There are a number of great people coaching swimmers in Central Oregon. Take advantage of their skills and knowledge by attending a practice at one of our pools (see Pools link at the left).
Bob Bruce coaches practices at Juniper Swim and Fitness Center in Bend and serves as COMA's head coach. Bob is a Level 5 coach (of 5 levels) certified by the American Swimming Coaches Association and has over 40 years of experience coaching novice, age-group, high school, college and master's swimmers. Bob served as the USMS head coach for the Ninth and Tenth FINA World Masters Championships in New Zealand (2002) and Italy (2004). He was named USMS 2003 Coach of the Year and has served as the Coaches Chair for USMS. Bob is also on the Board of Directors of Oregon Masters Swimming as the Long Distance Chair. Currently, Bob is completing his Level 1 USA Triathalon Coaching Certification. Bob received his B.S. from the College of Wooster, earned his teaching credentials at Springfield College, and received an M.A. in Exercise Science from the University of North Carolina. To contact Coach Bob click here.
Ask any local swimmer who’s the funnest guy at the pool and chances are you’ll hear Rob Higley mentioned again and again. A competitive swimmer off and on since the age of 7, the gregarious Higley has earned the respect of fellow masters swimmers across the state. In 2000, the Oregon Masters Swimming voted him its most spirited male pool swimmer and in 2005 its most spirited male open water swimmer. Higley moved to Bend in 1991 after spending eight years in the Navy as a helicopter mechanic. He started swimming with the masters at Juniper to rehabilitate a hurt knee. “I don’t break too many records,” he claims, “but I enjoy it. He recently left his job as a machinist to work full time at the Athletic Club of Bend where he heads the club’s masters program and helps coach the age group team. He also works as a lifeguard, private swim instructor, manager and at the front desk. He has served on the COMA board as social chairman and vice president. He aspires to reach American Swim Coaches Association Level 3 or 4 certification. “I like working with people and teaching, and I think I can help folks swim better and enjoy it.” Click here to contact Coach Rob.
Tamas Bessenyei was born and raised in Hungary. He began his swimming career at the age of 5 and went onto win multiple Hungarian national championships in 50M & 100M & 200M Breaststroke. During his professional career he finished fifth at the 1999 European Championships in the 50 meter breast, a semifinalist in the 200 meter breast in Istanbul, Turkey, fifth in 1999 swimming world cup in 100M breast in Malmo, Sweden as well as placed in multiple other competitions. Tamas was World-ranked in three events throughout his swimming career: 11th in the 50 meter breast; 53rd in the 100 meter breast; 31st in the 200 meter breast. He achieved his bachelor’s degree at Purdue University, IN where he became a Big Ten Champion and 4 time All American. He continued his education by earning an MBA at West Virginia University where he coached for 2 years with Sergio Lopez, Olympic bronze medalist. While at WVU he helped guide the Mountaineers to their first Big East Swimming Championships title.
Barb Harris was a world ranked swimmer as an age grouper and collegian in the 100 meter freestyle and 100 meter butterfly. Her college career included a NCAA Division I National Championship title in the 50-yard Butterfly, anchoring an American Record 200 Medley Relay, and earning a Gold Medal in the World University Games. She earned a B.A. at the University of North Carolina and an M.P.A. at Indiana University. Although she competes infrequently as a Masters swimmer, she has frequently ranked in the USMS Top-Ten. Barb is currrently a Level 3 coach certified with the American Swimming Coaches Association. She has coached with age group, college and masters teams. Currently, she coaches at Juniper Swim and Fitness Center and also serves as COMA's Membership Chair. To contact Coach Barb click here.