Coaching Staff

John Morse

Head Coach

Since taking over the helm as the Head Coach of the Nashville Aquatic Club in 1984, John Morse has established a tradition of dedication and excellence in Middle Tennessee.

The 1989, 2001, 2002, 2004, 2008, 2009, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2021 Southeastern Swimming LSC Coach of the Year, Morse has coached the team to over 40 LSC Championship titles.

Upon Morse’s arrival, NAC has established itself as a consistent and elite program in developing fast, successful swimmers. Through Morse’s guidance, NAC has finished in the top 10 at Senior Nationals, Junior National team champions, and has been overall team champion at the Southeastern Sectional Championships.

Coach Morse has developed more than 60 Olympic Trial qualifiers, over a dozen National finalists, four World University Games qualifiers, World Junior Championship qualifiers, Junior National Champions, National Team members, FINA World Junior Champions, and swimmers that went on to become NCAA champions and All Americans.

Morse’s leadership has allowed the team garner 15 Gold Medal Club Awards. This award identifies USA Swimming Clubs that have attained a high level of athlete performance as well as organizational success.

Morse’s success has also led him to earn the American Swim Coaches Association Bronze Award of Excellence, signifying ten years of having a finalist at Nationals. Morse has served as a National Team Coach in 1992, 2008, 2011, and has been a part of the Olympic Development Camp (1994), the Eagle Camp (1995), Zone Distance Camp (1997), and National Select Camp (1998). Morse was selected as an assistant coach for the National Junior Team in 2007-2008, and participated in international competition in Melbourne, Australia.  In 2008, 2016 and 2018, Morse was recognized by USA Swimming as the USA Swimming Developmental Coach of the Year, and was selected as the head women’s coach for the 2009 National Junior Team trip to Vancouver.  In 2010, Morse was selected as the co-head coach of the Junior Pan-Pacific team which competed in Hawaii.  In 2011, Morse was selected as a member of the Pan-American Games coaching staff which competed in Mexico.  In 2012, Morse was selected as a coach for the Junior Pan-Pacific team competing in Honolulu, Hawaii.  In both 2014 and 2016, Morse was selected as the head women’s coach for the Junior Pan-Pacific team competing in Honolulu, Hawaii.

Coach Morse also stays involved in the politics of swimming. He has been a delegate to the United States Swimming Aquatic Convention more than a dozen times. He has also served on the National Championship Time Standards Committee, the National Championship site selection committee, the National Club Development Committee, and currently serves on the Senior Development Committee for USA Swimming. Coach Morse is also a member of the Southeastern Swimming board of directors and has served as the Senior Chairman, Technical Planning Director, Outreach Director, and Swim-a-Thon Director.

He also stays very involved in high school swimming, and was instrumental in bringing the high school state meet to Nashville in 1991. He has worked with the Nashville Metro Parks and Nashville Sports Council to secure three Senior National Championships, 2 Junior National Championships, and 1 Masters National Championships for the city.

Coach Morse is a graduate of the University of Florida, where he swam on conference and NCAA championship teams.  Coach Morse is happily married and has 2 stepchildren.  He is also an avid fisherman and has two dogs:  Bentley and Jenks.

The Morse File:

  • 65+ Olympic Trial Qualifiers
  • 30 National or National Junior Team Members
  • 26 National Finalists
  • USA Swimming Developmental Coach of the Year, 2008, 2016, 2018

International Experience

  • Head Coach, USA, 2016 Junior Pan Pacific Team, Hawaii
  • Head Coach, USA, 2014 Junior Pan Pacific Team, Hawaii
  • Head Coach, USA, 2010 Junior Pan Pacific Team, Hawaii
  • Head Coach, USA, 2009 National Junior Team Competition, Vancouver
  • Assistant Coach, USA, 2011 Pan American Games, Mexico
  • Assistant Coach, USA, 2012 Junior Pan Pacific Team, Hawaii
  • Assistant Coach, USA, 2007-8 National Junior Team Competition, Melbourne

Doug Wharam

Associate Head Coach

Doug enters his fourteenth season with Nashville Aquatic Club as Associate Head Coach and Senior Coordinator.  During his tenure in Nashville, the Senior group has developed dozens of winter Junior National and summer Junior National qualifiers, over a dozen first time summer Senior National qualifiers, fifteen 18&U Olympic Trial qualifiers, placed twenty-eight athletes on the Southeastern Zone Championship team, and had hundreds of USA Swimming Top 10 swims, including more than forty #1 rankings.  In addition, NAC has also had international success with athletes securing three Junior World Records and multiple gold, silver, and bronze medals at the Pan American Games, FINA World Cup Series, FINA World Junior Championships and the Junior Pan Pacific Championships.

Doug has been named to the coaching staff for several USA Swimming teams, including as an assistant coach for the 2019 Pan American Games and the Head Coach of the 2017 18&U FINA World Cup Team.  Doug has been named to the coaching staff for several USA Swimming Camps including National Select Camp (2013) and National Junior Team Camp (2016, 2019).  Doug has also been the Head Coach of USA Swimming’s Zone Select Camp.  In 2018, 2019, and 2021 Doug was named Southeastern Swimming Senior Coach of the Year.  In 2014 and 2016, Doug received recognition as an ASCA/Fitter & Faster National Age Group Coach of the Year finalist.  In 2016 and 2018, Doug was recognized by USA Swimming as Developmental Coach of the Year.

