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Swimmer on the blocks

OUR COACHES

Our highly skilled and supportive coaching staff are here to guide your swimmer to achieve their best in and out of the pool. If you have questions related to workouts, meets, events, goal setting, and other swimming related needs, please contact us.

BTA coaches leading team huddle
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Chris Collier

Head Coach

Coach Chris has been involved in swimming since age seven swimming at the club level for Bob Mattson and Syd Cassidy at Wilmington (DE) Aquatic Club. A decorated swimmer, he continued swimming during High School and swam collegiately for the University of Delaware. Coach Chris began coaching at age 16 and has worked with kids from developmental levels up through college, National and professional levels. Chris’ coaching stops include: Delaware Swim Team, North Baltimore Aquatic Club, The University of Wisconsin, The University of Alabama, and The Woodlands Swim Team. ​ – Directly developed over 20 NCAA All-Americans.  – Coached five athletes who represented their country in international competition, including one Gold medalist.  – Directly developed multiple USA swimming National Team members, Junior National team members, World University Games qualifiers, and FINA World Championship qualifiers.  Coach Chris believes that swimming teaches kids important lessons about setting and working hard to achieve goals, through dedication and focus, failure and triumph. He strongly believes that the development of young people outside of the pool is just as important as the lessons learned in the pool and seeks to build strong relationships with his swimmers.

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Jim Smith

Assistant Head Coach

Coach Jim is a certified ASCA Level 4/ Level 5 coach with over 30 years of experience in nearly every aspect of competitive swimming. Athletes under Coach Jim have: – Qualified to every USA-Swimming Championship meet - US Olympic Trials, Nationals, Jr Nationals, Futures, and Sectionals – National #1 rankings in various age-groups, events and IMX – Selected to participate in National, Zone and LSC Select Camps – LSC event Champions – LSC record-setters – Received numerous opportunities to continue their swimming collegiately. – 2021 short-course TAGS Championship team, 13-14 Girl's Division. Coach Jim published an article on the use of Tempo Trainers in conjunction with developing swimming efficiency in 2012. Coach Jim believes in the "life skills" taught through competitive swimming and the philosophy of work works!

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Tara Bailey

Head Age Group Coach

Coach Tara Bailey has been involved in swimming since an early age of 9 at the club level. A decorated swimmer, she continued swimming during High School and swam collegiately for all four years, where she accomplished NCAA’s, conference championships, and Who’s Who in American College. As a coach, Tara Bailey has worked with kids from developmental levels up through senior and National levels. Her coaching experiences include: Summer League, High School, and Club for a collective total of 20 years. Coach Bailey believes that life's most memorable and teachable moments can be experienced through swimming. – Coached several top ten Nationally ranked athletes at various ages. – Coached numerous swimmers to achieve TAGS, Sectional, Winters, and Junior National qualifications. – Being named High School District Coach of the year. – Qualifying for top 50 Coaches for Age Group Swimming. – Achieved top ten teams at TAGS – Nominated Gulf Age Group Coach of the year 3 times. In my opinion my number one accomplishment is the long lasting relationships I have developed with athletes over time. Some of these are 20 years long and still going strong. The memories will last a lifetime.

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Sara Hays

Assistant Coach

Coach Sara started swimming at the age of 9 in Buffalo, New York. She competed for Kenmore West High School and was a 12 time Niagara Frontier League Champion and helped her team to be NFL Team Champions her Junior and Senior years. Sara was an 8 time Sectional All Star and Sectional Champion in the 200 Freestyle. In 2005, she was inducted into her high school's Hall of Fame. After high school, she went on to compete for Ashland University in Ohio. There she was a member of the Penn-Ohio Conference team and an 11 time All American. Sara left the corporate world when she had her first son, and decided to come back to swimming in 2006 when she joined the coaching staff at NEHA. She coached for 3 years, and left after her 3rd son was born. Sara came back to coaching in 2012 when she joined the Blue Tide coaching staff, and has been coaching for 13 years now. Sara believes in developing swimmers both in the water and out. Preparing swimmers for life after their time in the pool is important to coach Sara. She loves to watch the swimmers achieve everything they set out to do. Sara is a firm believer that hard work will pay off! Sara lives in Kingwood with her husband, Mike, and homeschools her 3 sons; Jack(17) Evan (15), and Bret (13). When she’s not at a baseball field, you can find her helping the BTA staff.

