MEET THE COACHES
Check out our new coach biographies!
Good coaches teach respect for the opposition, love of competition, the value of trying your best, and how to win and lose graciously. –Brooks Clark
My name is Michelle Arlen and I am taking on a different role this year in the swim club. I am helping with club coaching and am coaching Boys’ Varsity Swim. I have been involved with the swim club now for 10 years. I have 3 children, all of whom swim. I am a USA certified Coach, a USA stroke and Turn official and a WIAA swim official. I have a degree in Physical Education and have coached several sports throughout my career. Swimming has been a passion of mine for quite some time and I feel that I can benefit our youth by helping them become a team player as well as better swimmers, while having fun.
Hi I’m Austin Arlen, I am working with the swim club this year coaching mostly the level 2 and 3 kids. I have been swimming for 10+ years now. I am also on the Boys’ Varsity swim team. My favorite strokes are the Butterfly and the free. I like sprints more than distance. I have been a USA swimmer and gone to state 3 different times.
As a part of the competitive swimming world for about 35 years, Mary grew up in Northern Minnesota where she started competing in age group swimming. In high school she was a varsity swimmer, letter winner and team captain for Lincoln High School in Wisconsin Rapids and then swam for the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire where she majored in Physical Education and Health Education. After graduating from UW-EC, Mary moved to Spartanburg, SC where she coached age-group swimming for the YMCA, worked in their aquatics department and was part of the YMCA program team for 5 years. The next move led her to Beaver Dam, WI where she helped with the newest and youngest swimmers on the YMCA swim team. Finally, Mary ended up in Antigo,Wi where there was no swim team or pool. That break from being involved with competitive swimming was short lived as Mary was part of the board that brought the Clara R McKenna Aquatic Center to Antigo and she started the first swim team in the area. That team consisted of a small group of about 10 swimmers who competed in the summer only. The club has grown to about 60 age group swimmers plus a girls and boys high school varsity team. Mary's specialty in coaching swimming is working with the newest and youngest swimmers and helping them transition from swimming lessons into competitive swimming. Mary loves the sport of swimming and believes there is so much more to the sport than what is seen. It takes drive, determination, self-discipline and hard work to be a swimmer-traits that will carry over and have a positive influence in many other areas of life. She is excited to be a part of the Antigo Swim Club for another season and looks forward to working with another group of Penguins.
Little bird-big bird-fly. If I had a nickel for every time I repeated that sequence to beginner swimmers at the outdoor Antigo Municipal Pool, well... let’s just say I taught A LOT of swimming lessons. There was something about that moment when you let go of a little swimmer and they float/swim... on their own. They spread their “wings” and move through the water. So rewarding were those little grins of accomplishment when they looked up at you with the newfound confidence that they were learning to SWIM. Those little smiles will forever be stored away in my memory... I loved those summers.
Working as a lifeguard and teaching as a WSI instructor helped me discover that I wanted to pursue a career in education. I still see those little, wet faces, in grown-up versions, in my day-to-day Antigo interactions.
Little birds can become swimmers with big wings, and as Penguin coaches, we will help them develop that strength and stamina. I look forward to the season and to watching your little bird, big bird… fly. Besty Frey-Neufeld