Coach's Corner - A Note From the Desk of Coach Alexander

Head coach Dave Alexander

June 22, 2011


Stony Brook, N.Y. - Try to wrap your noggins around the following: Dan Berzansky and Roger Pugh have embarked on the Daddy Boat. In 31 years, we had a better chance of experiencing the final rapture and ascending to swim heaven on a spaceship than these two had of finding women bound for canonization. Add to this the fact that John William "Billy" Fick got married on championship weekend (thus preventing me from actually witnessing it).

The 31st year was great. We have a wonderful new assistant coach -- Chris Brandenberger. Chris is a Maryland Terp and former Three Village swimmer. Only down side is he's a Yankee fan.

Intersession training was in Mesa, Arizona. Eleven days of perfect weather and triple workouts. We got a visit from Ruslan Safarov, who's doing an orthopedic cycle at Tucscon. Rus was on the staff that handled the victims of the shooting of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords.

Roy Flores and J.P. Latkovic have started an "alumni corner" at all home meets (complete with banner). Only problem is we only have two home meets next season.

Vlad Sreckovic decided to drop in on his parents in Serbia. Surprise!!!!


Gleaned from the pages of Facebook (Please note, there's over 120 years of Stony Brook classes behind these posts):

Scott Finn - Driving into lakes.

Tim Larkin - Wanting to be a comic book character.



Charlie D'Onofrio - Doing psychic mug visitations.

Liav Cohen - Moomins rule.

Shirlee Manoogian - In Las Vegas, enough said.

Joanne Casey - Getting smacked in the head with a soccer ball.

Tanya (Niemczycki) Bernard and sister Brigette - Photos at the beach and 20 fancy get-togethers.

Tricia Palmieri - With beau, Michael Thomas.

Mary Michael Workman Eggers - Ironman in NYC? I'll come down and cheer.

Anjelica Esposito - Screaming out of windows.

Jaclyn Marie Lohrer - Sends out picture of her feet on a lounge chair.

Britt Whipple - Studying hard in Arizona.

Marc (Boo Boo) Danin - Promoting swim racing blogs.

Lucy Liu and Maja - Forever tourists.

Tommy Melgar - Doing a triathlon. Bike had training wheels I think.

Courtney Teague - Moved in someplace new (failed to notify me in advance).

Beth Dannebaum – Post-hike Reggae Sunday – Huh?

Ted Watabe - Claims he went to school at the University of Florida. We know the truth Teddy boy.

Rafael Labour Jr. (a.k.a Raffie) - Thinking too much under a Panama hat.

Lorna Mund and sister Jemine - Taking care of #1 swim dad Joe Mund.

Judi Liotta - Trying to bring back the 80’s while watching high school baseball.

Jim Payne - Engaged to Emily Wilson, has yet to tell her about Stony Brook years…

Hailey Lewandowski – Loving life in Charlottesville, Va.

Jason Ferrara and Jess Cervelli – Dressing up their dogs.

Erik Gaffey – Heading to the beach. Nothing else. Ivy League.

Kristen Pagano Acierno – Added daughter Kate to beautiful clan. Sister, Audrey, is into Blue-Footed Boobies (Disney).

Kate Zabler – Lives in Mumbai (Bombay), not in Kansas anymore. Has turned into swimming mom.

Kari Albery – Heading back to the Brook for P.A. program.

Claire Blechman – Owns an accordion.

Kyle Thornton – Thinking too much, needs to fish more.

Theresea Trainor – Still “believes” in the 2011 Mets (and the Tooth Fairy).


Now let’s move up an evolutional step to LinkedIn…

Carlington Simms - Head coach at Suffolk Community College. He gets to see Greg Bird every morning. He called me from Nationals (NJCAA).

Chris Swami Swensen - Still coaching in Maryland.

Sue Slepitz – Listed. That should do it.

Liav Cohen - (Of course).

Trevor Leahy – Alive and well in Colorado.

