Armada Coaching Staff

Albany Armada Aquatics (AAA, youth program)


Head Coach & Co-Founder

Helen Salcedo Garcia, [email protected]

A University of California, Berkeley graduate, Helen competed at the National level as a youth swimmer. Her highest achievement came in the 200 breaststroke where she was ranked among the top 100 in the world and qualified for Olympic Trials in 1992. Helen was recruited by Coach Teri Mckeever at the University of California, Berkeley and earned a scholarship to swim for Cal. Under Coach Mckeever, the head coach of the 2012 US Olympic swimming team, Helen trained and competed at Cal for four years 1994-1997. As a senior Helen was elected team captain and led her team to an NCAA top 10 finish. As her swimming career ended her coaching career began and led the Cal Aquatics Masters Team in Berkeley for five years as head coach. After coaching masters Helen moved on to coach youth athletes for the Piedmont Swim Team (PST) and Piedmont High School Team. Helen built a competitive program at PST and raised the level of competition at Piedmont. Helen has coached athletes that have gone on to swim competitively at the college level at Amherst, Cornell, Pomona College, Swarthmore College, UCLA, UC Santa Cruz Tufts and Wesleyan University. In 2008 Helen earned a Master’s Degree from the University of California, Berkeley in Education and in 2011-2016 operated a swim school in Oakland, called Helen’s Happy Swim School. Coach Helen works with the Mini Blue, Blue & Gold Group Swimmers.




Head Age Group Coach & Co-Founder

Jesus Salcedo, [email protected]

A Cal State East Bay graduate, Jesus studied human development specializing in children ages 9-14. Jesus grew up swimming and playing water polo in Southern California and has been coaching and training swimmers for over 12 years. As a coach with the Orinda Country Club Jesus coaches the 10&under swimmers and has helped lead the team to 12  OMPA championship titles. Jesus joined the coaching staff with his sister Helen Garcia at the Piedmont Swim Team and has been instrumental in developing and elevating the competitive nature of the program. Jesus was selected as Head Coach of the developmental All Star Team and has presented at USA Diversity and American Swim Coach Association Clinics. Coach Jesus works with the Mini Blue, Blue Group & Junior Group.


Assistant Coach

Miriam Benjamin, [email protected]
A recent graduate of the University of Chicago, Miriam swam competitively for 14 years. As an age grouper with the Walnut Creek Aquabears, Miriam represented Pacific Swimming at the North American Challenge Cup and Western Zones, winning the 400 free at the latter. She was also an avid open water swimmer, traveling to Florida in 2012 and 2013 for the US Open Water Nationals. Miriam is a former instructor at Canyon Swim School in El Sobrante and at the University of Chicago Swim School. Miriam works with the Junior and Navy Groups, and leads the Distance/Open Water Group during the summer months.


Assistant Coach

Tienna Chen, [email protected]

A recent Albany High School and Armada graduate and is currently a student at UC San Diego. She is a former Armada swimmer, swimming with the team for eight years starting in 2012. At Albany High School, Tienna swam and served as team captain in the 2018, 2019, and 2020 seasons, leading the women’s team to a League Championship victory in 2019. As an athlete, Tienna served as one of Armada’s Athlete Representatives in the Pacific Swimming governing body, Athlete Representative in the Armada Boosters Club, and as a Junior Coach with the Mini Blue and Blue groups from 2017 to 2019. Tienna currently works with the Mini Blue, Blue, and Yellow Groups.

Assistant Coach

Daniel Choy, [email protected]

A recent graduate of the University of California, Santa Cruz, Daniel started his competitive swimming career in 2005 with the Oakland Barracudas Swim Team. He later swam with the Hills Hurricane Swim team, and in 2015, joined Albany Armada Aquatics. Daniel also competed at the collegiate level with the UCSC Division III swim team and contributed points towards the Mens Team’s first PCSC Conference Championship in 2020. Daniel currently works with the Blue, Yellow, and Royal Blue Groups.





Dry Land & Conditioning Coach

Tom Hodge

With a B.S. in Kinesiology from the University of California, Los Angeles, and over 30 years of racing under his belt, Tom has completed over 300 multi-sport events including 23 Ironman’s. He is a six-time Hawaiian Ironman participate and two-time Team USA Member. What sets him apart is not only his impressive finishing times but also his involvement and leadership in the triathlon and athletic community. 

Tom Hodge has been coaching triathletes, cyclists and runners for over 30 years. Specializing in endurance athletes of all levels and abilities, Tom enjoys coaching everyone from first timers to pros. As a former pro triathlete himself, Tom understands the demands of endurance sports and has the experience and knowledge to help others achieve their athletic best. 

Clients include: Stanford Athletics, Olympians, Marathon Athletes, Moms, High School Athletes in soccer, baseball, football, swimming, and soccer. 



Albany Armada Masters (AAM, Adult Swim Program)

Head Coach

Carol Nip, c[email protected]

Carol Nip works with all kinds of swimmers in achieving fitness and competitive goals through USA-Swimming, High School and US Masters Swimming.  As Team Manager and Interim Head Coach of USA-S team, BEAR 2006-2011, Carol has experience with team management, organizing swim meets and coaching kids.  Head Coach of high school teams, 2008-2017, resulting in five college swimmers, Carol has developed a passion for coaching teenagers.  Head Masters Coach of Albany Armada Aquatic Masters, 2012-to-date, Carol has experience bringing forth an adult swim team from zero existence to a 4th place finish at the 2018 SCM championships with fitness, new competitive and college swimmers.  She has to pinch herself with recognition for her work with these awards:  2017 Pacific Masters Coach of the Year, 2018 Kerry O'Brien Award, and 2018 June Krauser Communications Award presented to the Pacific Masters team of Update Editors.  Carol's cup runs over with gratefulness for swim. Coach Carol works with Armada Masters Group.






Armada Coaching Staff
Helen Garcia Armada Youth Program, Head Coach
Jesus Salcedo Armada Youth Program Coach
Miriam Benjamin Armada Youth Program Coach
Daniel Choy Armada Youth Program Coach
Carol Nip Armada Masters Adult Program Coach
Wei Wang Armada Youth
Dan McGarry Armada Youth