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Nothing has a greater influence on the quality of children's sports than the excellence of the coach.  The Highlander Aquatic Club staff consists of professionally trained coaches. As member coaches in the American Swimming Coaches Association, they have training and experience in the subjects of physiology and psychology of adolescent development.

Our coaching staff assures that the time your children spend in swimming will be quality time.  The team will strive to provide the environment which springs from success.  We believe in empowering swimmers with skill and information so that personal judgments and decisions can be intelligently made.

Since 1993, the ever-growing Highlander Aquatic Club has produced many athletes ranked in the Top 10 in the United States.  The coaching staff uses the commitment, dedication, and understanding necessary to swim from the perspectives of both a swimmer and a coach.

Mike Curley 

Coach Curley, has thirty-two years of coaching experience. Curley has been the Head Coach at Cornell College, the Assistant Coach at Ohio State University and is currently the Aquatics Director at Lake Highland Preparatory School, Head Coach of both the Varsity Men's and Women's Teams, and Head Coach of the Highlander Aquatic Club. He is ASCA Level 5 certified and has had the privilege of coaching numerous High School State Champions and High School All-Americans.Twice he was voted the Florida Dairy Farmers State Class 1A Coach of the Year.  He has a Bachelors Degree in Exercise Science and a Masters Degree in Physical Education from the University of Iowa. He currently is a member of the Physical Education staff at Lake Highland Preparatory School. Coach Curley has been married to the former Jan Denise Penningroth for 29 years and they have three boys, Harrison (26) Kenyon College graduate, Mitchell (23) Florida State University graduate and Hayden (19) University of Louisville freshman.

Todd Mann 

Coach Todd Mann joined Highlander Aquatics from Razorback Aquatic Club, where he coached from 2015-2018. While he was with RAC, he lead them to the 2018 Spring Sectional Title, as well as NCSA Spring Top 20 female team title in 2017 and NCSA Summer Top 10 female team title.  Razorback Aquatic Club was a USA Swimming Silver Medal club in 2016, 2017, 2018.  

Todd was also at the University of Arkansas, where he coached from 2007-2016.   During his time there, Todd was an instrumental part of the development of numerous NCAA All American swimmers, Olympic Trials qualifiers and SEC champions and a complete re-writing of the school record books.   

Prior to the University of Arkansas, Mann worked as a senior assistant coach and assistant aquatics director at The Bolles School in Jacksonville, Fla. He brought his wealth of experience working with world-class athletes to his position with the Razorbacks.

Throughout his 20 plus years of coaching experience, Mann assisted with the development of athletes who competed at the U.S. Olympic Trials and various international competitions.

Mann was an assistant coach for the Cayman Islands swim team at the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne, Australia. He also worked with the Cayman team at the CARIFTA Championships. 

At The Bolles School, Mann handled dry land activity for the national group swimmers and assisted with four consecutive undefeated squads and four men’s and women’s Florida high school state championship teams. In addition, Mann developed great relationships with many of the nation’s top high school and club coaches.

Before joining Bolles, Mann worked for four seasons as the assistant aquatics coach and senior coach for Lake Highland Preparatory School in Orlando, Fla. He started his coaching career in 1994 as the head coach of Swim Florida Bradenton in Bradenton, Fla.

A 1994 graduate of Florida State, Todd and his wife, Misti, have three sons (Chase, Cooper and Cade) and two daughters (Taylar and Casey).

Ty Segrest

Ty was a swimmer at Louisiana State University. While finishing college he began coaching with the local club team, assisting with the LSU team, and coaching the Masters Team. After leaving Louisiana, Coach Segrest worked 8 years in San Diego with the Blue Fins Swim Team as the Head Age Group and Masters Coach. The time with the Blue Fins included an “ASCA Age Group Coach of the Year” Award and 7 Age Group Junior Olympic Team Championships. This time also included assisting with the University of California San Diego for two years and 2 years as Assistant Coach at Mt.Carmel High School. Coach Ty is coaching the Senior Development group and running the Masters group. His wife Gaby and he have 2 sons Eric and Tyler. 

Lydia Tate

Lydia has been at Highlander Aquatics for over 10 years. Her time has been spent as a swim lesson instructor for children, ages 2 and older as well as one of the coaches for the seasonal swim team.  She recently decided to take on her newest challenge of coaching the Age Group II program and recently completed her USA Swimming Coaches certification.  Lydia is excited to start working with the Age Group II swimmers on the development of proper stroke technique, development of strong work ethic, and encouraging the swimmers to have fun.  

Lydia enjoys being outdoors with friends and family, NASCAR, and volunteering in her community. 

Jeandre Pretorius

Coach Jeandre has been a part Highlander Aquatics for over 5 years in many different capacities. He first started out as a high school swimmer for Head Coach Mike Curley back in 2008 until 2012. Originally from South Africa, he swam Olympic Trials for South Africa in 2012. He swam Division I at the University of Connecticut from 2012-2014. Coach Jeandre has been a USA Swimming certified coach since 2016 and is currently coaching our Age Group 1 program. He is currently studying to get his B.A in Sports and Recreation Management from Ashford University. 

Stacy Wright

Ryan McCormick 
Coach's Responsibilities 

The coach's job is to supervise the entire competitive swim program.  The Highlander Aquatic Club coaching staff is dedicated to providing a program for youngsters that will enable them to learn the value of striving to improve oneself.  Therefore, the coaches must be in total control in matters affecting training and competition.

  1. The coaches are responsible for placing youngsters in practice groups. This is based on the age and ability level of each child.  When it is in the best interest of a swimmer, he/ she will be placed in a more challenging training group by the coach.
  2. Sole responsibility for stroke instruction and the training regimen rests with the Highlander coaching staff.  Each group's practices are based on sound scientific principles and are geared towards specific goals of that group.
  3. The coaching staff will make the final decision concerning which meets Highlander  swimmers will attend.  Accordingly, the coaching staff makes the final decision concerning which events a swimmer is entered.
  4. At meets, the coaching staff will conduct and supervise warm-up procedures for the team. After each race, coaches will offer constructive criticism regarding the swimmer's performance. (It is the parent's job to offer love and understanding regardless of their youngster's performance.)
  5. The building of a relay team is the sole responsibility of the coaching staff.  The coaching staff is constantly updating and improving the team.

Experience is not what happens to you, 
it is what you do with what happens to you.

Aldous Huxley