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Kim Kelley

Splash Director

Coach Kim has been involved in swimming since an early age of 6. She swam at the club level for 14 years. A decorated swimmer, she continued swimming during High School earning a US Open title in the 200 back, 4 state High School individual titles, Olympic Trial Qualifications, was on the Olympic Festival team and swam collegiately for Auburn University. There She accomplished 4 NCAA All American, 6 SEC All American awards, and top 8 rankings at both SEC and NCAA . As a coach, Kim has worked with kids from developmental levels up through senior and National levels, Master Swimmers, and Special needs. Kim is our Splash Program Director and Masters swim coach. She believes that every swimmer has potential and it is the coaches job, no matter what the swimmers level is, to find that and develop it. Kim loves to see swimmers grow up in the sport like she did and show them how they can continue their love for swimming long after they finish their personal career.

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Earl Medina

TNT & Lead Group Coach

Coach Earl joined BTA in late 2021 and has been working with the team’s Tidal wave and Orange groups as well as the team’s developmental TNT group. Swimming has been a part of his life since he started as an age grouper back in Manila (Philippines) at the age of 10 years old. Aside from being a bemedaled varsity member during his high school and collegiate days, he was also selected to be the Team Captain during his senior years both in high school and college. After graduating college, he pursued his love for the sport by making the training team of Philippine National Water Polo team and participating in age-group triathlon events which he continues to do at present. He is a USA Swimming certified coach and was the Stroke Development Program coach at the YMCA Lake Houston for all groups (i.e. Beginner, Intermediate and Advance) prior to the center’s closure due to Harvey and then again, prior to the start of the pandemic. In between, he took a coaching position with ESA where he worked with various age group levels. Coach Earl believes that it is important for swimmers at a young age to learn how to be more efficient in the water by teaching proper stroke technique and developing good habits while ensuring kids have fun at the same time.

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Anna Chambers

Assistant Coach

Coach Anna has been involved in swimming since the early age of 5. She started swimming for TMAC (Taylor Made Aquatic Club) and then later DAD's Club. She qualified for TAGS many seasons as an age group swimmer. She then swam for Mayde Creek High School and competed at State several times. Her favorite stroke is Butterfly and her favorite events are the 500 Free and the 100 Butterfly. She attended SMU for college and then graduated with a Bachelor's of Science in Environmental Biology from UT Arlington. She taught private lessons and coached summer league while in college. After graduation, she Commissioned as an Officer in the US Army and served for over 12 years. She currently coaches the Bronze group and works in Elementary Special Education. She encourages young athletes to enjoy the sport and make swimming part of a life long healthy life style. She believes that swimming is not only good for youth fitness and fun, but that it teaches kids many other skills such as math, time management, self confidence, and perseverance.

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Emily Leavelle

Assistant Coach

Coach Emily has been coaching for Blue Tide Aquatics since 2022 and has spent the majority of her life at the pool. Coach Emily started swimming competitively at the age of five with the Kleinwood Dolphins. She went on to so swim for Klein Aquatics, Schindewolf Intermediate School, and Klein Collins High School. Coach Emily made the choice to start a family instead of swimming in college. She started coaching at age 16 for the Kleinwood Dolphins. She has since been the Head Coach for The Shadowbend Tsunami’s, and held assistant coaching positions for the Duncan Dragons, Premier Aquatics Club of Klein, and Sharks Swim Club where she has coached all levels of athletes. Coach Emily was working on a bachelor’s degree in American Sign Language and Speech and Language Pathology at the University of Houston where she maintained a 4.0 GPA pre covid. After covid shutdowns Coach Emily decided it would be best for her family to work from home. She is now studying UX/UI design. Coach Emily has two children named Tinsley and Sebastian. They have both grown up at the pool. Tinsley swims with BTA and Sebastian plays soccer. Coach Emily takes pride in developing swimmers in and out of the pool. She believes swimmers can apply the lessons they learn in swimming to be successful in everyday life.

