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Coaches

Coaching Staff

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 15 years and has been Head Coach since 2005.

Richard Heim, Assistant Coach : "Every accomplishment starts with the decision to try".

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 2005. 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.

 

Laura Ainsworth, Assistant Coach: "Not having a goal is more to be feared than not reaching one".

Coach Laura has been involved with competitive swimming for over 30 years. Laura is the Head Coach of Harting Farms Swim Team and most recently assisted in coaching Chesapeake High School Swimming. 

Laura's passion is swimming and mentoring young athletes. As an athlete, she received many All State and All American certificates on the High School and collegiate level.  While attending Shepherd University, she became the NAIA National Champion in the 1650 freestyle.  Her involvement in the sport continues with coaching and officiating at swim meets. 

Laura lives in Annapolis with her husband and two children.  When Laura is not on the pool deck, she enjoys spending time her family and supporting her twins, who are also competitive swimmers.  

 

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: "Even if you're on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there."

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: "Good things come to those who wait.  But better things come to those who work for it."

Coach Ken is a long-time YMCA coach who comes to SPY most recently from CATY. We are so happy 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.

 

Allie Muha, Assistant Coach: "A goal without a plan is just a wish."

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. 

 

Carolyn Voorhees, Assistant Coach: Your attitude determines your altitude"

Coach Carolyn is excited to be working with SPY swimmers and share her passion for swimming and lifetime love of the sport!

She is ASCA Level 3 coach and has coached and swam at every level from age group, high school, college, to masters, most recently as 2 year volunteer Assistant coach for the Navy Varsity Women’s team as well as age group and masters coach at NAAC, Elite Training Camps at Navy and Summer Team for South River Colony and Severn School Boys team.  She was a college professor for 15+ years (UMD/JHU) and active Masters Swimmer and coach for over 10 years in MD. Recently she has compiled multiple FINA rankings and is Masters All American, competed in the Chesapeake Bay Swim x 3.  Carolyn was a Big Ten Champion/All American at the University of Michigan where she held the school record in 50 free and 200 and 400 medley and free relays. She competed in Y Nationals in HS where the Michigan coach recruited her!

Carolyn has a M.S. in exercise physiology/kinesiology from UM and Ph.D. in Behavioral/Social Science from JHU. She and her husband Peter have lived in Severna Park for 25+ years and her daughter Allison swam for SPY for 10 years and made Y Nats her senior year. Her son Garret rowed crew for U Wisconsin. She grew up near Lake Michigan and enjoys ALL water activities but particularly open water swimming, kayaking, sailing, boating and is a certified Scuba Diver.