Head Coach - Rick Stakel

Coach Rick grew up in Oneonta, New York and swam for his local YMCA and high school teams. While in high school he was a YMCA National finalist three times, and a five time medalist at Empire State Games competitions. He swam at the collegiate level each of his four years at Alfred University (NY) and served as team captain his senior year. While at Alfred Rick earned All-American honors in 18 events and was the school record holder in six events. He was also named the Eastern Coast Athletic Conference (ECAC) Male Athlete of the Year in 1992. He earned his BA in English Literature at Alfred and a BS in Physical Education at Eastern Connecticut State University in 2000.

Rick began coaching in 1993 at the Westport YMCA (CT), and served as head coach at both Newtown and Joel Barlow High Schools. In 1996 he became the head coach of both the Ridgefield Aquatic Club and the Western Connecticut State women’s team. While at Ridgefield Rick coached two swimmers to Junior Nationals standards and was selected as an Eastern Zone coach three consecutive years. In 1997, he became an assistant men’s coach at Harvard University, and also served as head senior coach of the resident USS team, the Mass Bay Marlins. During his two years at Harvard Rick worked with several Division I All-Americans as well as Olympic athletes from five different countries. He also coached four additional swimmers to Junior National standards including one national champion.

In 2004, Rick moved to Virginia and coached with the York Swim Club for three years.  During this time he also spent two years as the head coach of the International Country Club of the Dominion Country Club League.  Rick is now a head age group coach with the Potomac Marlins and has just completed his sixth season.  This will be Rick’s seightyear as the head coach of the Pleasant Valley Piranhas.  Rick has also taught elementary physical education for thirteen years and currently teaches at Liberty Elementary School in South Riding where he resides with his family.