Let’s tell you about our coaching staff: Head Coach Cokie Lepinski & Coach Susie Powell, along with Assistant Coaches Nicole Coll, Marlon Woolf and Buffy Patterson.
Cokie and Susie have been friends since 1999 when they met on their first swim team, the Rolling Hills Mud Sharks. In 2007, Cokie & Susie got the bug for coaching and began designing and coaching swim clinics for adults. They both realized that they really, really enjoyed doing this, and both got involved in coaching in different ways. Cokie founded a new masters team, the Marin Pirates Masters, and became very involved with Pacific Masters Swimming, serving as Coach’s Chair from 2010 through 2013 and also serving on the USMS Coaches Committee. Meanwhile, Susie started giving swim lessons to adults, first one-on-one, and then with a swim exercise program, SwimFit, at Rolling HIlls Club. In SwimFit, Susie taught adults swim technique, how to read the pace clock, how to do swim sets and much more! Her SwimFit has been going strong since 2010 with many loyal followers. In the fall of 2010, she joined Cokie on deck as an Assistant Coach with the Marin Pirates Masters and then continued the journey together with the advent of the Swymnuts team.
You can read individual biographies of all our coaches. Feel free to use the “Contact our Coach” form in the right side bar to contact either Cokie or Susie.
Head Coach Cokie Lepinski
Cokie is a USMS Level 3 certified masters coach and a seasoned masters swimmer, competing in local, regional, national and even worldwide masters swimming events. She loves to compete in both pool meets and open water events. In the pool meets, she has ranked Top 10 with USMS as well as with FINA World Masters Swimming and has held a couple of National Records in breaststroke. Along her swimming journey, she discovered that she loves to coach! Cokie previously founded and coached the Marin Pirates Masters, a new team she helped form in July 2009. In just 2.5 years the team grew from a small handful to 133 swimmers.
With a move to AZ in December 2011, she had to leave her beloved team. However, the desire to coach remained incredibly strong and she decided to launch the Swymnut Masters to help those swimmers who don’t have access to a coach. In October 2012, she and her husband, Tim, returned to Northern California because she sorely missed her swim community, friends and family. In April 2013, Cokie began coaching in Lucas Valley where the team there has grown steadily since her arrival and where they agreed to fold into the Swymnuts family.
Cokie was the recipient of the 2010 USMS Kerry O’Brien award; the 2011 Pacific Masters Coach of the Year; the Pacific Masters 2013 Contributor of the Year Award; and was one of four coaches to serve as the National Team Coach for the 2010 FINA World Masters in Sweden. She has authored a $5 e-book “There’s A Drill For That”. She has also authored many technique articles for USMS Swimmer Magazine and the USMS e-newsletter Streamlines. She is actively involved with both US Masters Swimming and Pacific Masters Swimming.
In August 2013, Cokie was the Head Coach at the 3rd annual USMS High Performance Training Camp in Greensboro, NC. In addition to that Camp (she also coached there in 2012), Cokie regularly coaches swim clinics in Northern California with Pacific Masters.
Coach Susie Powell
Coach Susie Powell is also a USMS Level 3 certified coach and an accomplished pool and open water swimmer, with Top 10 USMS rankings in several events and relays. An incredibly versatile athlete, Susie has competed in running and triathlons, did mountain biking and is a former Jazzercise Franchise Owner and Instructor. Now her activity passions are swimming, hiking and kayaking. Oh, and there is that coaching thing, too!
Susie continues to coach SwimFit, a swim technique and practice group she started at Rolling Hills Club in 2010, turning many non swimmers into swimmers and helping former swimmers return to the water and learn new techniques.
Susie has an extensive background in nutrition as a Registered Dietitian-Nutritionist with a B.S. degree from UC Berkeley and a B.A. degree in Spanish from the University of Miami. While attending U of M, she had the privilege of being on the very first U of M Women’s Swim Team. She enjoys pool competitions and open water events. She is also thoroughly enjoying photography and you’ll often see her with her camera in tow.
Assistant Coach Nicole Coll
Nicole joined our coaching staff in June 2014 and is a US Masters certified level 2 coach (obtaining her level 3 certification in December). She has been assisting Susie Powell in coaching the SwimFit group since 2012. A former competitive runner in marathons and ½ marathons, she switched to swimming after a nagging back injury finally made her turn in her running shoes for a swimsuit. She made her debut swim meet competition in February 2014 and we all saw the fire that burns within!
She enjoys the outdoors, camping, snow skiing, and playing board games with her husband of 18 years and her 3 children. She met her husband at Chico State (over a keg of beer) and their first date was a running date.
Nicole thoroughly enjoys being on deck helping swimmers to improve, to learn, and, most importantly, to have fun. She loves nothing better than to see a swimmer become faster and smoother, and for that swimmer to say, “I think I’m getting it!” You’ll love Nicole with her sense of humor and ability to dish it out and take it!
Assistant Coach Marlon Woolf
Marlon’s bio is forthcoming! He joined our coaching staff in June 2014 and will be Level 3 certified by December.
Assistant Coach Buffy Patterson
Buffy joined our coaching staff in June 2014. She is a Level 2 certified coach and will be Level 3 certified by December.
Growing up in San Rafael, Buffy started swimming in the Marin Summer league for the Marinwood Water Devils at the age of 5. She attended Terra Linda High School and swimming was the one sport where she was varsity for all four years. She also played water polo and basketball. Buffy continued to swim and play water polo at San Diego State University where she obtained a B.S. in Recreation Administration. Her main events were the 200 and 500 freestyle. Most recently, she enjoys activities that take her outside….swimming, biking, running, skiing, hiking, etc.
She started to help children learn how to swim when she was 12 or 13, serving as a swim aide at the Marinwood pool, and continued on as a swim instructor all through high school. Before leaving the area, she got her first assistant coaching job in the Marin Summer League, with the Novato Riptides. After a hiatus away from the water, she returned to it in 2010, getting back in to teach once again. “I knew it was time to get back into coaching!” At the Marin JCC, Buffy instructed people of all ages and abilities. She is now in her third year of being an assistant coach for the Pacific Coast Marlins, a USA swim team located at the Rafael Racquet Club.
Buffy first got into Master’s Swimming in 1999 and was in and out of the pool the next few years. When she got back into teaching 4 years ago, she wanted to learn more about all things related to swimming. She has been taking many certification classes through ASCA including the USMS Level 1 & 2 Masters certification. She assisted the instructor at the JCC in a program very much like a Master’s club and enjoys working with all ages to support their passion for being in the water.