Dan: Head Coach and Founder

Coach Dan has swam in California, Hawaii, Germany and Washington. As a student, he swam at Lakes High School in Lakewood and at Central Washington University. He also created and coached Morgan Family YMCA Sea Dragons in ’92 for over 15 years and coached both the Stadium High School girls and boys swim teams.

What Coaching Ohana Means to him: “Coaching is about giving back what someone who cared for you gave you all those many years ago. Coaching provides the opportunity to make a positive difference in the life a person – paying it forward to the next and so on.Love having this team and the ones before be a part of my Ohana, my family … most precious reward given to me by God along with my wife Denise, daughter Lindsey and son Seth.” Coach Dan wishes to “provide the opportunity for greatness in each and every person in swimming and in life.”

Katy: Assistant Coach

Swimming has been a constant in my life. I began swimming at the age of 9 when my grandmother signed me up to swim with a local swim club. I swam year round until joining the High School swim team. When I was 15 and a half, I got my first job as a lifeguard and swim instructor. Later, I managed a local pool area and taught private swim lessons at a fitness center and eventually became certified and coached for various local teams.

My love for swimming has grown over the years. As a child, I sometimes hated going to practice, but my grandmother forced me to go. As my technique and endurance increased, it became more and more enjoyable. When I started teaching others, my passion for the sport was taken to a whole new level. There is nothing more enjoyable than helping others reach their goals and realize their potential.

Joni: Coach

Coach Joni was born and raised in Tacoma.  She learned to swim in 10th grade at Mt. Tahoma and as a junior, her friends convinced her to join the swim team.  While swimming was still difficult, persistence paid off and swimming became a part of her life.  Coach Joni is a teacher at Whitman Elementary in Tacoma.  As a mom, swimming came back into her life when her three children began swim lessons at the Y.  Her twins, Jensine and Keith, are still a part of Ohana and love their time in the pool.  Her favorite race is the 100 Back with the 100 IM coming in a close second.  Coach Joni believes in hands on/in the pool coaching since she works with novice swimmers who are in need of much direction and technique work.



Nikki: Instructor

Many a bad day has turned to good when I come to the pool to teach the beginners how to swim. I’ve taught swim lessons for 15 years and it was Coach Dan who hired me for my first job as an instructor and lifeguard. My “day jobs” have consisted of therapy with young children with autism, teaching preschool, and most recently working as a nanny. My teaching process as it pertains to beginners is making sure the kids have fun and building trust with them. After that, my goal for them is to be comfortable in the pool and learn skills to be safe around the water. In level 2 we work on swimming longer distances, preparing them to swim laps, and working on basic crawl stroke and back stroke technique. Above all, if I can instill in the students that they have value and help them develop confidence in all areas, I’ve done my job!

Melissa: Instructor

When I first became a parent I knew that swimming was one of the first sports I wanted my kids to be involved in. So at the age of just 6 months my kids where thrust into the world of swimming. My daughter is now 11 years old and my sons are 10 years and 5 years old. They are still swimming! When it was time for them to join a swim team we heard about Ohana and have never looked back. My kids were so involved with the team it was only natural for me to jump in the water and start coaching beginning swim lessons. I love it! Coaching these young kids to be safe around the water and build their confidence with their swimming skills, is so much fun to watch and be apart of. 


Stadium Tiger: Always On Deck!

Tigers and their superlative qualities have been a source of fascination for mankind since ancient times, and they are routinely visible as important cultural and media motifs. They are also considered one of the charismatic megafauna, and are used as the face of conservation campaigns worldwide. In a 2004 online poll conducted by cable television channel Animal Planet, involving more than 50,000 viewers from 73 countries, the tiger was voted the world’s favourite animal with 21% of the vote, narrowly beating the dog.

The tiger (Panthera tigris) is the largest cat species, most recognisable for their pattern of dark vertical stripes on reddish-orange fur with a lighter underside. The largest tigers have reached a total body length of up to 3.38 m (11.1 ft) over curves and have weighed up to 388.7 kg (857 lb) in the wild. The species is classified in the genus Panthera with the lion, leopard, jaguar and snow leopard. Tigers areapex predators, primarily preying on ungulates such as deer and bovids. They are territorial and generally solitary but social animals, often requiring large contiguous areas of habitat that support their prey requirements. This, coupled with the fact that they are indigenous to some of the more densely populated places on Earth, has caused significant conflicts with humans.


Chad: Aquatic Guru

Poet, philosopher, adventurer, student of the world, captain of digital industry, part-time pet psychiatrist, swing-shift metaphysician, english muffin enthusiast, and explorer of the cosmos! Like those who have come before me; Homer, Hemingway, Verne, Sagan, Ahab, Wonka, Sgt. Pepper, and so much more – I push on! Always in the face of adversity and certain danger! One stroke at a time. Plunging the depths, spanning the reaches, fathom after fathom – in search of ultimate truth … in the sport of swimming. May I share such acquired knowledge – with those who also passionately seek – as I do. “Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more” See you in the water.