Coaches and Directors

Coaches and Directors

Coaching Staff
Christopher Dunn Head Coach

Chris Dunn is Vice President and Chief Financial Officer for Rutherford Swim Association (RSA). He was partly responsible for preparing RSA’s successful competitive bid securing the Rutherford Community Pool as its home for the foreseeable future. 


For Chris, the contract awarded by the Rutherford Board of Education was a homecoming as he had spent many years honing his swimming skills as a student athlete at the 25-meter indoor aquatic center. A life-long swimmer and athlete, Chris believes that swimming is a critical life skill and there is no better place than the Rutherford pool to create a community aquatic environment. For him, RSA’s mission is to bring the love of swimming to every child who wants to learn. It’s that love for the sport that will help to successfully shape student athletes who want to compete in college or on a national platform. 


Chris co-founded RSA with longtime friend Mike Lazzara. The two have been swimming together competitively since their days at the Rutherford Stingrays, the former summer swim team that dominated Bergen County in the 1990s. 


In addition to RSA, Chris is a grant liaison for the New Jersey Office of Homeland Security. He was previously Assistant Age Group Coach of the Wyckoff YMCA Sharks, where he coordinated and co-managed daily swim practices and dryland sessions for the team’s Junior National Group. 


Chris is a certified pool operator. He received his Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from The College of New Jersey. He will receive a Master of Business Administration from the same institution in 2021. 


He started his professional career as Assistant Head Coach at Pines Lake Association, helping to oversee competitive swim training for 60 athletes ages 7 to 17.

Michael Lazzara Head Coach

Mike Lazzara is President and Chief Executive Officer of Rutherford Swim Association. He began building a blueprint for the nonprofit organization in 2018 in the lead up to a $53 million schools upgrade referendum that called for the demise of Rutherford’s only community pool. The referendum’s defeat crystallized Mike’s vision for a community organization that would revitalize the treasured amenity.  For Mike, the fight was personal as the pool had been his refuge as a student athlete. A self-professed “pool nerd,” Mike followed in the footsteps of his older brother and sister to swim competitively at a young age and become a nationally ranked swimmer. He credits the sport with helping to shape his character and teach some of life’s greatest lessons, like perseverance, when he lost his father as a child.

Mike co-founded RSA with longtime friend and former teammate Chris Dunn. The two have been swimming together competitively since their days at the Rutherford Stingrays, the former summer swim team that dominated Bergen County in the 1990s.


 Mike has worked with children his entire career. He’s a former English teacher for St. Nicholas School in Jersey City, New Jersey and Science Teacher for Corpus Christi School in Hasbrouck Heights, New Jersey. He also worked as an assistant swim coach for Wyckoff Family YMCA and Montclair YMCA. He’s a certified USA swimming coach and has led practices and dry land groups for the national team.

Mike is a certified pool operator and Certified Lifeguard and Lifeguard Management Instructor. Mike received a Bachelor of Arts in Child Advocacy and Policy from Montclair State University and a Master of Arts in Education from Saint Peters University. He is a certified child advocate and has experience teaching children with behavioral and educational deficiencies.

Kenneth Berk Director of Competitive Aquatics

Ken Berk is the Director of Competitive Aquatics at the Rutherford Aquatic Club and is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the Rebels.  Coach Ken recognizes the important role swimming plays in the development of a well-rounded person, exceptional students, and how the sport of swimming helps to develop outstanding citizens, tying directly into the Rebel’s motto and mission.

Under Coach Ken’s tutelage his athletes have become Scholastic All Americans, Junior National Qualifiers, Zone Champions, and NJ State Record Holders. Coach Ken was recognized by the State of New Jersey for his coaching excellence by his induction into the New Jersey State Athletic Association’s Hall of Fame in 2014.

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.


Cleo Kepka Assistant Swim Coach
Tori Holzberg Assistant Swim Coach

Coach Tori joined the Rebel Aquatic Club coaching staff in 2022. Prior to starting her coaching career at Wyckoff YMCA, Tori swam compettively for the Wyckoff YMCA Sharks and at Montclair State University. At Montclair State University, she was named Team Captain and earned All-Conference honors while competiting at the Metropolitian Confernce Championships. Following the completion of her Bacherlors of Arts program, Tori began her professional career at Estrella TV where she continues to work till today.

After some time away from the competitive swimming world, Tori was extended an oppurtunity to return to her former club team to coach. She spend four seasons at Wyckoff YMCA coaching numerous Gold, Zone and National level swimmers. We are excited to have Coach Tori on the Rebel Aquatic Club coaching staff. She brings a wealth of knowledge and infectious positive energy.