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Coaches & Directors

We are here to support your needs. If your questions are related to workouts, meets, events, goal setting, and other swimming related needs, please contact one of the coaches. For all questions related to administrative, such as dues, safety, or policy issues, please contact one of the board members.

Coaching Staff

Rick Aronberg

Head Coach & CEO Senior team

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Coach Aronberg is in his 11th year with the STAR program. Fast swimming is an understatement thoughout his tenure at STAR. STAR won both the short course and long course Niagara LSC Championships once again and consistently develops many of the area's top level swimmers.  In the summer of 2012,STAR Swimming had 5 swimmers compete at the 2012 Olympic Trials.  

Aronberg came from Rochester, NY where he started the Greater Rochester Racing Raiders back in the summer of 1996.   At the end of 2003, one of Coach Aronberg’s swimmers, Jon Roberts, finished number one in the World in the 100 breast for all 15-16 year old swimmers.  Coach Aronberg had two swimmers final at the 2004 Senior National Championships, one swimming fast enough to qualify for the 2008 Olympic Trials.  

 
In December 2010, Coach Rick was named the Head USA Coach that took a team to Australia for 13 days.  One of his swimmers came back winning 7 Golds.  In April of 2010, Coach Rick was an Assistant Coach for TEAM USA that competed in Ireland.  Two of STAR's swimmers were also on that team (Phil Aronica and Courtney Otto).  In the summer of 2001, Aronberg was the assistant coach for the USA National Swim team that competed in Israel. Among the athletes he coached was three-time Olympic champion Lenny Krayzelburg in addition to 15 other national swimmers.  In the summer of 1999, Aronberg was the head coach for the United States Team that competed in Mexico City at the Pan American Maccabi Games. His swimmers brought back 92 medals, including 42 gold, in four days of competition, outdistancing second-place Mexico by 40 medals.
 
A native of Fairport, Aronberg is well known in the Western New York. Rick was a seven-time high school All-American at Fairport. He went on to become a four-time Division I All-American at Clemson University in the 500- and 1,650-yard freestyles. He was a six-time Atlantic Coast Conference champion and still holds Clemson records in the 500-, 1,000-, and 1,650-yard freestyles. He was named Clemson’s swimming MVP in each of his four seasons there.

In 2002, Aronberg was inducted into the Clemson University Athletic Hall of Fame and was named to the ACC 50th Anniversary team as one of the best swimmers in conference history. He also was selected to Frontier Field's Walk of Fame in 2003 and the Section 5 High school Swimming Hall of Fame in 2010.
 
A member of the Rochester Athletic Hall of Fame, Aronberg participated in the United States Olympic Trials in 1988 in the 200, 400, and 1500 freestyles and was chosen to compete with the United States team in the Maccabiah Games in Israel in 1985 and 1989. He won 11 medals, including 9 gold, and was named the captain of the United States men’s team in 1989. He was also ranked first in the world that year in the 400-meter free.

Coach Aronberg resides in Hamburg along with his wife Laurie.

Phil Aronica

Assistant Coach Senior team

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Coach Phil is entering his second season with STAR Swimming. He is coming off working primarily with the Senior team where he helped produce many swimmers to national and speedo qualifying times. Phil also leads the dryland program with the senior team.

Phil had an outsanding swimming career. He was a 2012 Olympic Trial swimmer in the 100 backstroke. He was also a member of the USA team that competed in Ireland in 2010 and captured the GOLD medal in two events. He was also a Junior National finalist in the backstroke events in 2009 and 2010.

In college, Phil was a conference record holder for the University of Buffalo. He broke the 100 back Mid-American record going a 48.08 helping his team win their only conference title in history. He was also a first team ALL-MAC swimmer.

In high school, Phil was a two time NYS Champion in the 50 free and the 100 back. He broke seven school records at Orchard Park High school over his career and still holds all of them today.

Phil is also currently the assistant coach at Buffalo State and lives in Hamburg with his three dogs named Mario, Dolce and Charlie.

Mark VanRemmen

Assistant Coach Senior Prep team

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Coach VanRemmen is the coach of the Senior Prep team.  Mark has coached with STAR since 1987.  Since that time, he has worked with many groups including (Red, Blue, and Senior Prep teams).  He has coached well over 20 National age group TOP 16 swimmers, as well as Junior National swimmers.  Mark is an ASCA level 3 age group coach.  His past coaching includes:  Head Coach of the Stingray Wreckers swi m club (1981-1987); Orchard Park Coutnry Club (1983-1987), Southtowns YMCA (1980-1983); and the West Seneca West JV Coach (1981-1982).  

