpain Greens. She swam all four years of high school and was captain her senior year. Coach Julie also swam all four years of college as well and was captain her junior and senior years. She was an assistant coach at the aquatic club in the 1990’s as well as at Whitpain Greens and was the head coach for the pre-competitive team (now known as the Minis in 1996) at Whitpain Greens (Julie, correct?). While at Whitpain Greens and Norristown, Coach Julie also taught swim lessons (group, private, mommy and me) and was a lifeguard for many years from the mid 90’s to early 2000’s at Whitpain Greens, Norristown, and The Kline Company (Townhomes / Apartments). Professionally, she has a BA in psychology from Arcadia University, a MS in counseling psychology and human services with a specialization in child/adolescent therapy from Chestnut Hill College, and is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst. Currently, Coach Julie works at Green Tree School and Services in Philadelphia. When she is not at the pool or at the office, she is a wife and a mother of three beautiful girls, one of whom has begun her own swimming career at NAAC.

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Taylor Simpson Asst. Coach - Minis

Norristown Area Aquatic Club (NAAC):  Asst. Coach 9/2016 to Present (Age Group)

Audubon YMCA Dolphins (AY):  Asst. Coach 5/2015 to Present

Audubon YMCA Swim Instructor: 3/2015 to Present

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Taylor has been a Swim Instructor for 2 years for the Audubon YMCA and an Asst Coach for Audubon YMCA Dolphins swim team for 1 year and she just the NAAC coaching team this year.  

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Taylor started swimming when she was 7 years old and has been competing in USA swim meets since age 9. Taylor swims for NAAC (Norristown Area Aquatic Club) during the winter and also works for the Audubon YMCA teaching swim lessons and life guarding.

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Taylor currently attends Methacton High School and North Montco Technical Career Center where she is studying to become a nurse.

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Melissa Otterbein Asst. Coach

Melissa Otterbein comes to NAAC with over 10 years swim coaching experience and is a Certified USA Level 1 Triathlon Coach. She was an All-District and All-State swimmer at Springfield Township High School and a four year scholar athlete swimmer at Towson University, where she graduated with a B.S. in Family Studies and Community and Development. She is a 2015 USA Triathlon Age Group National Qualifier and 2013 Ironman 70.3 All World Bronze Athlete and World Qualifier. She most recently worked with Student Conservation Association (SCA) as a Field Leader leading youth in conservation service work projects in Baltimore City. Prior to SCA she was Program Manager for The Grassroot Project, a Washington D.C. nonprofit that equips college athletes to become HIV/AIDS educators to middle school students using a sports-based curriculum. She is the founder of Letters to Future Sisters, a collection of letters from women and girls across the world sharing stories and dreams for future generations of women and girls. She is excited for her first season with NAAC! Go Eagles!

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R. C. Thompson Asst. Coach

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Norrristown Area Aquatic Club (NAAC):  Asst. Coach 9/2015 to Present  (Age Group)

Audubon YMCA Dolphins (AY): Head Coach 2015 and 2016; Asst. Coach 2014 (Summer Swim Team)

Methacton Aquatic Club (MAC):  Asst. Coach 2014-15 (Age Group)

  • USA Swimming Certififed Coach

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  • Coaching Experience: RC joined NAAC as an Assistant Coach for the Norristown Area Aquatic Club in the winter season 2015 - 16 and the Methacton Aquatic Club (MAC) swim team in the winter season 2014 - 15. He has also taught stroke and turn technique clinics for the past several years.
  • Personal: RC lives in Collegeville, PA with his wife Danielle, daughter Penny and sons Porter and Paxton. He grew up in St. Louis, MO and came to the Philadelphia area to attend Villanova University, graduating in 2001. He currently works for Hibu as the Director of Digital Product Management.
  • Achievements: RC started swimming for Parkway Swim Club in St Louis, MO when he was 10 years old. He swam and played water polo for Parkway Central High School where he still holds several records. RC qualified for Jr. and Sr. Nationals in high school and was recruited to swim and play water polo for Villanova University. During his swimming career RC has trained at the Olympic training center in Colorado Springs, CO and the International Swimming Hall of Fame in Fort Lauderdale, FL and has traveled to swim meets across the country.

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Gabi Van Leer Asst. Coach

Coach Gabi VanLeer is a graduate of Pennridge High School, class of 2012, and of Kutztown University, class of 2015. In college Gabi received her BS in Sociology with a concentration on Marriage and the Family. 

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Gabi started her swimming career when she was 6 years old at Souderton Aquatic Club. Gabi swam with Souderton for 6 years until Pennridge developed a team and then Gabi finished out her aquatic career for Pennridge (an additional 6 years). Aside from the aquatic club, Gabi swam for USA swimming and was a part of Argo Aquatics. Gabi also swam and played water polo all throughout her high school career. In 2012 Gabi stopped swimming and focused on her water polo career full time. She played for the Olympic Developmental team representing the east coast.

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Gabi has always has a passion for teaching children and passing on her knowledge and wisdom of the sport. Gabi was a lifeguard and swim instructor for 5 years (Holiday House Pool in Sellersville and Pennridge High School). Gabi was also the assistant coach for the Perkasie Pirates Water Polo team where she was able to teach the basic fundamentals of the game to younger children. Gabi is super excited to join the Norristown Aquatics Club because she can’t wait to watch the younger swimmers grow as individuals and in the pool. When Gabi is not at the pool, she is a case manager for workers compensation patients at a company based in King of Prussia. Gabi is recently married to coach Kyle and they have rescued two puppies, Cooper and Remi, who are both lab mixes.

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Kyle Van Leer Asst. Coach

Coach Kyle is a 2010 graduate of Pennridge High School and a 2015 graduate of Drexel University with a masters in Biomedical Engineering. Kyle started swimming in high school and was elected captain his junior and senior year. His swimming abilities led him to several districts meets in 100 fly, and 200 IM (his specialties) and two relay school records that still stand today. His swimming interests led him to compete in several triathlons and become very active in water polo. Kyle was also a lifeguard and swim instructor where he taught private lessons at Indian Valley Country Club. Kyle has also dedicated his time to assist with the Perkasie Pirates Water Polo where he spent his time working with the older kids in developing their skills.

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In college Kyle focused on his education and club water polo as he was the treasurer and a captain as a senior. Outside of the pool Kyle is an Engineer at a company based in Audubon. Kyle enjoys spending time with his wife (Coach Gabi) and their two dogs as well as doing DIY projects and home improvements.

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