Crystee Ballard, Co- Head Coach
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.
Crystee is a SPY Alumnus 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. Crystee has been coaching at SPY since 2002 and has been Co-Head Coach since 2005.
Jim Hutcheson, Co- Head Coach
After being part of the SPY Program for ten years as an assistant coach, and involved in YMCA Competitive Swimming for more than 19 years, Jim Hutcheson became Co-Head Coach of the SPY program in 2005.
In addition to coaching, Jim teaches middle school Math, Reading, and English classes at Our Lady of Victory School in the Archdiocese of Baltimore.
A member of the YMCA Coaches' Association and the District Coordinator for YMCA swimming in the Maryland and Delaware region, Jim represents SPY's interests at the local, regional, and national levels within the YMCA of the USA Competitive Swimming structure. With more than 22 years of coaching experience, Jim's broad knowledge of stroke mechanics and training techniques enable him to work with swimmers of all ages and competitive levels, from developing age group swimmers to training senior and national-level swimmers, and broadens the range of expertise to which our swimmers are exposed throughout the year.
Jim is well-respected regionally and nationally for his leadership in competitive swimming, and serves as a trainer for the YMCA of the USA, spreading the reputation of SPY Swimming as Maryland's pre-eminent YMCA Competitive Swim Program.
Ken Barsa, Assistant Coach
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
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
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. This is Melanie's second year as a SPY coach.
Peter Kogut, Assistant Coach
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.