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

Coaching Staff

Crystee Ballard

Head Coach

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Crystee Ballard has been involved in competitive swimming and coaching for over 20 years. Crystee has achieved recognition as a Level III ASCA certified coach. She has coached swimmers that have qualified for YMCA Nationals, USA Junior Nationals, USA Nationals, and USA Olympic Trials. She is a SPY Alumna and went on to swim for Towson State University. She spent one year working with the University of Maryland Swim Team while working on her master’s degree. She has also spent three summers at the University of Michigan working with their swim camps. When Crystee is not coaching she enjoys running and spending time with her husband Nat and daughters Carlee, Ellie and Riley. This will be Crystee's eighth year coaching at SPY and fifth year as Co-Head Coach.

Ken Barsa

Assistant Coach

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Ken is returning to SPY after 6 seasons away from the pool. Ken was Head Coach of SPY from 1977 to 2005 where he also served a stint as President of the YMCA National Swim Coaches Association while holding a Level 5 ASCA certification. Ken also worked as a Title One Computer/Math Resource teacher for Anne Arundel County Public Schools for 37 years.

He is returning as a deck coach and is excited to be working with children again.
 

Ken is a grandfather of 2 young girls and currently resides with his wife Bonnie on the Eastern Shore. His interests include golfing, crabbing and the New York Football Giants.
 

Richard Heim

Assistant Coach

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Richard has been involved in competitive swimming for almost 20 years as both a swimmer and as a coach. Richard swam on SPY for 9 years until 2001 and has been coaching since 2002. He is currently certified as a Level III ASCA coach.

Since 2006 he has been the head coach for Oakleigh Forest in the summer and has led them to 4 East Severna Park League Championships over the past 6 years. He has also previously coached for Evergreen and Shipley's Choice during the summer. Richard is a graduate from the University of Virginia with a degree in Mechanical Engineering and works in Baltimore as an engineer, where he recently received his Professional Engineers License. This is Richard's eighth year coaching at SPY.

Melanie Hopkins

Assistant Coach

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Melanie has been involved in swimming for over 16 years. She swam for SPY for 12 years until she graduated in 2007. She has been a summer swim coach since 2008 and was involved with the University of Maryland Club Swim Team. At the University of Maryland, Melanie studied Community Health and is pursuing a master's degree in nursing. Melanie also holds certifications from American Red Cross in Lifeguarding and CPR.

Peter Kogut

Assistant Coach

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Peter has been involved in swimming for over 15 years. He swam for SPY for 4 years until he graduated in 2003 and continued to swim at the College of William and Mary. Peter holds certifications from American Red Cross in Lifeguarding, CPR, and Lifeguard Instructor and is an ASCA Level II certified coach.  Peter has been coaching at SPY for six years.

Gayle Bremer

Assistant Coach

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Gayle has been involved with swimming in some aspect for as long as she can remember: swimming with summer swim and Master’s teams, training for triathlon competitions, coaching Master’s teams and triathlon clinics and has coached the Severn School boy’s high school team the last seven years.  While her two children were swimming on the SPY team for many years, she could be found on deck officiating.  Gayle is certified as a Level II ASCA coach.

 

A California native, Gayle’s Air Force service brought her to the East coast where she met and married her husband John, and they have lived in Severna Park for 25 years.  Their daughter, Allie attends the College of Charleston, and son Jack attends and swims at Cornell University.