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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

CEO, Head Coach and Head Senior Coach


Coach Aronberg is in his 13th year with the STAR program. Fast swimming is an understatement thoughout his tenure at STAR. STAR has won 20 short course and long course Niagara LSC Championships in his time and consistently develops many of the area's and country's top swimmers.  In the past 5 years, Coach Rick has also coached 7 swimmers to both the USA and Canadian Olympic Trials. 

Aronberg came from Rochester, NY where he started the Greater Rochester Racing Raiders back in the summer of 1996.   In 2003,>

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>  
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>

In 2002, Aronberg was inducted into the Clemson University Athletic Hall of Fame and was named to the ACC 50th Anniversary team as>  
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 J Aronica

Assistant Senior Coach at ECC


Coach Phil is entering his fourth season with STAR Swimming. He is coming off working primarily with the Red team where he is helping them learn the best stroke mechanics possible. He also helps with the Senior team where he has 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 Head Swim Coach for the Frontier Girls High School team and lives in Hamburg with his three dogs named Mario, Dolce and Charlie.

Phil Schneider

Head Red Coach at ECC


Coach Phil is in his first year coaching as he returns to STAR Swimming. He has a Bachelors of science in Physical Education, as well as a Masters of science in Education from SUNY Brockport.

Coach Phil started swimming at a young age, just like most swimmers. He swam under Coach Aronberg at E.C.C.  before transferring to SUNY Brockport to finish his collegiate career. He qualified for the National Championships in 2008 in the 100 yard butterfly and placed 9th. 

While swimming at Frontier high school, Phil also swam with fellow STAR coach, Nate Steger. Together, they were part of a unique dominant force. Phil captured the MVP award his senior season. 

Coach Phil is also the Heach Coach of the Erie Community College swim team. Seeing his swimmers excell in the water, from hard work and dedication is what drives him to success. Coach Phil resides in Amherst, N.Y. with his cat, Vinnie. 

Ali Polhill

Assistant Blue Coach at ECC


Ali is in her first year of coaching at STAR where she will primarily work with the Blue team.

Ali started her swimming career at the age of 5 for the BGNW Marlins in Mt. Kisco, NY. Throughout her swimming career she progressed through the ranks eventually becoming a national team member at the age of 14. In the next couple of years she went on to qualify for Senior Nationals in the 100 fly, 200 fly and 100 backstroke as well as Junior Nationals in 8 events, swimming the 100 in all four strokes at the meet. Her best finish at Junior Nationals was in the 100-meter butterfly where she placed 5th with a time of 1:02.68.

Her senior year of high school she became a three-time NYS champion in the 100 fly, 100 back and 200-medley relay. Her 400-freestyle relay also placed second where she anchored in a 50.68, the fastest freestyle split in the NYS history at that time.

Highly recruited out of high school Ali took her talents to Clemson University in South Carolina. There she was a member of the Academic All-ACC Second Team in 2011. At conference championships her performances boosted her to 4th on the Clemson All-Time List in the 100 fly- 54.83 and 6thin the 100 back- 55.80.  Once Clemson phased out their program she was recruited to TCU in Fort Worth, TX where she competed in the Big 12 her final two years of eligibility. She was a school record holder in both the 200-medley and 400-medley relays and was member of the All-Big 12 First Team her junior and senior years.

Ali is currently perusing her doctorate in Physical Therapy at D’Youville and will bring her understanding of human anatomy and injury prevention in addition to her extensive knowledge of swimming to STAR.

Nate Steger

Head Blue Coach ECC and Frontier


Coach Steger is in his 8th year with STAR Swimming as a coach after having been with STAR swimming for 14 years as an athlete.  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 has been the Head Coach at Buffalo State as well as an assistant coach there for three years. 

Nate went on to attend UNC Wilmington for two years..  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.

Steve Tothero

Head Red and Asst Blue coach at Frontier


Steve Tothero previously coached for STAR from 1997 – 2005 and worked with all groups including coaching the Junior Team (age 13 – 14) from 1999-2004.

Prior to STAR Swimming, Steve spent three summers coaching at the University of Texas Longhorn Swimming Camp under the direction of Eddie Reese and Mark Shubert who were the 1992 head Olympic Men’s and Women’s swimming coaches.  While at the University of Texas Steve also taught college-level conditioning swimming courses.

As a competitor, Steve swam for the Decatur Swim Club in Decatur IL where he qualified for Junior Nationals four times in 1987 and 1988.  Steve was a 4-year letter winner at the University of Illinois.  He also still swims with the Nickel City Splash masters team and competes in Masters meets on occasion.

Steve works with the Hamburg Red and Blue Teams and really enjoys sharing his love of swimming with our newest team members!

Mark VanRemmen

Head Senior Prep Coach at ECC


Brittney Walters

Assistant Red Coach at ECC


Coach Brittney is making her coaching debut with STAR after swimming under Coach Rick in 2014. She will be graduating from UB with a Bachelor’s of Exercise Science.

Coach Brittney is from Goshen, Indiana where she swam with Northridge Area Swimming Association (NASA) for 11 years. With Northridge High School, she was a part of 3 high school relay records and 3 individual records in the 200 free, 200IM, and 500 free. Her senior year of high school she won the IHSAA State title in the 500 freestyle. After a successful high school career, Brittney came to Buffalo to swim for the UB Bulls. With the Bulls she has qualified for 7 top 8 swims at the Mid American Conference and this year was runner up in the 400 IM. She has been a captain for UB the past two years and was also voted Most Improved her sophomore season.

Brittney is so excited to be working with the Red group to show them not only great technique skills, but also how to have fun with swimming! 

Board of Directors

Dave Gardner

President (Sep 2016 - Aug 2018)


Kevin Blake

Vice President (Sep 2016 - Aug 2018)


Dorothy Maurer

Treasurer (Sep 2016 - Aug 2018)


Jen Eisenmann

Secretary (Sep 2016 - Aug 2018)


Catherine Kibler

At Large (Sep 2016 - Aug 2018)


Mark Nagy

At Large (Sep 2016 - Aug 2017)


Mark Reimann

At large (Sep 2015 - Aug 2017)


Paul Tesluk

At large (Sep 2015 - Aug 2017)


Mark VanRemmen

At Large (Sep 2015 - Sep 2017)