He was recentley awarded the Niagara Age Group Coach of the year for 2009-2010.  Mark came to STAR when the Singray Wreckers merged with STAR.  He is a fully certified instructor trainer of American Red Cross Lifeguard Training, CPR, and First Aid.  Mark's greatest assets, beside stroke instruction, are his ability to motivate swimmers!  

Mark teaches at Holland Central Schools as a Special Education teacher and is a husband and father of five. 

Nate Steger

Assistant Coach Blue team

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Coach Steger returns to STAR now as a coach after having been with STAR swimming for 14 years.  Nate was instrumental in helping this program reach great heights in the past decade.  While at STAR, Nate placed in the TOP 15 all time in many events and was a part of the USA Speedo Championship team in his last two years.  Nate was the receipient of the STAR Swimmer of the year for 2005-2006. 

Nate went on to attend UNC Wilmington for two years before transferring home last year.  While at UNCW, Nate was a apart of the 2007 and 2008 Championships team.  He was also a 2 time CAA conference qualifier and placed in the top 16 in three events each year.   

While at Frontier High school, Nate won the leadership award during his sophomore year.  Nate also dominated the Section 6 scene throughout his career helping the Frontier Falcons to many great wins.  Nate also captured the team's MVP award in his Sophomore and Junior seasons.

Derek Smith

Assistant Coach Blue team

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Coach Smith is coming to STAR Swimming with over 15 years of swimming experience. He still holds many of STAR's team records. Coach Smith won the NYS boys state title in the 100 breast in 1996 and qualified for Nationals in many events. Derek was also an All-American for Lake Shore High School and was awarded a scholarship to attend West Virginia Wesleyan.

He also attended the Pine Crest Swim Camp which in that time was one of the nation’s top camps that attracted many of best swimmers from around the country. While there, he took on the responsibility of becoming a coach for the first time. He participated in the World University Games which was the inaugural swim meet held at ECC back in 1993. Coach Smith is a retired veteran and is the father of 5 STAR swimmers named Joelle, Tyler, Zachary, Jayden and Aleczander.

Stacey Jones

Assistant Coach Red team

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Coach Jones comes to STAR with extensive experience in both competitive swimming and swimming instruction. She swam with the Hamburg Girls Varsity Swim team for 5 years. As a 2 year captain for Hamburg, she maintained a leadership role both in the pool and on the deck. Stacey also swam for one season at Buffalo State College, and was an active member of State's Student Athlete Advisory Committee, on top of earning her bachelor's degree in Career and Technical Education.

In addition to her own swimming experience, Stacey has been teaching children ages 3 - 16 to swim with various organizations for seven years. As the Learn to Swim Coordinator for the Hamburg Village Recreation Department for the past 3 years, she has grown the program numbers nearly 40% by establishing and maintaining high standards. She looks forward to bringing her experience teaching stroke technique to the Novice, Red and Blue teams. Stacey is certified by the American Red Cross as a Lifeguard and Water Safety Instructor and also has her certification in First Aid, CPR and AED.

Stacey looks forward to sharing her love for the sport with STAR and getting to know the swimmers!

Brandon Waz

Assistant Coach Red team

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Coach Waz comes to STAR with extensive experience in working with young children and swimming instruction. He also currently works for the City of Buffalo.  Coach Brandon was a standout student at Buffalo State College where he earned Dean's list honors.  

Coach Waz started working for STAR Swimming in the Spring of 2013 and has already gained the respect of his swimmers.

Board of Directors

Bob Bender

President (Sep 2013 - Sep 2015)

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Joseph Braccio

Vice Pres (Sep 2013 - Sep 2015)

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Kevin Blake

Treasurer (Sep 2014 - Sep 2016)

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Lou Rodriguez

Secretary (Sep 2013 - Sep 2015)

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Sherry Benedict

At Large (Sep 2014 - Sep 2015)

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Dave Gardner

At Large (Sep 2014 - Sep 2016)

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Catherine Kibler

At Large (Sep 2014 - Sep 2016)

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Dorothy Maurer

At large (Sep 2014 - Sep 2016)

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Mark Nagy

At Large (Sep 2014 - Sep 2016)

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Mark VanRemmen

At Large (Sep 2013 - Sep 2015)

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