Crystee Ballard, Head Coach: "Hard work beats talent when talent doesn't work hard."
Coach Crystee Ballard has been involved in competitive swimming and coaching for more than 30 years. She has achieved recognition as a Level III ASCA certified coach and has coached swimmers that have qualified for YMCA Nationals, USA Junior Nationals, USA Nationals, and USA Olympic Trials.
Crystee is a SPY Alumna and went on to swim for Division 1 Towson State University. She spent one year working with the University of Maryland Swim Team while working on her master’s degree and spent three summers coaching at the University of Michigan's summer swim camps.
When Crystee is not coaching she enjoys running, standup paddleboarding, and spending time with her husband Nat and their 3 girls (especially at the beach!). Crystee has been coaching at SPY for more than a 15 years and has been Head Coach since 2005.
Richard Heim, Assistant Coach
Coach Richard has been involved in competitive swimming for 20 years as both an athlete 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, Coach Richard has also been the head coach for Oakleigh Forest Swim Team in the summer and has led them to many East Severna Park League Championships over the past 10 years. He has also previously coached for Evergreen and Shipley's Choice during the summer.
Richard is a graduate of the University of Virginia (Go Cavs!) with a degree in Mechanical Engineering and works in Baltimore as an engineer, where he recently received his Professional Engineers License. When Richard isn't engineering or coaching, he enjoys spending time with his family and traveling.
Melissa Albers, Assistant Coach: "No one who ever gave his best regretted it."
Coach Melissa has been coaching in Maryland since 2005. She has been a coach of both Masters Swimming and the age group team at Severna Park Raquet Club from 2005 to 2011. From 2011 to 2014 she was an assistant coach at CATY in Catonsville, MD. She is so excited for the opportunity to join the SPY Coaching Staff!
Melissa is ASCA level II certified coach, an NFHS (National Federation of High School Swimming) Meet Referee/Starter and is a summer Official for CMSL (Central MD Swim League). Since 2007, she's also served on the CMSL Board as their Officials Liaison.
Melissa has lived in Severna Park with her husband and 3 children since 1997. Active community members and volunteers, the Albers share a lifelong love for family, swimming, tennis and diving!
Melanie Hopkins, Assistant Coach
Coach Melanie has been involved in competitive swimming for more than 20 years. She swam for SPY for 12 years until she graduated from high school in 2007. She has been a summer swim coach since 2008 and was involved with the University of Maryland Club Swim Team during her college years. Go Terps!
Melanie received her B.S. in Community Health from the University of MD, and recently completed her master's degree in nursing. Melanie also holds certifications from American Red Cross in Lifeguarding and CPR.
Melanie enjoys spending her limited free time reading, traveling and enjoying the beach with her new husband.
Ken Keer, Assistant Coach
Coach Ken is a long-time YMCA coach who comes to SPY most recently from CATY. We are thrilled to have him!
Coach Ken is an ASCA Level III certified coach and has been coaching age group swimming for more than 20 years. The majority of his coaching career has been spent coaching 12 & Under age group swimmers. Over the years, he has coached National Top 16 qualifiers, Sectional Qualifiers, State Champions, and Maryland Zone Team Qualifiers.
Coach Ken spends his days working in the computer science field, and spends his free time reading, writing and rooting for his favorite sports teams.
Matt McKenney, Assistant Coach: "The will to win is important, but the will to prepare is vital."
SPY is thrilled to welcome one of our most decorated former swimmers to our coaching staff. Coach Matt was a competitive swimmer for 14 years. He swam for SPY for three years in high school and qualified for 3 YMCA National Long Course Championships and 2 YMCA National Short Course Championships.
He was a member of the Towson University Men's Division I Swim team for four years while pursuing a degree in mass communications, and he was the captain of the Men’s Swim Team during his junior and senior year. He is a school record-holder and was a two-time Colonial Athletic Association conference champion in the 200 butterfly; he also qualified for the 2013, 2014 and 2015 USA Swimming National Championships. Matthew has coached the Chartridge Tidal Waves for three seasons and has also recently been named the Head Coach of the Severna Park Falcons Swim Team.
When Matt isn't swimming or coaching, he enjoys basketball, fishing and spending time with his family. He also roots for the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday afternoons.
Allie Muha, Assistant Coach
Coach Allie was a SPY swimmer for 8 years before moving on to swim D2 collegiately at Lock Haven University. She was both a YMCA Nationals Long Course and Short Course Qualifier. At Lock Haven, Allie was a 4 time PSAC conference championships qualifier, and finaled in the 200 fly her junior and senior years. Allie currently holds 5 All-Time Top Five times for Lock Haven University.
After graduating with a Heath Science degree, Allie works in medical sales in addition to coaching. Allie coached the Shipley's Choice Dolphins for 9 seasons and was the head coach in 2015. Her favorite swimmers are the little guys!
When she's not working, Allie loves spending time at the beach and enjoying live music with friends.
Charlie Schindler, Assistant Coach
Coach Charlie has been involved in swimming for more than 20 years as an athlete and coach. He swam for SPY for 12 years until he graduated in 2008, and he went on to swim D3 for Widener University. Charlie graduated from Widener in 2012 with a degree in Mechanical Engineering.
He has coached several local summer swim teams since 2008 and also has collegiate coaching experience as a Cross Country and Track & Field coach. Charlie holds certification from American Red Cross in Lifeguarding and CPR.
When he's not working or coaching, Charlie enjoys running triathlons and skiing; he also spends LOTS of time at the pool.