|Courtney Van Tassel||10|
Years Coached at CGHS: 18th Season
Jonah Turner is from Raleigh, NC where he grew up swimming year round for several clubs (New Wave, RY, and TAR). He also swam for Sanderson High School where he graduated from in 1997. After high school, he continued his swimming career in college and swam for the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He was a distance swimmer specializing in the 1650yd Freestyle, 1000yd Freestyle, 500yd Freestyle, and 200yd Butterfly.
While in college during summer break is when Jonah first discovered his love for coaching. He coached the summer swim team, Greystone in Raleigh for 4 summers. After graduating from Carolina in 2001, Jonah was asked to coach the Cardinal Gibbons Swim Team which at the time had 8 guys and 20 girls on the team. Twelve seasons later and a lot more athletes on the team, Jonah continues to enjoy working with his fellow coaches to help swimmers improve and learn to believe in themselves as well as teaching the importance of teamwork and having fun.
Outside of coaching Cardinal Gibbons, Jonah works for Cardinal Health as a Region Director of Core Account Management for the Acute market with responsibility for 8 sales reps covering SC/NC/VA . He also enjoys spending time and traveling with his wife Stephanie and hanging out playing with their 3yr old boy Jackson and 5yr old girl Brooklyn, who you will often find on the pool deck yelling Go Gibbons. He also loves playing with his dog Zoey (French Bulldog).
Jonah enjoys nothing more than coming to the pool to coach the Gibbons swimmers and watch them grow more and more as swimmers and as a team each day.
Years Coached CGHS: 8th Season
Taylor Blanton returns to the team for his 8th year coaching swimming at Cardinal Gibbons. Prior to coming to Cardinal Gibbons, Coach Blanton was the head coach at Mallard Creek HS in Charlotte NC. Here he was twice named the Conference Coach of the Year and guided the Mavericks to consecutive Top- 10 finishes at the 4A State Championship meet, the only time they have done so in school history.
Coach Blanton has coached club swimming for both Mecklenburg Aquatic Club in Charlotte - 3 yrs and for the YMCA of the Triangle Swim Team here in Raleigh - 5yrs. During that time he was an active member of the American Swimming Coaches Association and was the primary coach of several athletes ranked in the National Top 10 both in individual and relay events. He has also coached in the Tarheel Swimming Association for many years including 4 years as the Head Coach of Scotts Mill in Apex, and the past four years as the Head Coach of Sunset Ridge in Holly Springs. As a Head Coach in TSA, Coach Blanton has a 40-7-1 win/loss/tie record and five division championships in 8 yrs. Coach Blantons teams have focused on team spirit, sportsmanship, personal improvement and he has been invited for several years to be a speaker at the Annual Tarheel Swimming Association Coaches Clinics.
Coach Blanton teaches AP US History and American Government here at Cardinal Gibbons. He also coaches the Cross Country teams, is the moderator for the History Clubs and leads an annual trip to Western Europe.
Taylor enjoys traveling with his wife Melissa and volunteering their time at Duke Hospital.
Years Coached CGHS: 5th Season
Joey DeRusso returns for his third year on the coaching staff bringing his passion and energy back to the pool deck. He is an alumni (2005-2009) of Cardinal Gibbons where he was a captain of the swim team as well as recepient of several awards - Spirit Award, Coaches Award, Crusader Award.
After graduating from CGHS Joey went on to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, but in the summers Joey pursued his passion for swimming and being apart of a team through coaching Prestonwood Country Club. He led his team to become one of the most successful summer swim team programs in the area.
Joey recently graduated from UNC and majored in Microbiology. Last season Joey balanced a full plate as he received his MBA from the Fuquay School of Business at Duke. Joey currently works for an international steel fabrication company and was married this past summer to his wife, Jessica (a Gibbons alumni)
We are thrilled and excited to have Joey back for his 5th season.
Years Coached CGHS: 5th Season
Kristin Curran has enjoyed swimming her entire life. She began swimming at Lake Gaston with her parents before she could even walk. At age six, she started swimming on her neighborhood TSA team, The Shepherds Vineyard Killer Whales. Falling in love with swimming at the summer league level is something she has never forgotten. She went on to swim year round for Raleigh Swimming Association through high school and during high school she swam for Cary Academy.
Kristin has coached two seasons at the NCAA DIII level at Franciscan University while she earned a MA degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. She taught Theology at Cardinal Gibbons for 2 years but most recently changed careers and found her passion back on the pool deck as she began coaching the TAC Titans. She looks forward to bringing her passion for swimming and joy of coaching to Cardinal Gibbons this season.
Years Coached CGHS: 2nd Season
Matt Lang returns for his second season coaching Cardinal Gibbons where he was an alumni and captain of the swim team until he graduated in 2012. In the summers, Matt began coaching for Planters Walk and realized he had a skill for motivating others. He then took the opportunity to coach at North Ridge Country Club.
Matt went to school at UNC-W where he studied Finance and graduated in 2016. He soon moved back to Raleigh and began a career with First Citizens Bank where he is a Senior Credit analyst today. After moving back to Raleigh, he was eager for the opportunity to give back to a program that he had such a passion for - so we are so excited to have Matt join us for his second year! He was a huge asset in his first season with his analytical approach to swimming.