Prior to his tenure with NAC, Doug was the Director of Competitive Swimming with the Shenandoah Marlins Aquatic Club in Waynesboro, Va., the Head Age Group Coach and Assistant Senior Coach at Seacoast Swimming in Providence, R.I., Head Age Group Coach with the Waves of Wilmington in Wilmington, N.C. and Assistant Age Group Coach with Machine Aquatics in the Washington, D.C. area. Collegiately, he has served volunteer assistant coach posts at Brown University, the University of Virginia, and Vanderbilt University’s women’s swim team.

A 2005 graduate of the University of Virginia, Doug earned a master’s degree in Sport Management from the State University of New York at Cortland in 2011, and his Doctorate in Sports Management from USSA in 2019. He is certified as an ASCA Level 5 coach, was selected as a 2009-2010 ASCA Fellow, and has previously served on the ASCA Board of Directors.  Doug also serves USA Swimming as a member of the Coaches Advisory Council and Operational Risk Committee.  Doug has two dogs, a totally rad wife, two daughters, and drives Saabs.

Josh Bair

Age Group Coordinator

Josh spent the last 18 years coaching for AAAA in San Antonio, Texas, working with athletes ranging from the developmental level to age group state finalists at Texas Age Group State Championships (TAGS). He spent 4 years running the SwimAmerica lesson program and co-leading the pre-competitive program, before coaching the age group competitive team for the remainder of his time. During his tenure in Texas, he has developed over 50 TAGS athletes, hundreds of state finalist swims, and placed 12 athletes on the South Texas Zones Championship team.

Josh enjoys helping athletes engage and connect deeply with the sport, and walking on deck to a group of excited and determined athletes has always been the best part of his day.  Outside of the pool, Josh enjoys getting immersed in music, cinema, and table tennis.

Jack Folcarelli

Senior Assistant Coach

Jack is in his sixth season at NAC. He began as the Age Group Coordinator before moving into his current role as Senior Assistant and lead Senior 1 coach.

Prior to NAC he served as Head Coach of the Weymouth Waves for 3 years.  Before that he was Head Age Group Coach for the Waves. He also coached and oversaw the 300 member Cohasset Summer Swim Team, which won the South Shore Swim League 4 out of his 5 years.

Jack enjoys helping swimmers realize and chase their highest potential. Whether a first time age group qualifier or a Junior National time, the achievement that represents each swimmer keeps coaching fun and rewarding for Jack.

Outside of the pool Jack enjoys fishing, golfing, and the beautiful Southern weather of Nashville.

Cory Pierce

Red & RACE Lead Coach

Coach Cory joins the Nashville Aquatic Club as the Red Group Lead and RACE Group Lead. He grew up in the Nashville area swimming for NAC and is excited to be back home. Cory is thrilled to work with all the current Nashville swimmers and share his passion and knowledge of the sport. Coach Cory is happily married and enjoys fishing in his free time.

Prior to NAC, Coach Cory was the lead senior coach with the Lakeside Seahawks in Louisville, Kentucky for five years. While there, Lakeside was awarded Gold Medal status four times within USA Swimming’s Club Excellence Program, he was Nominated KY Swimming Age Group Coach of the Year, and helped swimmers to Olympic Trials, Nationals, Open Water Nationals, Jr. Nationals, Sectionals, Zones, Open Water Zones, and Several Kentucky LSC Records.

Sarah Peterson

Swim Fit Coordinator

Sarah, 2015 Southeastern Swimming Coach of the Year, is entering her thirteenth season with the Nashville Aquatic Club as SwimFit & PreComp Coordinator.  Sarah swam for the Nashville Aquatic Club for 11 seasons, and during that time was a member of the National Junior Team and a 2008 Olympic Trials Qualifier.  Sarah grew up in Franklin, and was a high school All-American and team captain at Franklin High School.

After graduation, Sarah attended the University of Florida where she swam for coach Gregg Troy.  While at Florida, Sarah was a 3-time member of the SEC Academic Honor Roll, an NCAA All-American, and a member of the 2009 SEC Championship, and 2010 NCAA Championship team.  Sarah graduated with a degree in advertising.

Ashley Whitney

Masters/Triathlon Coordinator

Ashley was an National Junior Team qualifier as an age group swimmer with NAC. She still holds the Southeastern record in the 200 freestyle for 13-14 girls. Ashley swam for the Bolles School, where she qualified for a spot on the US National Team from 1995-1998. She competed in a variety of national and international competitions and won a gold medal in the 1996 Olympics in the 800 freestyle relay. Ashley was a member of the 1999 NCAA Championship team swimming for the University of Georgia and completed her collegiate swimming career at the University of California-Berkeley.