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Thomas Roark

Assistant Coach

Coach Thomas has been involved in swimming since an early age swimming at the club level for the Boise YMCA Swim Team. He competed at all levels, from summer league all the way to US Open. A decorated swimmer, he continued swimming during High School and swam collegiately for Louisiana State University where he received a full scholarship and graduated with a degree in Sports Administration. As a coach, Thomas has worked with kids from developmental levels up through senior and National levels. Thomas’ coaching stops include: Boise Swim Club in Idaho and Crawfish Aquatics in Louisiana. Thomas believes that swimmers are more than just what the clock says, with each meet and practice being a tool to grow and become better people. – 2017 YMCA National Champion – 2017 US Open Qualifier – 2 X USA Summer Juniors Qualifier

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Caleb Doehring

Assistant Coach

Coach Caleb has been involved in the world of swimming since the age of 5, he started swimming with his local summer league team (FMKP Waves) and continued with swimming on the High School team and soon after started swimming club with BTA. In High School he received All-American. He continued with his swimming career in college. After he continued being apart of the world of swimming by coaching summer league then onto BTA. Coach Caleb believes swimming teaches kids important values and skills like time management, the ability to swim, the value of hard work and that an swimmers are not defined solely by what they do in the pool.

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Kelly Simmons

Assistant Coach

Coach Kelly recently joined Blue Tide Aquatics (BTA) and brings over 4 years of club coaching experience and approximately 20 years of competitive swimming experience to BTA. She has participated in USA, YMCA, high school, Division 1 college and Masters swimming. As an age group swimmer, Kelly won numerous Illinois State Championships, broke countless team, pool, meet and state records, many of which still stand over 30+ years later. In addition, Kelly earned high point at Zones and made it onto the USA Swimming Top 10 list nine times. Furthermore, Kelly was awarded a full athletic scholarship to attend the University of Illinois at Chicago where she was named the Female Student Athlete of the Year in 1994. Kelly was a two-time conference champion in 1993 & 1994 and the conference record holder in the 200 Back. She also broke several university records during her tenure at UIC. When Kelly was not training and competing, she worked as a lifeguard and learn-to-swim instructor for young children in the Chicago area. Coach Kelly is a proud mother of four children who are BTA team members and also works as a hospital pharmacist. As a coach of the Bronze group, Coach Kelly believes that it is imperative to focus on proper stroke technique and mindfulness during swim practices in an effort to help the kids forge great habits and set them up for future success and longevity in the sport.

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Wes Foltz

Assistant Coach

Wesley Foltz is currently an assistant coach at Blue Tide Aquatics and has spent a lifetime at the pool. Wesley has been a part of competitive swimming since the age of five. He competed on the club level and on the varsity swim team at Kingwood Park High School where he was a part of the District, Region, and State team. After graduating from Kingwood Park, Wesley began his career by coaching for his alma mater and club team. Now, with 4 years of experience guiding, mentoring, and developing athletes, he has developed his own skills as an effective and passionate swim coach. For Wesley, swimming is a family affair. He currently has 2 siblings who swim for BTA and an older brother, Mario, who swam at Southwestern University. Wesley currently attends the University of Houston and is working to receive a B.A. in Teacher and Learning. He also currently works as a Pre-K teacher at Good Shepherd School. He plans on bringing his love of the sport to the team and sharing his knowledge of swimming. He is very enthusiastic about the future of his swimmers and the team.

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