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Dennis Drake Head Coach

Whether it was swimming on State Championship winning teams in high school, competing on a USA club team, or swimming on a Division I college team, he learned from a variety of coaches how to build a successful swim program.

From this, he took his passion and knowledge to successfully help transform two teams. First, the St. Peter’s University team, his alma mater. As a swimmer, assistant coach, and interim head coach, he helped take a team that was winless for consecutive seasons, to one that was competitive in its conference and winning many more meets than previously attained. Second, the Lopatcong Community Swim Team. As the Head Coach he took this age group team which had lost every single meet for ten years in row, to one that earned consecutive winning records and team trophies. More importantly though, is the pride he takes in helping to mold and develop swimmers in and out of the water. That is, he believes in developing the whole swimmer. Actually, his coaching philosophy is based around an idea you might often hear him say, “Coach the swimmer, not the stroke.” By this, he means there is more than one way to successfully train a swimmer, and training swimmers is more than just technique and yardage. It also encompasses the development of confidence, sportsmanship, team play, and good character within each athlete. 

Currently, as the Lopatcong Head Coach in the Summer and Nazareth Easton YMCA Head Coach in the Winter, he is loving every minute of it and looks forward to seeing all the swimmers at practice and meets!

Phone: (908) 954-8987
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Nicole Palmasano Assistant Coach

Coach Nicole has been swimming competitively for ten years, starting from the Belvidere Barracudas summer swim team, to Belvidere High School, to D2 college level at East Stroudsberg University (ESU). Actually, she has been with the ESU Warriors swim team the last three years and is going into her 4th year with them. Additionally, she is a Media Communications major with a concentration in Photography. Plus, she loves being part of the Lopatcong swim team family and can't wait for the new season to begin! GO BOLTS!

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Lou Tighe Assistant Coach
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Amanda Rosa Assistant Coach

Coach Amanda currently attends Towson University, where she studies Elementary Education, and hopes one day to become a 2nd grade teacher. Also, she is on the Towson University swim team, focusing on her specialties, the breaststroke and IM. Plus, she teaches swim lessons there too. Further, Coach Amanda swam on the Lopatcong swim team for 12 years! Actually, she feels our team has always been a home for her, and she believes each swimmer there brings something different, which makes the team unique and wonderful. She coaches because when swimmers are able to achieve their goals, their reactions are priceless and she takes pride in knowing she was able to help them reach those goals. :)

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Cassie Fortuna Assistant Coach
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Coaching Staff

The head coach and assistant coaches consistently rotate from lane to lane and practice group to practice group (including the developmental group). Every swimmer will have the same opportunity to experience the skill and instructional strengths each coach offers. Please keep in mind though, the more often a swimmer is at practice the more rotation of coaches they experience. The less a swimmer is at practice, or if the swimmer can only make the same two days each week, the less rotation they are likely to experience. Addition to the main coaches, we also use part time and volunteer coaches to help us out. 

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