A three time Olympic Trials qualifier, Ashley now focuses much of her efforts on training, racing, and coaching for open water swimming. She earned a spot on the 2009 US National Open Water team and has won several open water races around the country. Ashley has coached hundreds of adult swimmers to successful triathlon and open water finishes from sprint to multi-ironman distances. Ashley especially enjoys helping adult swimmers achieve their goals whether they include learning freestyle to participate in their first race or prepare a bid to qualify for World Championship multi-sport competitions. Ashley is excited to bring her swimming and coaching experience back to the team where her competitive swimming career started.

Ashley also enjoys her time as head coach of Nashville’s Seven Hills Barracudas summer league team.  Ashley has two daughters who are a part of NAC's age group team.

Eleanor Beers

Assistant Coach

Eleanor is originally from Poulsbo, Washington. She attended North Kitsap High School and was a 6-time 2A state champion. Eleanor was a part of Bainbridge Island Swim Club for 7 years before coming to Nashville to swim at Vanderbilt. At Vanderbilt, Eleanor studied political science and finished her undergraduate career in 3 years while being a member of the Vanderbilt Women's Swim Team. She is now a graduate student at the Vanderbilt Data Science Institute and will be graduating with a Master of Science in Data Science in 2025. She is excited to remain a part of the swimming community by joining NAC and transitioning from the role of athlete to coach.

Matt Childress

Assistant Coach

Matt Childress grew up in Bloomington, Indiana, where he discovered a love for the water from the early age of five. Before moving to Nashville and coaching for NAC, Matt attended the University of Evansville, where he earned a B.S. in Finance and swam for the Purple Aces all four years. Initially a walk-on to the team, Matt quickly found his fit as a sprint-freestyler and later served as team captain his junior and senior seasons.  Matt moved to Nashville in the fall of 2017 to attend Belmont University’s College of Law and is finishing his final year before taking the BAR exam in July 2020.  After a summer working back home, Matt is happy to be back coaching both Red and Blue group and is looking forward to all the fast swimming and fun that is to come!

Hadley Judson

Assistant Coach

Hadley is originally from Atlanta, GA, where she swam for Swim Atlanta and attended Marist School. She was a part of four State Championship teams at Marist.

Hadley attended and swam at Centre College in Danville, KY. She was an Honorable Mention All-American in the 800 Freestyle Relay, four time 1st team All-Conference, and a four-time member of the SAA Academic Honor Roll. She graduated with a double major in History and English. She recently graduated with her Master’s in Education from Vanderbilt University. She is a former History teacher as well as the former Head swim coach at Pope John Paul II High School in Hendersonville.

Hadley is excited to continue coaching at the developmental level with NAC!

James Loveless

Age Group & Senior Coach

James Loveless grew up in Westchester, NY swimming for Badger Swim Team under coach John Collins. James was a Junior National Qualifier in the freestyle events as a ninth grader. By twelfth grade, James expanded into individual medleys and Senior Nationals/Olympic trial times in the freestyle events. James attended UC Berkeley (CAL) where he trained under Nort Thornton and Mike Bottom (Michigan). There, he was a PAC-10 finalist and was nominated for rookie of the year. After being offered a full scholarship for swimming, James moved to Syracuse University for his remaining years where he was team captain, top five finalist in the Big East Championship and a Big East Academic All Star. After college, James received a fellowship to Fordham University in 2004 where he completed a Master’s in Education for grades 1-6. For the past 6 years, James has been teaching science to elementary/middle school students in the New York area. During this time, he has also been able to coach with for the Badger age group team and coaching country club and high school teams as well. James has coached over 300 age group swimmers to success as well as coaching swimmers to become Junior National Qualifiers and All-American athletes. James swims everyday and truly believes that swimming can improve one’s quality of life.

Will Nelligan

Assistant Coach

Will is originally from the suburbs of Philadelphia (Wayne PA) and was a competitive swimmer and water polo player throughout high school. In college he competed on the varsity swim team at Gettysburg College in Central Pennsylvania for 4 years, specializing in Breaststroke, IM and Sprint Free. Prior to NAC he was an assistant coach for the age group program at Episcopal Academy Aquatic Club in Pennsylvania.  He works as a Business Development Consultant at AllianceBernstein in the 5th and Broadway building downtown and is also enrolled at Vanderbilt Owen Business School pursuing an MBA on weekends. Will enjoys coaching swimming in order to help young swimmers find the value in hard work, dedication, and discipline and how to apply it to their personal life. In his free time, Will likes to read, lift weights and swim with the NAC Masters team in the mornings!

Lexie Ward

Age Group Coach

Lexie began swimming when she was 7 years old for The Woodlands Swim Team in Texas. She continued to swim throughout high school, both at a club level and for her school in Kentucky, and then swam club level in college at Belmont University. Lexie assisted Belmont University in establishing the first ever club swim team on campus, and served as President for two years.
Lexie joined NAC’s coaching staff in 2014. She also served as an assistant coach to the Traceside Barracuda’s Swim Team during the summers of 2015 and 2016. Lexie is a current active member of NAC Masters & Tri.

Lexie graduated with her Juris Doctorate degree at Belmont University College of Law and currently works for the Metropolitan Department of Law.

Competitive Team

Competitive Team





Masters Tri

Masters & Tri