Jeff Chu – Picking a law school.

Kathy Koshansky – Leaving A.T. to direct the Academic Minor in A.T.


Moving On… Moira and I sign up for a “road scholar” (think - bus full of q-tips) tour to civil war sites. First person we meet is in a walking group with Jan Benders’ mother Heidi in Fairport, N.Y.

How about who I’ve seen or heard from in person 2010-11:

Maria Trinkle – Still teaching in Smithtown.

Julian Arevado – Wandering.

Pat Dolan – Law school at Hofstra.

Matt Bruno Florio – Here with these guys.

Alex Kissel – PhD in psych pursuit.

Jen Elvers – Rooting for the Brook at the UMass home swim meet.

Debbie Tupe – Has PhD from Columbia. Working in the field in Cuba and Haiti.

Tracey Klicpera – Graduated from Cupcake College.

Kari Albery – Helping us in Goldstein.

Jess Peters – Living in Port Jeff.

Rebecca Sayles – Law school at St. John’s.


Home Meet vs. Bingo – Senior Day/Alumni Day

Roy Flores and J.P. Latkovic bought an Alumni Corner banner, set up food and tricked the following people into showing up:

Jackie Loehrer – Coaching U.S.S.

Shirlee Manoogian – Grad School.

Andrea B. – Three kids and still smiling all the time.

Shaddon – Mid East trips (I think she started all this turmoil but have no proof).

Patrick Dolan – Atticus Finch lookalike.

Alex Kissel – Brought me a mystic painting from Java.

Dan Piastuck – Still laughs at what these other guys are doing.

Erik Piastuck – Yup.

Charlie D’Onofrio – Haunting the Brickhouse in Patch.

Ben Parker – Back north. Is attending the Brook again, no talk of a comeback.

Tracey – Cake baking.

Julian – Beard.

Rebecca Sayles – Law school with the Red Storm.

Bruno – No beard.

Jess Peters – Working local, living in the Port.

Kim Sgrignoli – Same delio as Peters.

Alexei Smirnov – Inventing things beyond my scope (Not hard to do these days).

Kristi Lee – Coaching divers and selling healthy stuff to eat.

Matt Deskovich – Back to school.

Liav Cohen – Impossible to keep track of.

Lucy N.T.A. Liu – More math, I think.

Jeff Chu – Involved on national level with U.S.S.

Rod Woodhead – Here watching #1 son Derek swim the 200 fly.

Katie Dagneault – At the SB Hospital (I think) studying my files.

Omer Ozcan – Going to teach in Big Apple?

Jon Eldor – Med school in Buffalo, on pediatric ward I think.

Jack Schursky – Art at Hofstra.

Frank Schursky – Engaged.

Mike MacDonald – Guarding on Jersey Shore looking for Snookie.

Drew Schneider – Still a chlorine junkie at the Brook.

In January, in Mesa, Arizona, I saw Britt Whipple in the hotel parking lot. Had dinner with seniors, loving school and the state of Arizona.

Shelby Mirabelli - Heading for grad school in Florida.

Coach Dick Krempecki (St. John’s greatest coach ever – Sorry Lou) came to watch us at home this year.

Heather Martin Hoglund - Loving life with Bill, Erin and Molly.

What would life be without the Kessler news 2010? One at TCU, one at Southwestern U, one at Baylor and one getting PhD (please note: none at SBU). Brenda’s sisters and fellow SB alums Becky (Jacksonville, Fla.) and Beth (Westchester, N.Y.) are doing well. Oh yes, granddaughter has seven teeth.

All of Deidre Hamblen’s kids have the Reilly smile. There’s a lot of potential mischief there.

Jen Morritt Schneider - Takes her kids hiking in Vermont. Gives them three big sticks. Oldest ends up with a broken arm. Sticks are now kindling, I hope.

Got a great photo of Eileen Walsh Murphy’s clan. Looks like a Lord of the Dance audition photo, except for the mini Dobie (too Germanic).

