CEO & Head Coach, Senior Team 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, one of his swimmers 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 J Aronica
Assistant Coach Red and Senior team
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.
Assistant Coach Blue team
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.
Assistant Coach Red team
Coach Waz is in his third year with STAR Swimming. He has had a tremendous impact with our Red level swimmers with his enthusiasm and knowledge. Coach Brandon was a standout student at Buffalo State College where he earned Dean's list honors.
Assistant Coach Red and Blue Team
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!
Assistant Coach Blue and Sr Prep teams
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.