Coaches and Directors

Coaches and Directors
Coaching Staff
Melisa Harkrader Lead Coach of Neon, Gold & Platinum

Lisa joined the RC Durr YMCA in March 2014 as the head coach and has been coaching for 19 years.  Lisa leads the Platinum, Gold and Neon groups at RC Durr.  She was born in the Northern Kentucky area and began her swimming career at the Tri-City YMCA.  Lisa swam local in the NKSL league, Cincinnati Marlins, Villa Madonna High School and finished her career at the University of Cincinnati.  Lisa is a high school 4 time state champion and college All-American swimmer.  Lisa has been coaching for over 15 years in the area.  She is a coaching mentor with the Florence Hammerheads swim team and was the head coach of Cooper High School's swim team. The Cooper women's team has been to the state meet every year and has placed as high as 10th out of 185 high schools.  Lisa is also a USA certified Level 1 coach.  She has been recognized by the SWOYSL as Coach of the Year in 2015 & 2019. Lisa's strengths are stroke techniques and corrections.   She is very excited for the future of the RC Durr Barracudas.  In her words, "There are so many talented swimmers at the YMCA, and with some guidance and hard work the future is bright for our team."  With Lisa's coaching the team has had national swimmers since 2015. We continue to move up in the ranks at the SWOYSL Championship with a 5th out of 16 teams place finish at summer 2022 Champs. 

Whitney Russ Lead Coach of Nickel & Mini
John Meyer Assistant Coach

John joined the coaching staff as a volunteer in the spring of 2017. He works primarily with Silver, Platinum, Gold and Neon. He now co-leads the Silver group with Sabrina. John has been involved in swimming for over 55 years as a swimmer, coach and official. He swam for the Fort Thomas Swim Club, the Covington and Campbell County Ys, the Cincinnati Cokes USA Swim Team, Highlands High School and Centre College. John is proud to have been a part of 3 state champion teams at Highlands and to have swum in the YMCA nationals during his senior year in High School. He specialized in distance events. John has coached High School, Summer Age Group and YMCA swimmers in PA, OH and KY for over 30 years. John loves coaching swimmers to reach their maximum potential .

Mike McMahon Assistant Coach

Mike joined the coaching staff in Fall 2016. He has always been in love with swimming and the water, but fell in love with the competition side in high school when he finished 10th in the 100 yard backstroke his first year.  He left Boone County High School with 7 top 12 finishes, 4 school records and the 2ndmost points scored. Since high school, he has been the assistant coach at Boone County for 7 years in addition to teaching lessons and lifeguarding at Silverlake in Erlanger for 5 years and Bear Paddle Swim School for 2 years.

He is now currently the Aquatic Manager in addition to Co-Head Coach for the Florence Hammerheads.

Scott Vennefron Assistant Coach
Karen Dirst Strength and Conditioning Coach
Kristine Schmidt Director of Transformation & Membership
Erin Pifer Assistant Coach

Erin is a KY native, who from age 9 to graduation swam for the Triple E Sailfish, Kenton County Clippers and high school for Lloyd Memorial from 7th-12th grade.  In addition she competed one year at Valpariso University (she was originally there for XC/Track and got talked into swimming freshman year) where she was a breaststroker/sprinter.  She was an assistant NKSL coach for the combined EEE/Cherryhill team for three years as well as coached for the NKY Clippers for five years.  She is starting my 20th year as an educator, all in NKY, and currently work at Cooper H.S.  

Scott Wolfe Assistant Coach

Scott started as a Volunteer Coach to help fill the needs during the 2020 Pandemic and he never left. This year he has accepted a position as a paid member of the Barracudas coaching staff. He has been a swim parent for 8 years. He is a full time Air Traffic  Controller at CVG. He has 2 daughters on the team, one in Bronze and the other in Neon. 

Jenny Koenigsknecht Dry Land Coach

Jenny is a nutrition and workout enthusiast. She has worked out with several personal trainers and researched nutrition throughout her life. Having swimmers, she knows that strength and flexibility are critical to success in and out of the water.
Jenny has been a swim mom for 8 years, 5 of which have been spent with the Barracudas. Her oldest, Benett, swam for 4 years at RC Durr and now attends University of Cincinnati. Blake, a National swimmer, and Gavin are currently on the team and in the Platinum group.
Jenny looks forward to coaching your children in dryland!

Lisa Hill Assistant Coach

While I am new to R.C. Durr YMCA, I am not new to the swimming world. 

I have been a part of swimming since the age of 6. I have held the title's of Aquatic Director, Manger, Regional Trainer, Swim Coach, Swim Lesson Instructor and for a very short time, DIving Coach. 

I swam for the YMCA, NKSL, Cincinnati Marlins and Conner High School. I enjoy the environment and swimmers and their families here at R.C. Durr and look forward to many years of coaching. 

Board of Directors