The Birmingham Blue Dolphins is a competitive club swim team that is member to two different swim associations; YMCA Swimming and Michigan Swimming as a branch of USS (United States Swimming). BBD is the longest standing swim club in the Detroit Metropolitan area and has won more USS championships and YMCA championships than any other team in the state:
39 straight 8 and under YMCA State Titles
9 USS 12 and under State Championships
12 consecutive 9 and up YMCA State Titles
12 YMCA Zone Championships in the last 13 years
7 Top Ten finishes at YMCA Nationals since 2001
16 YMCA National Individual Champions
5 YMCA National Relay Team Champions
The Blue Dolphins also boast 5 swimmers who went on to qualify for Olympic Trials in 2000, 2008 and 2012.
BBD sets itself apart in three major ways:
BBD practices are categorized by age group, keeping swimmers with their friends and peers. Swimmers feel better about themselves when they are training with people of their own age. They build relationships and also have more fun when they’re with their friends. Differentiated practices are designed by coaches to meet each swimmer’s ability while maintaining workouts that are age-appropriate. This keeps swimmers loving and competing in the sport long-term.
BBD offers consistency in its coaching staff – each age group has a lead coach.
The lead age-group coach is in charge of the workout plan, the relay line-ups and being present at practice as the familiar face that the swimmers see routinely. This regularity with coaching is crucial in a sport that relies heavily on consistency. It also allows for the swimmers to develop great rapport with their coaching staff, which is so valuable to their experience.
BBD focuses on the success of ALL types of swimmers.
The coaching staff is devoted to helping every swimmer on the team improve. From the first year swimmer on the team, to the national team qualifier, EVERY SWIMMER MATTERS. Coaches meet with swimmers at the beginning of the season to help set their individual goals and discuss paths for achievement. Swimmers take an active part in their development and success.
Kevin has been the head coach of the Birmingham Blue Dolphins for over thirty years. He graduated from Michigan State University with a bachelor’s degree in English Education, a Master’s degree in Curriculum and Teaching, and has completed the required courses for a Master’s degree in Administration. Kevin has worked as a teacher/administrator in Detroit Public Schools, at Cranbrook, and at the Academy of the Sacred Heart. During his teaching and coaching career Kevin has received local and national recognition for his teaching, coaching and leadership. Under his leadership, BBD has won numerous local, state, zone and national individual and team championships. Kevin is particularly proud of the fact that six of the members of the coaching staff are BBD alumna. Kevin also coaches the Orchard Lake Blue Carp.
Senior Head Coach
Mike is beginning his 23rd season as a coach for BBD and is the Head Senior Group coach. Mike swam at Birmingham Groves High School from 1990-94, and at the Beverly Hills Athletic Club from 1987-94. In 2002, Mike was recognized by Swimming World Magazine for having multiple top four finishers at the YMCA National Swim Meet. Mike led the 2008 BBD National Team to a fifth place finish, it’s highest in team history. He has coached five different individual YMCA National Champions and 33 different Michigan High School State Champions. When not on the pool deck, Mike works at the C.R. Hill Co. in Berkley. Mike is married to former BBD Coach Anne Wind and resides in Troy with their son Dylan.
Pat is a BBD alum and is beginning his 21th season as a BBD coach. He is now the Video Technique coach too! He is a graduate of Michigan State University and the owner of Deighan Painters Inc. He is married to Katie and they make their home in Birmingham. Pat and Katie have twin girls, Alexis and Haley and a son, Luke, all of which are BBD swimmers. In addition to his years with us, Pat has coached locally at Village Athletic Club. While he lived in Georgia, he worked at Dynamo and the Country Club of the South. Pat is also a distinguished marathon runner – he has finished fourth in his age group in the Free Press marathon and he has been a qualifier for the Boston Marathon. Pat’s brothers, Chris, Matt, and James have also been BBD coaches and swimmers. His brother, Joe, and his sister, Carolyn, were BBDers as well.