Autumn (Griggers) Londo - Has a beautiful new daughter Jaiclyn Sage.

Susan Gerhart Fitzgerald - Has son, Liam, at SBU.


Silliness aside it was a tough year here in terms of losing some great swimmers. We lost 19 year old Liz Kelly to cancer in December. She came in the year before and was so happy to be a part of our program. She was diagnosed early during the season and fought valiantly, no doubt about it, she was a tough competitor. Not one ounce of self pity or complaint, she fought with dignity and class. She is sorely missed by the whole team.

We recently suffered the loss of Rich Seeley who swam for John DeMarie while here at Stony Brook. An extremely talented and powerful swimmer, he once shattered a starting block during a practice sprint. It sounded like a gunshot. Mike Defina (down in Florida, on Facebook) may now have more details. This is a fairly recent event. I’m going to turn to Andrea Lebedinski ( who, through her role as Coordinator of Annual Giving has developed wonderful tools to support Stony Brook Swimming and Diving. Please contribute as every penny goes directly to us for use at our discretion. Next year is going to be tough because we only have two home meets. So please help Andrea and help me. I’m still here if you need me or feel the urge for a prank phone call or something.

Love, Dave


Stony Brook Men’s and Women’s Swimming and Diving Alumni now have an even easier way to donate to the Swimming and Diving Fund for Excellence. To make a gift, simply click the following link and select the fund of your choice.

Donate Now

If you would like to make a gift to more than one team (or fund), a fund not listed in the designation box, or to a specific endowment, please call the Office of External Services at 631-632-6312. Every gift matters. Regardless of the amount, each and every contribution to Stony Brook University Athletics is important to the future of the Department and its mission of providing a positive, meaningful experience for all Stony Brook student-athletes.

Contributions are used to fund various Stony Brook Athletics endeavors including: academic development initiatives, recruiting, facility upgrades, team resources, and scholarships.

Additionally, we are excited to inform you that you now have even MORE ways to stay up-to-date with Stony Brook Athletics. Alumni, fans and friends, check out the links below to become a "fan" of the official Stony Brook Men’s Swimming and Diving as well as the Stony Brook Women’s Swimming and Diving Facebook Fan Pages. Alumni can also join the Stony Brook Men’s & Women’s Swimming and Diving Alumni Group to meet and network with other Stony Brook Men's & Women's Swimming & Diving Alumni. Each of these social media channels will enable you to learn of current news, upcoming events and more! Spread the word and invite fellow teammates to join!

Stony Brook Men’s Swimming and Diving Facebook fan page

Stony Brook Women’s Swimming and Diving Facebook fan page

Stony Brook Men’s & Women’s Swimming & Diving Alumni Group


Seawolves Golf Classic

All Seawolves Swimming and Diving Alumni and friends are invited to attend the upcoming 16th Annual Seawolves Golf Classic, on Monday, July 18th at the Hamlet Willow Creek Golf & Country Club
in Mt. Sinai, N.Y.  Relatives of the Heuser family have generously donated $500 towards the cost of one foursome, so the first four golf-enthusiasts who would like to attend should contact Susan Abbott to register for just $125 per person. Susan’s email is She can also be reached at 631-632-4647.

In December of 2000, Charles Gordon Heuser was tragically taken from us in a skiing accident. To celebrate Charles’ life, his parents Denise Logan-Heuser ‘77 and David Heuser started the Charles Gordon Heuser Scholarship Endowment. The endowment serves as an everlasting reminder of Charles’ spirit, joy and enthusiasm for life.

Each year the Seawolves Golf Classic raises funds that support our Swimming and Diving program and scholarships so please join us this July to take part in this great event. The day begins with brunch, followed by an 11:30 a.m. Shotgun Start, before concluding with cocktails and dinner. It will be a great day to share with alumni, family and friends.

For more information, click here.