Let’s tell you about our award winning coaching staff: Head Coach Cokie Lepinski & Coaches Susie Powell, Shari Cruse, Buffy Patterson and Marlon Woolf.
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 the team founder and head coach of Swymnut Masters. She is a USMS Level 4 certified masters coach, an Adult Learn to Swim Instructor 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 and holds Pacific Masters and National records in breaststroke.
She is an award winning coach whose passion for swimming is all encompassing. In 2014 she was named the U.S. Masters Swimming Coach of The Year! Not only does she love to compete, she loves even more to coach and to be involved in the administrative side of Masters swimming, serving locally with Pacific Masters and on the national level with U.S. Masters Swimming. Her awards include the:
- 2010 USMS Kerry O’Brien Award
- 2011 Pacific Masters Coach of the Year Award
- 2011 Pacific Masters Distinguished Service Award
- 2013 Pacific Masters Contributor of the Year Award
- 2014 USMS Dorothy Donnelly Service Award
- 2014 USMS Coach of The Year
She was one of four coaches to serve as the National Team Coach for the 2010 FINA World Masters in Sweden and served two years with the USMS High Performance Camp (in 2012 and 2013 where she was the Head Coach).
She has authored a $5 e-book “There’s A Drill For That” along with authoring many technique articles for USMS Swimmer Magazine and the USMS e-newsletter Streamlines. She has served on the USMS Coaches Committee and can often be found coaching swim clinics in Northern California with Pacific Masters as well as teaching coaching certification courses with USMS.
You can email Cokie by clicking her photo/name in the right side bar.
Coach Susie Powell
Coach Susie Powell is also a USMS Level 3 certified coach, an Adult Learn to Swim Instructor 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 is also an award winning coach. In 2014, Susie Powell received the USMS Fitness Award at the USMS National Convention in Jacksonville, FL. She was recognized for her creativity and her focus on fun, fitness and camaraderie.
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.
You can email Susie by clicking her photo/name in the right side bar.
Coach Shari Cruse
Shari joined our coaching staff in October, 2014 and is our lead coach at the Osher Marin JCC. She is a USMS Level 3 certified coach and an Adult Learn to Swim Instructor. She is also a Level 3 USA Swimming Official, and spends many hours on deck at USA swim meets for her two children. Shari started Masters Swimming in 2009 with her husband Bryce. She has made incredibly strong friendships with her teammates, who have since introduced her to kayaking, paddle boarding, competitive running, and even triathlons! In the past two years she has competed in 2 sprint triathlons and over 20 running races, including 7 half marathons.
Shari has a B.S. degree from the University of Chicago in Behavioral Science, a Masters degree in the Science of Teaching from the University of Chicago, and is a lawyer with a J.D. from Golden Gate University Law School. She loves to teach! She taught music lessons for 15 years and taught elementary school kids in the Chicago Public school system, and then here in Marin. Shari loves being on deck helping other Masters swimmers enjoy the same wonderful experience she has had. She strives to help people with their proficiency in swimming, but also wants to help them attain a terrific sense of accomplishment, increased fitness, confidence to challenge themselves in other sports, and, most of all, the opportunity to make great lifelong friendships.
You can email Shari by clicking her photo/name in the right side bar.
Coach Buffy Patterson
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.
Buffy can be emailed by using her first name with… @swymnutmasters.com
Coach Marlon Woolf
Marlon joined our coaching staff in June 2014 and is a USMS Level 3 certified coach and an Adult Learn to Swim Instructor. He only started competitive swimming in his late 40s and caught the bug big time. A consummate sprinter who excels at 50s and 100s, he has also taken on open water competitions and now even competes in fly and backstroke. Along with coaching Masters, Marlon also serves as an age-group coach with the Lucas Valley Lightning and the SwimMarin team in the Marin Swim League. He is married and has twin girls that keep him plenty busy! He teaches archery and is often found hiking or doing something in the great outdoors! You’ll like his positive energy and ready smile.
Marlon can be emailed by using his first name with… @swymnutmasters.com
Former coaches – thank you for your time with us!
Coach Nicole Coll
Nicole joined our coaching staff in June 2014 and coached with us through June 2016. She is a a US Masters Level 3 certified coach. She also assists Susie Powell in coaching the SwimFit group at Rolling Hills since 2012. A former competitive runner in marathons and half 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.