Chris Bagley (Coach Bagel)
This is Chris’s third season at BBD and he will be the head 11-12 age group coach. Chris grew up swimming in Southeastern Michigan for Pine Lake Country Club and Birmingham Bloomfield Atlantis. He swam at Brother Rice High School, where he was a captain of a Division 1 State Championship team. He went on to swim in college at Denison University. He finished his swimming career with 16 All-Americans and 9 individual/relay titles. Chris began his coaching career at Orchard Lake Country Club as an assistant coach for Kevin Fogarty for four summers, and then went on to become the head coach of Bloomfield Hills Surf Club, (which is now known as Bloomfield Hills Swim and Tennis) for the past three summers. He has also coached for the Licking County YMCA in Newark, Oh, in the Columbus area. Chris is currently the head coach of the Cranbrook-Kingswood Girls team which he coached to their second consecutive MHSAA State Championship and the boys’ team to a second place finish.
Hi, I’m Elliott Fernandes. I swam for the Birmingham Blue Dolphins for eleven years from the age of 5 to 16. I am a Bloomfield Hills native and I went to University of Detroit Jesuit for high school. I’m currently at University of Detroit Mercy pursuing a masters in mechanical engineering. This is my third year coaching and I look forward to another great year with the swimmers and the other coaches.
Parker is back coaching for BBD for his 7th year. He swam for 14 years competitively and finished up his career as a YMCA National swimmer for YPAC. While not coaching, Parker works for a printing company called Helm Inc. in Livonia. He has a 4 year old daughter named Jordyn. Parker is excited to rejoin BBD and ready to get back in the swing of things.
Jeannie Peil returned to BBD after being away for 11 years. She has been a swim coach since 1987. She has coached all ages and at various levels. Jeannie also was a Kindergarten teacher for a long time. During the 11 years that she was not at BBD, Jeannie and her family lived in NY, CT, and CA. She and her husband Jamie live in Bloomfield Hills (and have no intentions of moving out of MI anytime soon), with their 3 children, Michaela 17 (who is a member of the BBD National team), James 16 and Bridget 14 who all attend Bloomfield Hills High School.
Greg Palmer will be coaching with the 11-12 year old groups this year. He took over the helm of the Detroit Golf Club in 2013 as Head Coach and Pool Manager. Greg and his coaching staff have brought a wealth of knowledge and over 22years of experience to our program. Greg is currently the Head Swimming and Diving Coach for Waterford Schools, where he teaches AP World History, AP Psychology and Science. Greg was the head coach at Kendallwood the last three years and co-founded the Great Lakes Athletic Club swim team where he coached kids ages 4-18. He has coached with numerous teams over the years including Notre Dame Prep, Troy Athens, Oakland Live Y’ers, Lake Orion Schools and Lake Orion Lightning. Greg has coached 13 Individual & five relay All-Americans, as well as two Division 1 Swimmer of the Year Award Recipients. Greg is a USA registered swim coach, ASCA member (American Swim Coaches Association), MISCA member (Michigan Swim Coaches Association) and NISCA member (National Interscholastic Swim Coaches Association). Greg has many hobbies that include racing in local triathlons and Ironman, scuba diving (PADI Instructor), spear fishing, free diving, rock climbing, boating, water skiing and wake boarding. Greg loves helping our swimmers to further develop and improve their swimming fitness as well as their technique, within the framework of summer fun that accompanies a summer swim program.
This is Michael’s third year coaching with BBD working primarily with the 9-10 age group. Michael swam locally for 13 years at Woodside Athletic Club and swam at Groves High School, where he was the varsity captain and an all-state swimmer. When he’s not coaching Michael attends Lawrence Technological University in Southfield where he is in his Junior/Senior year completing his degree in Civil Engineering. Michael is excited for yet another fun and successful season with the Blue Dolphins!
Charlotte Elizabeth Yaw
This is Charlotte’s first year coaching BBD following three years of coaching for Woodside Athletic Club. Charlotte began swimming at BBD when she was 7 and swam on the National team for four years. She was also caption of Seaholm swim team and a four-year letter winner at the University of South Dakota. Charlotte brings many years of teaching private swim lessons. She is currently teaching second grade in Utica Community Schools and is looking forward to working with Coaches Kevin, Jeannie, and Mike, who all coached her as a Blue Dolphin swimmer!